Tuesday, June 2, 2009

(( 4th June - 20 Years On ))

So here we are. Twenty years after the Tiananmen Square riots and the subsequent massacre of hundreds of people by the Chinese government. It would appear, if you believe what has been said during the past seven years by Politicians around the world that China has changed its spots. But as we all know a Leopard rarely does, especially a golden one.

For two months the video sharing site YouTube has been blocked by the Chinese government. This Internet censoring has been stepped up with the blocking of most western social network and blog sites, such as Facebook, Myspace and Hotmail.

Very little has actually changed. In fact most of China's changes have only really been benefitial to Western countries, such as the USA and UK, who now import a large percentage of their goods from this Communist state. The very fact that we are living off the spoils of what can only be described as a dictatorship, beggars belief.

From the farce of the handing over of the 2008 Olympic games, right up to the actual games itself, we have been lied to and blatantly cheated by the leaders of not only China, but of our own nations too. All which has passed during the last seven years was a carefully planned and negotiated game of 'Scratch my back and I'll scratch yours'. Guaranteeing mutual gains on both sides. Sadly whereas we in the west can buy a TV or DVD player for amazingly low prices, the people who are making these trinkets of Capitalist development are living in poor circumstances and being paid a pittance. The only Chinese people who are really benefiting from the past growth are those in Government positions or those who are a member of that big exclusive club otherwise known as the Communist Party. 

Since 2008, China has been somewhat forgotten. Only being brought into the public domain when the USA needs China to support the rally against the global recession or to protest against the recent sabre rattling of North Korea.

Lets not mince our words. China is the lap-dog of the Western world. It jumps through hoops for the Western super-powers. Having said that, the USA and the UK also do their share of jumping and begging too. Allowing government agents from China to assault members of the public here in the UK during the Olympic Torch relay must have been one of the most horrific sights ever seen on our streets, but it was allowed to happen, with no repercussions. I very much doubt that British police would be able to carry out such assaults on the streets of Beijing. Of course such assaults do happen there, but by their own officials be-it 1989 or 2009.

Between 2003 and 2007 I lived in China and during that time I spoke to many people there who feel that they have little or no voice. They carry within them, great fear and frustration and there is no place for them to vent these feelings. Newspapers are owned and censored by the government. Television is state owned and its news consists of nothing more than government propaganda. The views of the Chinese people are never really heard. Those who are allowed to speak are usually wealthy or have connections with the Communist party.

I even found myself the victim of the Chinese government. My phone and Internet was monitored. I was told on a number of occasions that it was not safe to live in China for too long. I broke the golden rule and stayed in Baotou for four years, which only raised suspicion among the local hierarchy. I was assaulted and robbed with a knife and was told not to tell anyone about it, my passport was taken from me during my four years working there. The facade of Chinese life is that of a puritanical people, who refrain from all temptation. Even now Western people are painted as diseased and unclean. A very dangerous way of thinking when we consider the amount of Chinese hotels offering room sex and KTV bars and lounges with prostitutes on hand to offer their services. Sexually transmitted diseases such as Syphilis and AIDS are rife, due to the ignorant belief that only Western people catch them, so finding a partner there holds many risks. Let this be a warning to any person thinking of going to China for work. If you are unfortunate enough to catch a sexually transmitted disease, you will be arrested and thrown out of the country! It would be safe to say that what appears on the surface is definitely not what lies beneath.

During the opening of a disco bar in Baotou I spoke to some people who worked for the local government and one of them quite openly offered to find me a girl to 'use' for the night. They seemed very annoyed when I refused the offer and even asked what was wrong with me. Marriage arrangements in China are often not happy ones. The man is still boss there and the woman is seen as a pea-pod for giving the man the prized son he needs so as to carry on the family and keep face. The single child policy can be broken, if you are from a minority group or if you have enough money to bribe some officials, or even better be a Communist party member.

All rules in China can be broken-at the right price.

So as we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4th, what has changed in China? The answer is 'very little'. Unless you are a member of the Communist elite or the owner of a large company, which in many cases is one and the same thing. I'm not expecting much media coverage here about the anniversary. After all, Western media is a fickle beast and only talks openly about issues when it suits them or when they are sufficiently diverting. Ask someone at the BBC about the blocking of YouTube in China and they would probably reply 'So what !'. This whole situation makes me sad and sick, not just because of the neglect and blatant disregard, but because I know that it is going on right now, as I sit here typing this. 

(Misterduncan) ......................................................................



Irina said...

I won’t concern the political issue because it’s not my favourite one, but I do take an interest in what you may tell us about your temporary residence in Chine, about way of living of ordinary Chinese people. I’d like to know more!
I was born in Communistic state too, but I was a child when sudden changes came in our life. And now I really remember only good things from those years: free education, medicare, sports centers and summer camping for children.
It was a little shock for me to know that your passport was taken from you in China and that your friends were trapped there. ???????
As for the other theme – that you was assaulted and robbed there - it didn’t surprise me. China – is a very big country with an overflow population. There are good and bad people there, as in other countries (in Russia, England, and Cyprus etc.).
Last year a friend of mine decided to study in London. But one day he was robbed and beaten in the center of the city (!). After that he was so scared, that came back in Greece.
Have you heard about the disorders and hooliganism of the British in Greek islands that happen every year?
Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad things that take place every day in the world :(

Please, tell us more about your life in China, about the reverse of the medal (I mean good one) :)
Why did you decide to go there? Why did you choose this country?

Irina said...

Why do you call Twitter useless?
Sometimes you delay to update your blog and it’s very interestingly to read your everyday quick report about your life and work :)

Actually I could never understand this appeal: “follow me on Twitter”. Does it mean something?

If you don’t want to use this Twitter anymore, please, find another way to keep us informed :)