Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Hu Shi thanks the imperialists [Danwei]

A peek back in time in China circa 1929, as the primary advocate for the literary revolution of the era Hu Shi shares – the three glaring faults in China. ‘First, look at how its people treat children; Second, look at how they treat women; Third, look at how they spend their free time’ Fast forward to today, China treats their children supremely well (with the exception of shady factories producing tainted milk), the women have almost equal footing (not there yet, but gaining fast), and they spend their free time touring the world spending their newfound wealth. Has China shown amazing recovery from that period of humiliation?

Above all, this articles shows the beauty that can result from breaking down the barriers of East and West, there was, is, and still is much to be learnt from each other. This is something pockets of Chinese have known for a long time. Why not the best of both worlds? Do we really need a common enemy to facilitate that? I hope not.

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Hu Shi thanks the imperialists
translated by Julian Smisek
Source – Danwei, published July 19, 2010

Chinese tradition is fairly enthusiastic about filial piety, having much to say on how to be a good child. Rather less is said about being a good parent. In this short essay, Hu Shi (1891-1962) asks readers to consider how poorly Chinese children are treated.

On caring for children

by Hu Shi / translated by Julian Smisek

The other day, a friend told me something rather profound: “to see how civilized a country is, you just have to examine three things: First, look at how its people treat children; Second, look at how they treat women; Third, look at how they spend their free time.”

These three standards are straightforward. It’s disappointing that China fails at all three. No matter which of the three we choose, we find that our country is the most barbaric. How do we treat children? How do we treat women? How do we spend our free time? The country is filled with fools boasting about our intellectual and ideological development, yet not one of them has reflected on these three issues. Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Culture, Danwei, Domestic Growth, Education, Health, History, Social, The Chinese Identity

A ‘generation in peril’ in China [Straits Times]

This is a fear I share  as well, the Chinese I have met here in Australia are either very desensitized, or hyper-nationalistic, there are few in between. This is real. The new media is strongly shaping the minds of the Chinese.

I think this is the inevitable future of China at this stage, clashes between tradition and the new are frequent, and in this stage of hyper-flux where we are exposed, sometimes not by choice, to perception shaping media that form our personal narratives. Because the Internet and boundary-free (mostly) connectivity and access to information is still so new, excess is bound to happen before balance is found.

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A ‘generation in peril’ in China
The Internet can spawn independent thinkers or be used to violate the right to free speech or privacy, says don
By Clarissa Oon, Senior Political Correspondent
Source – Straits Times, published July 25, 2010

An Internet cafe in China. Prof Zhu warns of manipulation by online commentators planted by the government. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

China’s young adults are a ‘generation in peril’ and the influence of the Internet could make or break them, one of the country’s leading cultural critics believes.

On the one hand, their cyber-savvy gives them the skills to crack Beijing’s firewalls and access information not found in their history textbooks or in the traditional Chinese media.

This could produce a new wave of independent thinkers and social activists, leading to a more progressive China, Professor Zhu Dake told The Sunday Times.

The catch is that ‘just as you can make use of the Internet, the Internet can turn around and make use of you’, said the outspoken cultural scholar with Shanghai’s Tongji University.

For one thing, less discerning netizens could be manipulated by government-paid ‘commentators’ who, under the cover of pseudonyms, try to steer Internet opinion towards the establishment line. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Great Firewall, Greater China, Influence, Media, Nationalism, Politics, Population, Social, Soft Power, Straits Times

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