the time for transitions and reflections in China these days.
week, infamous photos of the "June 4th Incident"
will emerge from the heap of glowing statistics that China shovels
onto the world stage day in and day out.
Deng will drift in from the grave and experts - and old freedom
fighters marginalized by those heaps of statistics - out there will
determine whether he was a genius who guided China toward international
prestige or a tyrant who helped the Communist party retain its less
than legitimate rule at the expense of freedom loving students,
professors and workers.
Tiananmen Massacre has lost its luster in the past 14 years. Beijing
residents who witnessed the battles - and participated - blame themselves
for getting carried away with the students and provoking the soldiers.
Of course, money talks.
it always has for China—the earliest accounts of Dutch and Portuguese
spice traders never fail to describe the Chinese quarters and the
resentment and envy their commercial prowess inspired amongst the
natives and the invaders. Had the Chinese lost their knack for money
making, well then Tiananmen might still be an issue today.
past week, Russia, China, India and the US traded pleasantries and
promises of mutual benefit and aid in the years to come. Now with
the War in Iraq over, the world has a bit of space to maneuver while
the hawks and doves in the US contemplate their next move.
and Russia are taking advantage of this lull in the bloodshed to
trade oil, buy weapons and sign agreements agreeing to agree more
in the future—be it in Central Asia or East Asia; concerning oil
Asia Times is all over the Chinese government about this
SARS thing. The government is lying, that’s for sure, but here in
the interior businessmen and women are breathing a sigh of relief.
"It’s over" they say, and we can get back to work. Classes
are starting again for the kids, travel plans are back on track
and the half-days have come to an end.
than 20,000 mingong (peasant-workers) came back to Sichuan
last month. Pretty girls; short, hard old men with pipes and ripped
trousers. Dull-eyed young men with more money than they know what
to do with. Chengdu seems to be fuller these days, and peasants
are out on the prowl—staring at foreigners and cackling at the famous
June passes and we don’t all die, then SARS is over." This
is the mantra of the locals. A lot hinges on this month.
students have either taken their tests for the year and are awaiting
results, or they are starting next semester now. Most universities
have a quarantines policy, so kids have to be back a few weeks early
in order to avoid being cooped up in the dorms during the entire
month of July. Those students who took their last tests as a Chinese
undergrad are now waiting anxiously for visas abroad to be accepted.
to SARS and 9/11, the Consulates have received a whole new set of
regulations to abide by concerning Chinese going abroad. The return
rate for Chinese ranks down there with the lowest in the world,
so the acceptance rate must now follow suit—Chinese are grumbling
and cursing the US government for its "arbitrary" measures
and "racist" policies. But unfortunately, 60% of Chinese
students don’t return to the US and an unbelievable amount of "businessmen"
never come back. Add this to the confusion that reigns between the
INS and the Consular Services, and you find yourself with a million
or so sweating young Chinese kids, wondering where they’re going
to be next month.
lot of sleepless nights this month.
are circulating in and out as well. Teachers and students are heading
west or south to travel through Xinjiang Thailand, businessmen who
"need a break" from the insanity of the Chinese business
environment are out for lunch and don’t plan on returning until
the heat goes away. With the black soot blanket that covers Chinese
cities getting thicker with each new automobile purchase, the heat
promises to last until late August. So those who live here are making
plans for the Fall, then leaving.
lot of plots are laid in the month of June.
520 South Murphy Avenue, Suite #202
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
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is a teacher living and working in China. His articles have appeared
in the South China Morning Post, the Minnesota Daily,
and elsewhere. His exclusive Antiwar.com column (usually) appears
Behind the Thrones
When to Lie, Know When to Shoot Straight
Like War, Huh?'
Beautiful Morning for a War
Power Moves Abroad
Safest Place in the World
off the Fence
and Nods and Handouts
Straddling the Fence Just Right
Count on China
Christmas from China
Believe the Hype
Incoming Hu Era
Theory Is a Smokescreen
Make You Play Bad Card'
Future of East-West Rapprochement
Legacy: The Forgotten Rebellion
the Chinese Smile
China Can Disregard US Anger
the World: What the US Fears
Billion Problems For China
New Post-9/11 Status
Room for Growth
Back in the USA
Missing the Boat?
Sweep 'Em Off the Streets
Chinese Embrace Progress
War May Reveal New Superpower, Part II
War May Reveal New Superpower
Chance for a New Friendship?
as a Way of Life
Markets or Supermarkets
Towards World Significance
on the Road to Capitalism
American in China
the Street in China: A Report