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A First-Hand Report from a ‘Jasmine Rally’ in Shanghai

Will the wave of change sweeping the Middle East spread to the Far East and hasten political reform in the world’s largest unelected dictatorship?

by
John Parker

Bio

February 27, 2011 - 3:33 pm
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In reality, the CCP not only is not now, but never was, indispensable to China. The historical record shows clearly that China would have been much better off under almost any conceivable alternative government, starting with the rival Kuomintang, which managed to develop Taiwan 25 years faster than the mainland and without any government-manufactured famines or mass political psychosis. The Qing dynasty was backward and corrupt, but certainly lacked the creativity or murderous ruthlessness to produce a “Great Leap Forward” catastrophe. And putting the British in charge would have created an environment far more amenable to prosperity for the ordinary Wang on the street, as Hong Kong’s gold-plated success has irrefutably proved. In fact, so extreme was the murderous incompetence of Mao and his vile cronies, like Kang Sheng and Lin Biao, that the Shanghai Green Gang probably could have run China better than they did.

The Beijing regime’s Qaddafi-like disconnect with reality was very apparent in the recent statements of CCP officials like Chen Jiping, deputy secretary general of the party’s Political and Legal Affairs Committee, who told a journalist: “the schemes of some hostile Western forces attempting to Western[ize] and split us are intensifying, and they are waving the banner of defending rights to meddle in domestic conflicts and maliciously create all kinds of incidents.” In actuality, leaving aside the obviously indigenous origins of the Jasmine Rallies and the many other anti-regime movements of recent years, there is no Western government that could possibly hope to damage China as much as depraved CCP officials like Lin Jiaxiang, who attempted to molest an 11-year-old girl in a restaurant in late 2008, then threatened bystanders when he was caught, screaming, “Do you know who I am? I was sent here by the Beijing Ministry of Transportation, my level is the same as your mayor. … You dare f**k with me? Just watch how I am going to deal with you!”

Although the Lin case is extreme, basically similar incidents are not rare; this writer has lived in several countries and visited many more, but has never seen one where government officials, at every level, are as despised by ordinary people as they are in mainland China. There are tens of millions of Chinese, maybe hundreds of millions, who silently bear a deep, bitter hostility towards the CCP that, if it is ever unleashed, could create a convulsion that would make Libya’s pale into insignificance.

One noteworthy manifestation of these sentiments was a rapidly banned poem called “You, Us” that appeared online sometime in 2009 (the following is a translated excerpt):

You needn’t struggle to find work, nor live under high real estate prices,

You needn’t pay for your medical expenses, nor piteously rush about.

You eat at banquets, live in villas, drive nice cars, receive plush benefits, and travel abroad.

You spend our money and monopolize our dreams with power,

Daily you curse us uncultured, implacable commoners.

You have cannons and bayonets, but develop our waters with others,

And you use them [weapons] only against your own people who give birth to and raise you.

You have high walls and iron fences, yet evil-doers remain far outside the law,

Those who speak loudly in the name of justice are put in prison.

Our housing resembles that of slaves,

Our cars must yield to yours,

We are busier and busier at work,

Our pay is unchanging year after year.

Our doctor’s fees are more and more expensive,

Our food is filthier and filthier,

Our taxes are heavier and heavier,

Our days pass tenser and tenser.

Our injustices have already nowhere to appeal,

Our power has already been forgotten.

Your policies pay our assertions no mind,

Your lives are unlike our[s]!

Can a party that evokes such bone-deep loathing really remain in power forever? Perhaps CCP leaders, as they tremble in their fortified compounds, are fortunate that the Jasmine Rally movement has repeatedly stressed nonviolence, saying, for example, “We do not support violent revolution; we continue to support non-violent non-cooperation.” As the Jasmine Rallies are suppressed, and the CCP sinks ever deeper into political quicksand of its own making, will every future opposition group be so generous?

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John Parker is a freelance writer and entrepreneur based in the PRC.
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