Impressions of China: the politics

From reviewing a series of interviews with native Chinese young people, and reading about China’s views on their own political values, it is clear that they appreciate every countries right to a political system.  One that suits their way of life and cherishes their values and beliefs.  The Chinese students represented on this video express, countries like America and the United Kingdom that have a democratic approach are too keen to impose their democracy on other countries, such as Iraq.  They also explain how people from such democratic countries think that the Chinese way of governing is wrong because it does not tick all of the boxes that need to be ticked in order to have an efficient running government.

The point in this video made about Winston Churchill is a very valid one. He said, and I am paraphrasing here: ‘Democracy suits Britain at this time’.  It also suits America, but it would not save a country like China or Iraq. The American’s invaded Iraq with the intention of overthrowing it’s dictatorship.  All the while believing that their way of governing is the only way and will work for Iraq just because it works for them.  This is a very dangerous perspective and China is the first to recognise this.  China knows that their country is not perfect, but they do not challenge the way their country is governed because it works for China at present.  From my research, I can understand why China kept the U.S at bay for so long. It wasn’t until 1979 that the U.S and China had just established diplomatic relations.  For the first time since 1949, the Chinese government allowed American journalists to be based in Bejing.  However, China only allowed American reporters to report what they wanted them to report. Senior Communist Party leaders led by the Politburo member and propaganda Chief Li Changchun, have expressed rising concern in recent months about the difficulty of squelching false rumors and incendiary statements on China’s booming ‘microblogs’, which reach hundreds of millions of internet users.

Furthermore, I engaged in various discussions with Polish, British, Italian and American students, and it seems that they all have a similar impression of Chinese people: their work ethic.  Greta ******, an Italian student states; ” They work too cheap and when they go to other countries searching for jobs. They are taking those jobs away from the natives. I don’t believe this is good.”  I understand Greta’s point here.  However, I would have to argue that working long hours for little money is a suitable way of life for most Chinese people. It encourages them to always aim higher and it portrays them as unselfish.  Traditionally the sending of money back to their families is a value that the Chinese cherish. Even the newer generations want to move to the inner cities where there are better paid jobs. They are so keen to sustain their families way of life.  After reading ‘Factory Girls’ I discovered a name

for people who move to the cities in search of a better life. That name is: Liudong Renkou.  Loosely translated, this means, a floating population of migrant workers; better educated, younger and more enterprising than the people they leave behind.  In 1958, the Chinese government set up a household registration system that assigned each person rural or urban residency.  City dwellers were allocated jobs, housing and ration coupons for food and other necessities; residents of the countryside, with none of these privileges, were stuck on the farm.

Subsequently, in the late 1970’s, reforms allowed farming households to sell part of their harvest on the market rather than supplying it all to the state. Agricultural production soared.  Suddenly, food was available in local markets across the country, and rural residents could survive independently in the cities for the first time.  A 1984 government directive permitted farmers to settle in small market towns; to be on the move was no longer a crime.  Migration picked up speed, and by 1990, the country had sixty million migrants, many of them drawn to the booming factories and cities of the coast.  This is why today there are so many factory workers that are able to take a huge shipment of orders and send them across the world in a matter of days.  My lecturer Jonathan Baldwin keenly pointed out that countries such as the U.S and the U.K have a smaller, elite collection of people that are the designers and creators. They bring the ideas to life. However, because of the structure of our government and other pertaining factors, like reasonable minimum wage and good working conditions.  We cannot justify a workforce as big as China can produce. This is the equation at the moment and for now it works- British Designers + Chinese laborers = high quality, reasonably priced goods.

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