Thursday, October 15, 2009

Contemporary China in 60 years (2005 - 2009)

(1949 - 1954), (1955 - 1959), (1960 - 1964), (1965 - 1969), (1970 - 1974), (1975 - 1979), (1980 - 1984), (1985 - 1989), (1990 - 1994), (1995 - 1999), (2000 - 2004)

2005: Super Voice Girls (超级女声)

The champion of the Super Voice Girls contest in 2005, Li Yuchun (李宇春).

The 2005 Super Voice Girls contest was a phenomenon. Hundreds of millions of votes was sent through cell phones by the regular TV watchers. This was likely the most participated ever (let it alone through cell phones) private organized event in the entire human history until now. Moreover, it was the first time that all Chinese had an opportunity to participate a free public vote, though it was not to elect president. The consequence of the event on how it had taught regular Chinese people about the real free public voting would have long-term impact to the future of China.

2006: Agricultural Tax Regulations abolished (废除《农业税条例》)

Starting from Jan. 1st, 2006, the Chinese government abolished collecting agricultural tax from peasants. This was the first time in more than 2600 years of Chinese history that the agricultural tax was abolished.

This was a crucial step to eliminate the man-made distinction between the peasants living in the rural places and the citizens living in cities. In more than 2600 years, the man-made distinction was kept to consolidate the leadership of a small group of elites over China. The great number of peasants were chained to their land by this tax to make sure that they could not move freely through the nation in order to assure that they could not rebel. With time the tax had become a great obstacle that prevented China from being a modern industrial country. The abolition of the agricultural tax was thus critical to the future progress of Chinese economy.

2007: Zhou Zhenglong fake tiger photo (周正龙假虎照)

The fake tiger photo made by Zhou Zhenglong (周正龙) in 2007. The case was dramatic because it typically revealed the dark under-table rules in the Chinese civil service system.

In order to be promoted, one has to make some contribution. Therefore, one must try to make some fake contribution when the real contribution is hard to make. The root of this philosophy is the official-based culture in China lasted for thousands of years. The higher in rank an official is, he gets more honored and can get much extra benefit that otherwise can never obtain. This culture is a major problem that has prevented China from healthy progress in centuries. Now this bad tradition simply continues. The case of Zhou Zhenglong fake tiger photo was a typical example in modern China.

2008: Beijing Olympics (北京奥运会)

The open ceremony of Beijing Olympics in 2008. It was splendid.

What may I say? The open ceremony of Beijing Olympics was a great show of art and history. It showed the world how great a nation China was, is, and will be. China has the greatest number of population in the world. Beyond that, Chinese are well-known for their smartness in creation and diligence in work. This show was a formal public declaration of the re-rising of China as a big nation in the world.

2009: ... Look forward to the future (展望未来)

The 2009 China's National Day parade.

Just 60 years ago, China was one of the poorest nations in the world. After 60 years, now China has become nearly the second most important nation in the world that is next to United States. In its glorious successive history, China is never lack of great politicians, economists, artists, scientists, and engineers. Chinese are hard workers, brilliant innovators, and brave soldiers. I can hardly think of another nation, probably except of Rome, that is comparable to China in its history.

But China also has its problem. Due to the official-based culture that is formed in the thousands year history, Chinese gradually lose their capability in innovation and braveness in fighting for freedom. By contrast, they are trained to fight for being higher rank government officials who can take advantage of the normal Chinese citizens. This type of elite-governing culture significantly blocked the advancement of China in recent centuries and it indeed still is a major obstacle to the progress of contemporary China.

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