Archive for China

Reasons Why the Jasmine Revolutions Can’t Reach Asia… Yet

Posted in Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , on March 30, 2011 by Ian Pham

For a time, it was perceived that the power of the Jasmine Revolutions would somehow find its way to Asia.  Unfortunately, this has proven to be more optimism than reality.  How is it that the countries in the Middle East and North Africa are able to stage their peaceful revolution while Vietnam and China seem nearly unshaken by this ordeal?  There are several factors that have contributed to the prevalence of the totalitarian regimes.  The biggest reasons why the Communists have the upper hand lie in the Communists’ revolutionary expertise, the Confucian orthodoxy of Asian society, and the peoples’ vague knowledge of true democracy.

The most obvious obstacle of all stems from the brutality and sophistication of the Communist system.  These people have descended from the most brutal of dictators like Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh, and Joseph Stalin.  Born and bred in the revolutionary arts, they are systematically trained to brainwash, capture, and eliminate anyone or anything that poses a threat to the Party.  In a matter of speaking, the Communists have trained their men to think like robots.  Obey the government, and nothing else.  The massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989 should show how far the Communists will go to cling to power.  They killed their own people, and are prepared to do it again.

Another very strong reason why the autocrats have been so strong in Vietnam and China comes from the Confucian aspect of Asian society.  The teachings of Confucius always preached the greatness of the emperor and how the people should submit to him, no matter what the cost.  And because the people of Vietnam and China followed these teachings more than 2000 years, it is enshrined in both cultures that the government goes unchallenged.  The Communist leaders are viewed as the new emperors, and this Confucian aspect of Asian society stands in the way of a true popular uprising in both countries.

Lastly, having never experienced the true potential of democracy, the people of Vietnam and China have no clear foundation to establish themselves.  It is true that South Vietnam was once democratic, but that generation is slowly withering away.  Some intellectuals studying abroad have learned about democracy, but they have been shut out and silenced by the overbearing strength of the Communist system.  Furthermore, the northern half of Vietnam has never experienced democracy, and are even less capable of conceptualizing the idea of democracy.  They think Communism is all there is, and is what always will be.

The brutality and ruthlessness of the Communist system has created a powerful barrier, preventing the people from rising up.  The teachings of Confucius, which teaches the people to respect and submit to the emperor, reflected today by the Communist Party, helps blur the fact that these governments are completely incompetent.  Finally, even if the people of Vietnam and China were to stage their revolutions successfully, they need to learn more about democracy in order to establish a sustainable foundation.  Before these issues get revolved, a popular uprising in Asia is highly unlikely.

That being said, nothing is written in stone.  Just because the country is faced with these challenges, it doesn’t mean that all hope is lost.  The old Communists may have found ways to suppress the population, but that does not mean that these methods will work forever.  One courageous act can change the course of history, and in the end, the fate of the country will lie in the hands of the people.  The non-intellectuals of Vietnam and China may not know about democracy, but in this age of endless information, this situation can be fixed very quickly.  Those who follow the teachings of Confucius should take a second look at the “Mandate of Heaven,” and finally see that the current regime has lost all legitimacy, and that it is time for a change.  To the people of Asia, to the people of the world, press on.  Never give up.

Advertisements

The Jasmine Movement in China

Posted in IV. Columns, Politics with tags , , , on February 27, 2011 by Ian Pham

Last sunday, the people of China briefly came together in a loosely organized protest in hopes of sparking a Jasmine Revolution in their country.  Unfortunately, the Chinese government worked swiftly and fiercely to crush the small uprising before it could gain any steam.  The organizers of this event communicated through Twitter and other social networking sites active in Asia.

Initially, 13 protest locations were staged in different cities all around China.  The participants were supposed to gather in these areas and stage their demonstrations.  Instead, the areas were filled with police and government forces, waiting to see who would come out and protest.  As a result, those who did show up and protest were arrested and taken away by the Communist government.  Many lawyers and activists are still in government custody, while the whereabouts of the others are unknown.

The protest last week was unorganized and easily quelled by the government.  That is why this week, the organizers are asking the people to do it again.  This sunday, like last week, the Chinese people are asked to come out and show their support for a free and democratic China.  Not only that, the organizers are calling upon the citizens to do it every sunday, until a genuine movement can be achieved.

What the democratic activists are doing in China right now has the potential to be big.  Though the Chinese Communist government has a tight grip on the flow of information, their excessive use of force shows how terrified they are of what can potentially happen.  Imagine if China, the biggest of the remaining Communist countries finally collapsed to the democratic movement, what that would mean for all the dictatorships across the world.

The democratic movement in China is small right now, and as always, only time will tell if it can overcome the power of Communist totalitarianism.  It is without a doubt that the Communist police are stationed in all of the protest locations, preparing to squash another uprising before it gets out of control.  The police states of Vietnam and China specialize in crackdowns and repressions, so we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out.  With that said, our moral and emotional support still goes out to all the freedom fighters out there.  Democracy now!

Democratic Protests Barely Reaches China

Posted in Politics, Society with tags , , , , , , on February 21, 2011 by Ian Pham

The democratic movement, sweeping through North Africa and the Middle East, has actually made it to China, well almost.  Less than two days ago, the Chinese Communist Party nearly faced their own wave of protests.  Unfortunately, the Chinese government acted quickly to crush the fledgling movement.  As a result, much of the gatherings and demonstrations were quelled, long before it gained momentum.

Initially planned were 13 protest locations stationed throughout the country.  It is not known who was behind the planning of the protests, as it was organized over Chinese social networking sites.  Nonetheless, the Chinese government moved swiftly to make sure that this event did not get out of control.  Social network sites were shut down, texts were blocked, other things of that nature occurred.  Several people were arrested and detained by police, but the government did not face significant opposition.

What just happened in China is a small event.  Some people were taken in by the police, a few are actually still missing, but most of the people were sent home or turned away.  Many of those involved were actually not aware of the situation and were just curious of all the commotion.  In the end, the Communist Party put down the calls for a “Jasmine Revolution” extremely quickly, way before things fell out of their grasp.

One should understand the differences between the Communist system and the strongmen the Middle East.  What sets the Communists apart from Hosni Mubarak’s regime is the Communists’ extreme emphasis on surveillance, police, brainwashing, and controlling the flow of information.  The Communists came to prominence from revolutionary ideals, becoming experts in recognizing and repressing revolutionary forces.  These people were born from revolution, specially trained to anticipate, manage, and crush an impending revolution before it even occurs.  If the Communists are good for anything, it’s dealing with revolution.

Even so, the people can still prevail.  Just because it is relatively harder to spark a revolution in China and Vietnam does not mean that it’s impossible.  At the end of the day, the people decide what is best for the country, and no amount of gunpowder can ever change that.  When the battle for freedom falls on the hearts and souls of the citizens, guns will become useless.  If people are willing to die for their country, a gunshot will mean nothing.  Tunisia has shown us, Egypt has shown us, and now Libya will soon show us that under any regime, the will of the people reign supreme.