After following decades of unquestioned authority, the Chinese youth has finally noticed a standstill in the middle nation’s growth. Empowered with a strong vision for their country, a new generation of educated youth are willing to sacrifice their lives for the future of their nation. Youth refuse to let their government linger in it’s outdatedness. The Chinese youth, with pure nationalistic values in their hearts, will overcome their unjust government and enforce progressive reforms. A representative government will take place. Through student reform, democracy, and a familiar economic stronghold via capitalism, will morph China into an alien, yet well-structured and balanced nation.
The youth is driven by cultural corruption that exists in Chinese culture, riddling the government with instabilities and equipping the people with a reason to attack the vulnerable Communist party. An anonymous Hong Kong youth is the only one in her family to recognize the unethical nature of how her cousin “sells fake or overpriced drugs to hospitals” (Palmer). The anecdote goes on to mention how her mother even recommends that she should consider going into the same business. Like this teen, many others are epiphanizing about the wrongdoings of the Communist party and clashing with their parents. The new generation finds themselves diverged from their parents who have gone with the immoral flow of China’s corrupted system, rendering an added urgency to the protests. Additionally, Hong Kong student Sunny Cheung remarks on how “the wealthy control all of Hong Kong” (Barber). The youth are not blind to the fact that “many of the city’s most influential newspapers and TV stations are owned by local tycoons” (Palmer). Impure news illustrates wealth disparities as news has a wealth bias. Cultural corruption and wealth concentration are recognized by the youth, implementing a higher necessity of reform.
Along with cultural corruption, consciousness about corruption in the Communist party is due to the youth’s increasing access to the internet, which facilitates the exposure of the ways of the western world, and kindles their fire against Beijing. In fact, “The city’s young people have responded by turning to social media for news” (Kaiman). Technology is arguably the most rapidly growing phenomenon that Beijing has to deal with. It liberates and exposes the people to their relative economic struggles via global comparison. Unlike their ancestors, the new generation is no longer restrained by limited information. Young people are beginning to realize the “city’s squeezed middle class” through internet exposure (Barber). Joshua Wong, renowned protester, remarks, “our bleak economic situation contributes to our frustrations” (Wong). Only years ago, China’s extreme wealth void would have been disregarded by citizens, ignorantly trusting their corrupt government. Social media now enables every young person to know otherwise. The internet also also gives young people a window into foreign political strategies. Katie Lo, yet another young, female protestor, fights for democracy saying, “I want a government that listens to me” (Barber). The source of these ideas is not original. We see democracy becoming increasingly relevant across the globe. Due to the internet and other fast growing technologies, Katie and her fellow protesters have been recently been granted views of the success of democracy across the rest of the world. The inevitable growth of the internet facilitates the continuation of animosity towards Communist rule Hong Kong until Communism forfeits its reign. (Reference photo: These students are united through the internet as they all hold up their cell phones. The internet is their weapon, their communication, and their source of information.)
Along with exposure via the internet, protesters, defiant and proud, are merely provoked by ignorant political counter-attacks. Recently, “the city’s first use of tear gas in years and the presence of officers with long-barreled guns, appeared to galvanize the public, drawing more people onto the streets” (Buckley). Friends and family, even traditionalists, disregard their stance on the protests, and are provoked by the violence towards their loved ones. Similarly, attacks have been known to be “inadvertently inspiring thousands more” (Wong) and “forcing authorities to back off” (Guardian). A second naive political move by the party is a higher stress on more and more traditionalist values. Implementing old, constraining ideals to young ones during the Hong Kong riots is not a coincidence. Rather, it is Beijing’s attempt to “‘impose Chinese values of nationalism patriotism onto Hong Kong so that Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy might be impaired’” (CBC news). The new, more perceptive generation, has recognized Beijing’s plot to suppress them. Because of an extreme generational gap, the youth feel a united sense of urgency not to be caught up in the traditionalist values of their parents time (Wong). Further, when Jang Yu Dui, said “"A brain needs washing if there is a problem,” it simply offended the youth. The youth’s unprecedented sense of nationalism is demonstrated, as they feel they are “on the right side of history” (Schell). This puts Mr. Xi in a “bind” with his strict, inflexible rule (Schell). These ignorant attempts to quash the protests have unintentionally equipped more citizens with an intensified hatred for their government, giving them more reason to continue rebelling and a greater drive to demolish Communism.
Recognition of internal corruption has trickled down as a consequence of the greater Communist party’s deceitfulness, exposed through the internet. Along with uncovered corruption, the party has failed at repressing protesters. As long as the party remains obtuse, the students will not cease until their impending reformation.
Barber, Elizabeth. "Hong Kong's Beleagured Bourgeoisie." Time. Time, n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.
Buckley, Chris, and Alan Wong. "Crackdown on Protests by Hong Kong Police Draws More to the Streets." The New York Times. The New York Times, 28 Sept. 2014. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.
"James Palmer – China's Generation Gap." Aeon Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.
Kaiman, Jonathan. Hong Kong Protests Bring Crisis of Confidence for Traditional Media. The Guardian, n.d. Web.
"Hong Kong Protesters Face Arrest after Court Rules on Evictions." Hong Kong Protesters Face Arrest after Court Rules on Evictions. The Guardian, 11 Nov. 2014. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.
Press, The Associated. "Hong Kong Fears Pro-China Brainwashing in Education." CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 07 Sept. 2012. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.
Common class readings:
Schell, Orville. "Will China Crush the Hong Kong Protests?" The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.
Chi-fung, Joshua Wong. "Taking Back Hong Kong's Future." The New York Times.
The New York Times, 30 Oct. 2014. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.