Wednesday, July 18, 2007 

Chinese youth as seen by Pan Yue

Contemporary Chinese youth, as seen by Pan Yue, deputy director of China's State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA):
"I don’t know if you will really listen to them or not, but here they are: your generation has grown up in a rich and varied environment, but has no roots or foundation. You have an excessive passion for the future, yet almost no interest in history. You have hardly any of the constraints of tradition, and you lack any real beliefs. To put it simply, idealism is rare in your generation. Pragmatism and individualism have won out. This is not really a question of individual problems, but of a wider social climate." (emphasis are mine)

I wonder what Chinese youth think about Pan Yue's comments above?

Me thinks the lack of any real beliefs might has to do with a not-so-free environment. Not enough free thinking, as my friend Isaac Mao often emphasizes whenever he tries to explain the challenges confronting China.

I also like Pan Yue's analysis on how irresponsible or bad practices in resource extraction by Chinese companies have an impact on inflation both in China as well as globally.
"Here is a classic example of what should be called environmental injustice: coal mine owners from Shanxi province indiscriminately extract coal and dig up the land, creating pollution. As a result they become extremely wealthy. Once they have polluted Shanxi, however, they do not stay there. Instead they move to Bejing where they buy luxury villas and push up house prices. They have also pushed up property prices in all the coastal regions of north China. If these areas then become polluted, they will no doubt move to the US, Canada or Australia and cause inflation there too."

Certainly an issue the world ought to give more thoughts on.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007 

i remember

Scanned copy of front page from Wen Hui Daily, June 5th 1989. Courtesy of [email protected] and her grandpa:

"This is [a fact] that time, power and money cannot twist...," [email protected] wrote, and I can't agree with more.

But what worries me these days is with so many attempts by people in power to propagate twisted versions of history, young people in Hong Kong and on the mainland who had no direct and personal experience of that part of history may easily be brainwahsed, as Derek at Mask of China recently commented, to believe that no injustices were inflicted 18 years ago.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007 

Hong Kong will never be the same again

Via, a commentary titled "This city will never be the same again" by Steve Vines, originally appeared in The Standard. Vines reviewed the Hong Kong Chief Executive Election which will be held today (Sunday) in Hong Kong and points out the uncertain options ahead for Hong Kong's road to democracy.

"In other parts of the world, a special place in hell is reserved for journalists who confidently predict election outcomes just days before they are announced. Lamentably, this does not apply in Hong Kong, where the result of Sunday's chief executive election has been preordained. Yet Sunday's result is only one part of the story, because it seems increasingly likely that a variety of other results are not so predictable.

Donald Tsang Yam-kuen will be elected to a second term in office, but will he claim that he has secured a popular mandate? Or will he, more modestly, assume that he has the mandate of only the few hundred who were allowed to vote? Surely the temptation will be to claim a wider mandate - one justified by high ratings in public opinion polls.

Such a claim, however, carries dangers because it would lead to the question of why the new chief executive was claiming a popular mandate while refusing to put it to the test - in a real election by universal suffrage.

Meanwhile Mr Tsang's opponent, Alan Leong Kah-kit, can also make some sweeping claims about success in this election. He can say that he succeeded in creating a competitive poll, that he made an impressive showing in the televised debates and forced the incumbent onto the defensive in explaining his policies.

Yet Mr Leong's participation in the campaign has widened, or at least publicised, divisions in the democratic camp. A minority of pro-democrats believe he has betrayed the campaign for universal suffrage by taking part in a small-circle election."

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