Voices of China’s discontent

N.B Chyoi / July 19, 2021

Tienanmen Square protest on June 4, 1989, HRW

China has been projecting a rosy picture of overall economic growth in the country but ground realities speaks different stories. The widening of social inequality, violation of basic human rights, lack of dignity of labour has ultimately distanced China from Mao Zedong’s actual vision.

The anger among the younger generation against the capitalists is all time high and this can turn ugly at any point of time from now. Post COVID-19 effects are visible with weakening of economy and increased unemployment. The rigging of economic data hardly helps or change the ground realities and similarly mere perceptions building and hollow claims hardly helps in internet era.

The wealth gap, unaffordable housing and lack of labour protections have made the situation complex. Youth is more concerned about personal growth and better working conditions besides nation building. Many of them are finding “spiritual relief” in Mao’s writings now. In technology sector, 12 hours of 6 days a week work culture has put many into depression so they are looking for change.

China although has a socialist model yet it’s world’s most unequal nation too. Approximately 43% of Chinese population hardly manage to earn monthly income of about $150. It is the reason China has been pushing youth to work abroad and use foreign resources to strengthen their economy.

The unrest in Xinjiang and Tibet is another worrisome issue, the atrocities on Uyghurs and Tibetans, rape of innocent teenage girls, forced marriages, demolishing of Mosques or Monasteries and undue interference in religious minorities affairs have generated a lot of hatred. One should not ignore the fact that it has a threshold too. Xi Jinping’s image as President and Chairman of CCP too has faded in the recent months.

China’s economic co-operation with other countries in Africa, Asia, Middle East and South Asia have designed with specific purposes to suit the Chinese needs. Youth holds a opinion that Communist Party is more tolerant of the capitalist class rather. The radical ones are even questioning why the CCP allowed deepening social inequality.

Youth are aware of the facts how Chinese Govt. crushed the efforts of activists who tried to organize the labour unions to protect labour rights. Like any other nation, bureaucracy and capitalists are highly integrated in China too and corruption level is high.

Recently Chinese govt. in view of increasing discontent has mounted surveillance on internet activities. Teams have been constituted to screen the contents posted online and zero the persons having anti govt views.

Xi Jinping’s speech on July 1, 2021 at Tienanmen Square is a bunch of lies to generate cheers and applause from the bought audience. After COVID-19 pandemic, China tried “Vaccine Diplomacy” but it became counter productive as the efficiency of Sinophram and Sinovac got exposed and many countries rejected it.

Under “Wolf Warrior”diplomacy China imposes economic sanctions on Australia and threatened to cut off vaccine supplies to Ukraine if it raises Uighur issue. Such approaches hardly works in present time of globalization and isolating someone for any reasons is ruled out.

N.B Chyoi is a Kachin lawyer and geopolitical analyst focusing especially on Burma, India and China.

The opinion expressed here is the author’s own, and does not represent the editorial policy of The Kachin Post.