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Shifang, two interpretations

For someone who likes to spin it for the negative on Shifang, we get:

So Shifang has environmentally aware, political active, digitally native, fearless student protesters. Beijing must realize that this is an extremely dangerous mix.


Godfree Roberts, as someone who I think gets China responds:

So Shifang has environmentally aware, political active, digitally native, fearless student protesters. Beijing must be very proud. It has taken only 60 years for them to go from 95% illiteracy to this. And, with a trust and approval rating of 85%–95% (Pew, Edelman, Harvard) they can afford to take a relaxed point of view.

Many China pundits have been predicting the Internet will topple the Chinese government. Remember those nonsense during the dot com boom? Now Eric Schmidt of Google thinks Android and smart phones will offer that opportunity. I simply don’t understand this infatuation with undermining the Chinese government.

Anyways, I wanted to get a few words in before heading off to China. Will be blogging from there in the coming weeks.

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  1. Charles Liu
    July 11th, 2012 at 11:44 | #1

    What would “rule of law” dictate? Peaceful protest that doesn’t require use of tear gas to maintain law and order, go to courts to settle differences – or destruction of public property, torch things and push over gates?

  2. pug_ster
    July 11th, 2012 at 14:07 | #2

    The problem is that many of these so called Chinese ‘intellectuals’ think that China will become a ‘modern society’ when it emulates to the West. These same morons think that just because there is some NIMBY protest happening in China, it is an ‘ominous’ sign that the government is going to collapse.

  3. July 12th, 2012 at 12:04 | #3

    The Shifang protest and the many others before it, Dalian, Xiamen etc showed that China has reached another development milestone. In the 1980 and 1990s any county level city will literally go all out to win a project like this. At that time, job creation and economic development is of the utmost priority. It showed that when people become richer they would take environmental issue seriously.

    Nevertheless, the protest was waged with a lot of misinformation on the part of the organizer. Overall, it is a spontaneous reaction by the local residents but too much hear say and fake news were created. In the future the local government would need to provide more information and gather more opinion to implement a big project like this. So there is much room for improvement.

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