Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

I was at the coffee bar in Wudaokou this evening reading the Wall Street Journal, and I was pleased to see that the editorial page included a tribute to Zhao Ziyang, who died in a Beijing hospital.

Zhao Ziyang was held under house arrest for the last 15 years of his life. The last time he was seen in public was the day he walked into Tiananmen Square to speak to the student protestors in 1989. As a member of the Politburo, he had inside information. He knew, at that point, that the decision had been made to remove the students by force, and he wanted to urge the students to leave voluntarily to avoid bloodshed.

In recent years, much attention has been given to "American based intellectuals," who have been arrested. This is a source of irritation to me, because it is largely a phony issue. What is an "American based intellectual?" The term is used by the media in the US to describe someone who is not a US citizen, but has obtained some sort of residence permission for the purpose of study and research. Some of these have returned to China to raise some sort of human rights issue, and then expect to be given the same treatment as US citizens. The US media, in many cases, buys into this fraud. Even the Wall Street Journal a few years ago published an editorial under a headline stating that Americans were being harrased in China. Baloney. The entire article was about a lady who happened to have US residence, and was imprissoned in China because she went to China to campaign openly for the rights of a religious cult. She was treated as a martyr by the US media, and eventually released. I was disgusted. And I was not at all surprised to read, a few months ago, that she was arrested in the US for spying for the Chinese government. Most of these people are opportunists. The have no principle, and no loyalty.

But the case of Zhao Ziyang troubles me, because I believe he was a sincere man. It must be said that he openly challenged the established order, and that is not a smart thing to do in a country like China. But his reason for challenging this order, was because he genuinely believed that the students had some legitimate concerns. His death has to be at least an inconvenience. Security has been tightened. But I think the authorities have little to worry about. China is a different place now. Most of the young people don't remember him. Students these days are occuppied with trying to get a good job. They have little time to worry about a left over from a bygone era.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?