Thank you Darkstar7 for your comments. I hope you will permit me to respond to some things you said which raised my interest.
It's great that you realized your government control media isn't telling you the whole truth. The only thing now is to keep that independent thought and perhaps shape the government to a better one. One that truely serves the people, not high ranking/corrupt government officials.
i) I think any
media - government controlled, privately owned, American or Chinese is not going to tell "the whole truth". Simply by reporting something as news, that item is cast as newsworthy and important. Why report on Tibet, Darfur and Zimbabwe, but not other places where I respectfully submit things are just as important or bad or significant. Then there's the way something are reported - I note that the difference between a terrorist, a freedom fighter, a matyr and a guerilla warrior seems to be whose reporting the story.
ii) I sense that overseas, there's the perception that the Chinese government has Mind Control Centers beaming images of big brother Mao into our lounge rooms every day (does that mean China will never influence flip?) With respect, we have more independent thought than we are given credit. As mentioned in the America superpower thread, we have been writing letters to editors, blogging, criticising politicians, holding community participation meetings, calling talkback radio for a long time - and continue to do so. We criticise XXX party official for being corrupt, we blame YYY government member for not responding to ZZZ issue. Jump into a taxi and hear the latest news on how China should be changed. We are not immediately shot if we don't bow down to the Chairman Mao idol that is supposedly on even street corner or write something not 110% positive about China on a website.
iii) You point out that our government should be shaped into a better one. I completely agree. Most Chinese would completely agree. Our own government would completely agree. In many ways, it's bloated, it's overly bureaucratic, it sometimes is not in touch enough with common people, it has corruption etc.
I don't think Chinese people or the Chinese government has ever claimed we are perfection. So we need to change. There's another post where I mentioned some of the changes going through our government right now (reduction of the need to be a party member to hold senior ranks in government or public sector jobs, appointment of non-Party members to key portfolios like health and technology, intentional appointment of dissenting voices to top government positions). I agree that the change is frustratingly slow. But it is happening. Perhaps we don't talk about it enough in the media - but then again, in terms of priority - I am happy to see my government putting a priority on changing, rather than a priority on talking about change.
I just have a problem with the current Chinese government or any "power hungry" government in the world that so paranoid with power and control. Even when lawyers utilized the current Chinese laws to combat land reform tactics that leave the people with meager compenstations are prosecuted or retaliated against.
The government is so paranoid of control they fear and destroy any significant group establishment whether religious, politicial, or human rights. What I'm trying to say is to share that power.
You might be referring to photos of sad old ladies defending their dumpling house from big tractors bulldozing their gardens. You raise a good point. Property development has been out of control here for the past decade - and the poor have certainly suffered so the rich can have their swimming pools and golf club memberships. I myself have contributed to the local media in the voice against rampant real estate development.
But the thing I might query here is it seems that:
i) In America, if someone is hit by a police officer, it's police brutality. In China, it's the bad government.
ii) In America, if someone has their house bulldozed by developer, it's immoral capitalistic development companies. In China, it's the bad government.
iii) In America, if someone pollutes a river, it's the uncaring greedy chemical company. In China, it's the bad government.
Real estate development has become far more regulated, controlled and requiresment of compensation, resident consultation etc. are more enforced then they have been before. Are some residents still bullied? Certainly, but less than before. I see improvement in the way the government is handling things. Improvement that is never credited in international media.
So hopefully, the Chinese People can change and improve their government for the better.
We're trying. And to be fair, the government is responding. I have confidence in my government. As I keep saying, it's not perfect and I comment frequently locally about what needs to be changed. But it's not as bad as it's made out to be. To tie things back to the beginning of this post and the comment about media - we never believe that China is as heaven as it's made out to be by our media; so I query why other's believe China is as hell as it's made out to be by your media.
I'm sorry if this post is too aggressive - it's meant to be responding, not accusing. I do often feel that the China I read about in the international news, blogs and forums is very much not that China that I live in every day.