There’s been a fair amount of talk recently about China’s clampdown on ‘western influences’. From the new censorship measures imposed on the number of foreign shows on television, to president Hu Jintao’s recent comments, “we must clearly see that international hostile forces are intensifying the strategic plot of westernising and dividing China.” Strong talk.
Living in Beijing, it is pretty clear that western influences are well and truly ‘infiltrating’, in the cities at least. Western movie stars in billboard advertisements loom over shoppers, magazine racks are peppered with western sports stars’ faces and foreign movies are available to buy from hawkers outside most subway stations.
Talking to young urban Chinese people, it seems that there is hope for a better future. They are more aware of what’s happening in the world than many people think. They are aware of many of the restrictions placed upon them.
As this younger generation starts to move into positions where they can make things happen, things will hopefully change for the better. It might be a slow process though. The next 20-30 years are going to be interesting times. Stay tuned…