China’s Guangdong province hotbed of social&political change

Discussion in 'China' started by Ray, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Manthorpe: China’s southern Guangdong province reaffirms its leadership as a hotbed of social and political change

    JANUARY 20, 2013

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    Lleftists stage a counter-protest with portraits of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong against supporters of the Southern Weekly outside the headquarters of the newspaper in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China on Jan. 9. China's new Communist Party leaders want to appear more open, but theyíre not about to give up control of the media. Thatís the lesson of a dustup involving the influential newspaper whose staff briefly rebelled against especially heavy-handed censorship.

    China’s southern province of Guangdong is yet again affirming its established role as the country’s hotbed of rebellion and revolution.

    This year kicked off with journalists and other staff at the always pushy Southern Weekend magazine going out on strike in protest at censors removing their editorial greeting 2013 with hope of “the dream of constitutionalism.”

    Netizens rushed to support this unprecedented media strike against authorities who in recent years have shown an increasing commitment to censorship and determination to ensure only approved views of China and Chinese history are published both at home and abroad.

    As supporters of the magazine flocked to the streets outside the offices in the Guangdong capital Guangzhou the situation threatened to grow into a national protest.

    The authorities hurriedly stepped in to offer concessions and end the strike.

    But there is widespread speculation in China that the media ground has now shifted. More media outlets are expected to follow the Southern Weekend model to find ways of defying censorship.

    The strike has also provided an unpredictable welcome for the new administration of Xi Jinping, who after being selected Communist Party General-Secretary in November will be chosen as China’s next President by the National People’s Congress in a few weeks time.

    With the entry into power of the fifth generation of internally-selected Communist Party leaders since the 1949 revolution there is a growing sense among many both inside and outside the party that China cannot continue with the same brand of unelected and unaccountable administration.

    And it is not surprising that the most recent challenges to the Marxist Communist one-party state come from Guangdong.

    In the last 160 years of modern Chinese history Guangdong and its Cantonese people, who also dominate in the associated self-administering territories of Hong Kong and Macau, have been at the hub and often the instigators of every major Chinese uprising and revolutionary experiment.

    The 1851 Taiping Rebellion by a Guangdong Christian and self-proclaimed brother of Jesus Christ, Hong Xiuquan, came close to conquering all of China.

    And when the Qing dynasty was overthrown in 1912, republican movements nurtured in Guangdong were at the heart of the revolution.

    Guangdong went on to be the breeding ground for the men who would lead China through the long and painful process of national unification in the first half of the last century.

    The Whampoa Military Academy on an island in the Pearl River in Guangzhou, is best known for its first commandant Chiang Kai-shek, who went on to become China’s leader after defeating regional warlords in his 1926 Northern Expedition.

    But alumnae of the Whampoa academy include dominant members of the Chinese Communist Party.

    Communist leader Mao Zedong’s right-hand man and prime minister, Zhou Enlai, was one of the first Whampoa students, so was Lin Biao, the communists’ most talented military leader.

    The Cantonese’s staunch independence of thought and spirit means that they are only half trusted by the northern and eastern Chinese who usually control national administrations.

    The Cantonese language is unintelligible to Mandarin speakers. And Cantonese often speak Mandarin with a thick accent that can bring superior sneers to the faces of northern officials.

    But Chinese rulers also find that the Cantonese talent for managing change and innovation make the province a useful testing ground for new ideas.

    It was, of course, in the purpose-built free trade enclave of Shenzhen just over the border from Hong Kong where former paramount leader Deng Xiaoping tested open market reforms before unleashing a brand of capitalism on the country.

    But Guangdong, whose population is now about 120 million including migrant workers, has most recently become a hotbed for promoting political and social reform, of which the Southern Weekend strike is but one example.

    In recent months there have been hundreds of strikes by workers in this manufacturing core of China around the Pearl River Delta against unacceptable working conditions.

    As a result there are ongoing experiments, especially in Shenzhen, with true democratic trade unions to represent the workers’ interests.

    Guangdong has also seen an effective protest against corrupt Communist Party officials, who like others all over the country, seize peasants’ land to sell for vast profits to real estate developers.

    In December 2011, villagers in Wukan, after months of fruitless protests and appeals to higher authorities, drove out the party bosses assigned to manage the village, barricaded roads in and out, and demanded to be allowed to elect their own leaders.

    The then Guangdong Communist Party boss, Wang Yang, widely seen as pro-reform, took a sympathetic view and early last year allowed free elections for village officials. The villagers elected the leaders of their uprising.

    The tactic caught on and several other Guangdong villages have taken direct action against corrupt party officials.

    But Wang may have been going too far too fast.

    He was expected to be promoted in November from the 25-member party Politburo to the seven-member standing committee, the centre of power in China.

    But he did not make the cut and neither did other reformers thought to be candidates.

    Manthorpe: China’s southern Guangdong province reaffirms its leadership as a hotbed of social and political change

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    The Cantonese people are asserting their 'difference-ness' I presume. It is not so much as being leftist or rightist, It is more about Cantonese vs Mandarin people.

    Here is what I found on a forum

    This is from China Daily forum

    The editor of the "China Daily", Zhu Ling, has told foreign editors that the paper's editorial policy was to support the policies of the Communist Party and only make criticism of the authorities if there was deviation from Party policy though there really are some articles or editorial-kind of passages intended to give critical comments on both domestic and international issues.

    The Largest English Language Newspaper of China -- China Daily( 中国日报 )
     
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  3. satish007

    satish007 Senior Member Senior Member

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    but the GuangDong province is the only place in china like baby soup. no mention the baby mouse sushi.
    sorry for all vegetarian here.

    yum!
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    This Cantonese vs Mandarin , is a very interesting one.

    However, it is surprising that it finds expression when it is taken that all are Han i.e. one monolith.

    The Cantonese food is exotic and with a great variety while the food of the North is very bland and the variety is not that wide.

    Cantonese also exhibit greater reactions while the Northerners are bit of the silent variety, though I will agree that is a very generalised view.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013

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