Posted On: Wednesday - November 30th 2022 3:15PM MST
In Topics:   University  History  China  Totalitarianism
Please accept our apologies for being AWOL for the most of yesterday. Your Chief Blogger was visiting with a good friend. If they even care to, our readers can get more on the fairly big news, IMO, of the protests against Chinese Totalitarianism anywhere. I've meant to write more on this - this post will be on just one aspect.
I've heard this news from a different Chinese source, a local lady who is from Peking, the heart of the Middle Kingdom and the CCP, or at least the latter. This lady, per ANOTHER Chinese source, is CCP-adjacent, aka, she'd probably be a fully-brainwashed Party member were she not enjoying a better life in this country. From her, from the web, and per Commenter Ganderson here, the Universities in China are giving the students an extra long break to
My son works at a university in Canton- they are currently on remote, and are getting nearly a month off for New Years (Chinese New Year). No word from him on protests, but I’m guessing he won’t talk about political matters on WeChat, aka “Commie Facebook”.Thank you for using the old, English, much more mellifluous term, Mr. Ganderson. When will they start the break at your son's college? I don't use the lunar calendar myself, but I know that even on the years of the earliest Spring Festival/Chinese New Year, if they left now, it'd be closer to a month and a half.
From this article in a publication called The Week - one I know nothing about - it doesn't seem biased toward China's Totalitarians, but it sure is biased toward Kung Flu Panic - yes, STILL, amazingly!:
Police showed up in force at places protesters gathered over the weekend, and they checked smartphones at transportation gateways in Shanghai for foreign apps like Twitter and Telegram and for virtual private networks (VPNs). Several protesters were arrested. Other people who participated in protests over the weekend are now being contacted by police, BBC News reports. "We are all desperately deleting our chat history," one Beijing protester told Reuters.(Ha, that last part is just included here to remind me to include this in a post to come about the hypocrisy of the West, as most support those people against Totalitarianism THERE, but not HERE.)
Chinese universities also started sending students home after the weekend's protests, including at several prestigious universities, The Associated Press reports. The universities said the students were being dispersed to protect them from COVID-19, and classes and final exams would be conducted online. "But dispersing them to far-flung hometowns also reduces the likelihood of more activism" like the protests that flared up over the weekend, AP notes.
On Monday, students at Beijing's Peking University and alumni from Tsinghua University, Xi's alma mater, posted letters demanding an end to China's invasive health surveillance system, mandatory testing, and censorship. China's zero COVID policy's "negative impact" has "become more obvious," the Peking University letter said. "It has even gone beyond the damage the pandemic itself does to the society."
At the same time, some local governments started loosening COVID restrictions Monday and the central government stepped up its vaccination of vulnerable seniors. Authorities tried loosening restrictions earlier in the month, but the resulting spike in infections led them to clamp down again, helping fuel the protests.
Xi's push to maintain zero COVID cases has kept China's death toll lower than in other large countries, but international public health officials see diminishing returns as the virus mutates and becomes more contagious. And three years of the sudden lockdowns and other restrictions have clearly worn on the patience of China's citizenry.
"Obviously, there are people in China that have concerns about" the zero COVID polices, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Monday when asked about the protests. "These protesters are speaking for themselves," he added. "What we are doing is making it clear that we support the right of peaceful protest."
The local CCP-adjacent source was of the opinion that (to paraphrase) "yeah, this way the students can calm down. It's better they all mellow out and keep order." In our comments section, Mr. Hail has been trying to get across his view of the Oriental mindset. For me it's particularly the Chinese one. Do they lean toward wanting order over freedom? I am no scholar of Chinese history. Over the 35 centuries of that nation, there have been major upheavals (one example we discussed) that make America's 1960s seem like a cafeteria food fight in comparison. I do agree with Mr. Hail in general, though. They'll put up with the lack of serious rule-of-law as a trade off for more order. After 8 months of Covid~Zero Totalitarian stupidity, however, the Chinese people can see a problem being a part of that "order".
I wanted to quickly discuss the fact that the university students are a big part of, these protests against Covid~Zero. I see a big contrast there with respect to the American university students of the present. I assume that the Chinese university students are there because they ARE the brightest of their ages, and their parents scrimped and saved, tiger-mommed the living out of them, had them cramming for months for the entrance test, and yeah, maybe used up some guanxi or bribed someone instead (or additionally?). I don't know how high the pro-CCP indoctrination gets in the universities there vs grade/high school.
Here in America, the indoctrination level at the university level is as high as it gets anywhere. Wokeness trumps all. We have some experience from the '20-'21 PanicFest years, and it tells me that most of the students here are the last to be protesting against Totalitarian measures. (There are still vaccine-promoting banners all over the place at the U near us. The masking signs - "Choose to wear a face mask" have only been gone for 1/2 a year max.)
Going back 5-6 decades, I'd say the situation was the reverse, for the most part. Even though the hell-raising 1960's protesters leaned heavily "Liberal" in America, they made use of all the freedom that had been EARNED by the REAL Liberals since the founding. They extolled all this freedom, and railed against Totalitarianism, though now we can see that it was just a ploy to get power. The Conservative Establishment of the day didn't send these students home to calm them down, because the Establishment played fair... and then, some of the students took over buildings and made their own rules.
During that same time period in China - starting a little later and lasting a little longer - from 1966 to '76 - the university students, if you could even call them that after a while, were some of the biggest pro-Mao destructive Commie Red Guard types. (Granted, it's not like they had so much of a choice.) From what I've read and heard from Chinese people, learning pretty much came to a halt. The students didn't need to be sent home, as they were doing Chairman Mao's bidding.
It looks like American university students have gotten dumber since that half-century ago, while Chinese university students have gotten smarter. However, Xi and his gang have the power to keep them away from the campus and separated from their like-minded anti-CCP friends and brave fellow protestors.
PS: There was also the Tiananmen Square protesting a little over 1/2 way back in time from now to that Red Guard period. That was 33 years ago - Peak Stupidity discussed this event on its 30 year anniversary. See Freedom in China? On the Tiananmen Massacre 30 years ago., Freedom in China, Tiananmen Square, and Freedom in America,and Tiananmen Square and the American Press.
The personal knowledge I have is from a brother of my main China source's neighbor. This guy was a promising Electrical Engineering student. He did not go to Peking in that Spring/Summer of 1989, but he did participate in his own, far-off university's demonstrations. It's not like the CCP dragged him away and locked him in a hole. However, he was expelled from college and was not let to attend any other. He became a TV repair man.