Some things I’m learning about China aren’t just eye-opening for me, but even for students from the mainland.
Emily, who hails from the southern city of Guangzhou, says she believed official propaganda that portrayed a unified, harmonious China. Then, just before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she came across an article in Foreign Affairs, describing the unrest in Tibet and Xinjiang.
“I started to doubt if we were getting the truth,” she explained Wednesday.
This past weekend, she visited her hometown, not far from Hong Kong. Even there, her parents hadn’t heard about the issue that has dominated news in Hong Kong for more than a week: recent aggression by mainland police against HK journalists. (See posting below.)
I then asked our small discussion group if they thought mainland journalists admire the HK journalists for their spirited street protests, or are perhaps envious of HK colleagues who feel empowered enough to defend press freedoms they themselves are denied: one facet of the “One Country, Two Systems” policy that has reigned here since the end of British rule in 1997.
The question, it turns out, may be moot.
Sherry, a mainlander who last year interned at China Central Television (CCTV), says she recently emailed her former boss, asking what she thought of the HK protests.
The response: “What protests?”