Me and Mao, Forbidden City, Beijing China

Me and Mao, Forbidden City, Beijing China

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

This is in front of the Meridian Gate, through which is the Forbidden City.

Across the street is the world’s largest and in many ways most significant and controversial square – Tiananmen Square.

The Beijing Olympics have had surprisingly few protests so far and I’m wondering if this has been due to a lack of interest in protesting or
just careful management by the government. I think a combination of these factors is in play.

Contrary to what I had expected, police security in China was not conspicuous at all. I don’t think this is from secrecy, rather in Chinese culture people simply do not challenge authority the way people here in the USA are used to taking on “the man”. Also I think in China it is considered more acceptable for the government to crack down severely when they are challenged.

For this reason I think many Americans may wrongly think that there is a large desire for major democratic reforms in China. I think there is a *very* powerful desire in China to continue with the laissez faire business reforms that have brought prosperity to a much greater number of people than ever before, but I don’t think “democracy” is high on the personal agenda for most of the Chines on the street.

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