People of the Year: Xiameners – Southern Weekend
Some of them are Xiamen natives, some “new” Xiameners who moved to the city within the past 20 years, some found their first jobs in the coastal city. They didn’t know each other, but, for their own and the city’s general interests, they united to fight the PX plant.
Also worthy of note are Xiamen officials, most of whom are city natives. Over half a year, they have gone from vehement resistance (to the protests) to being willing to compromise. People still recall the city’s deputy secretary general Zhu Zilu (朱子鹭) saying, “I disagree with your opinion, but I will fight to death to protect your rights to speak.”
Xiameners may not think they’ve done something earth-shaking, but with luck, their actions may herald the development of a civil society in China. What has happened in Xiamen demonstrates this: In a transitioning China, the expansion of all interests should be brought under control, and in the process of adjusting to accommodate those interests, the courage to resist is undoubtedly worthy of admiration. [Full Text in Chinese]