China’s Students Put Jobs over Democracy

Faced with graduating into an impossible job market, some of today’s Chinese university students view the 1989 Tiananmen protests as both misguided and politically immature.  Kathrin Hille reports for the Financial Times:

Zhang Hao first heard about China’s 1989 student democracy movement when he was in high school. But now that he is a university student himself he is eager to declare that his views are worlds apart from the generation who gathered in Tiananmen Square to demand democracy.

[...]“We are not like them,” Mr Zhang declares of the students who grabbed the world’s attention in 1989. “I can understand that they wanted to pursue freedom and democracy, but I think they were partly misled. They knew nothing.”

[...]The only job Mr Zhang can look for with his martial arts degree is teaching, but he says selection in the education system is plagued by corruption. He might have a better chance of finding work in his home province of Anhui, but is terrified of going back to the poverty of the farming village he came from. “Sometimes I worry so much that my stomach hurts all the time. I’m so depressed,” he says.