China’s Me Generation – Simon Elegant

Time Magazine reports on the lack of a political consciousness in China’s twentysomething generation and describes a gathering of a group of prosperous young friends:

A Me Generation 0806The one subject that doesn’t come up ” and almost never does when this tight-knit group of friends gets together ” is politics. That sets them apart from previous generations of Chinese √©lites, whose lives were defined by the epic events that shaped China’s past half-century: the Cultural Revolution, the opening to the West, the student protests in Tiananmen Square and their subsequent suppression. The conversation at Gang Ji Restaurant suggests today’s twentysomethings are tuning all that out. “There’s nothing we can do about politics,” says Chen. “So there’s no point in talking about it or getting involved.”

There are roughly 300 million adults in China under age 30, a demographic cohort that serves as a bridge between the closed, xenophobic China of the Mao years and the globalized economic powerhouse that it is becoming.

Later in the article, Vicky Yang, an actuary at a consulting company says, when asked why she has no interest in politics:

“It’s because our life is pretty good. I care about my rights when it comes to the quality of a waitress in a restaurant or a product I buy. When it comes to democracy and all that, well …” She shrugs expressively and takes a sip of her latte. “That doesn’t play a role in my life.” [Full text]

[Image: Actress Liu Yan, 23. By Ian Teh for Time]

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