Xiao Shu: The 200 Million Chinese Netizens As Locomotive In Pursuit Of Modern Civilization

Xiao Shu (笑蜀) is a commentator in Southern Weekend. From Asia Sentinel, translated by Alice Poon:

“As Chinese celebrate their tenth anniversary, my personal political commentary career is also in its tenth year.

I come from a background of history studies. Several books that I have published are all about modern history – those were written in the 1990s. At that time I never imagined that I would cease my history studies and get involved in political commentary. Just prior to the last decade, a book publisher friend of mine gave me a computer to pay for my writing fee and then my internet writing debuted. Of course the internet speed then was very slow – the tiny globe that appeared on the upper right-hand corner of the web browser kept rotating for half a day before turning out a blurry webpage, like a vapor-covered mirror – you had to wait ages before it became clear. Despite this, I was feeling thrilled and had an acute sense that the internet was like a window that would open up to a whole new world for me – a world that would be more wonderful than what I could ever have previously been able to dream up.

In fact, reality has turned out to be exactly like that. If one compares my previous mental process to a journey on foot, on a path as hazardous as the ancient Sichuan access path (古蜀道), so devastating, so suffocating, then the internet that came out from nowhere can be said to have given wings to my thinking, letting me fly freely, leisurely, over soaring mountains and ridges and past man-made and natural hurdles.

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