You Just Want Us To Look Bad

Why do the Chinese get so touchy about their country’s image? After a series of difficult conversations outside cinemas, Dan Edwards has a few ideas:

’s leaders contend that their rigorous suppression of a critical popular arts sector is in the interests of a “”, to use current party parlance, an argument that carries considerable weight in a vast nation with a history of internecine conflict. Recent decades have seen China come a long way in terms of economic and social progress under policies of tight . However, given the many issues faced by the ’s Republic as it moves into the 21st century, China’s rulers are ultimately doing their people a gross disservice by muzzling creative and critical interrogations of the nation’s history and contemporary situation.

It will take more than putting a mindlessly positive spin on every issue for the nation to come to terms with its history and face up to its current challenges.

, silencing and blacklisting alternative voices might make party cadres and young nationalists feel less insecure, but problems and contradictions don’t disappear simply because they’re not on television.

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