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Prophecy Update……May 8, 2008 Keeping You Informed of World ...

Prophecy Update……May 8, 2008 Keeping You Informed of World ...

elease

elease of Japanese textbooks deemed offensive in China for their apparent whitewashing ofWorld War II atrocities. During the riots, I was working in Lanzhou, a gritty, medium-sizedcity in industrial central China. Day after day, young Chinese marched through Lanzhou andlooked for shops selling Japanese goods to smash up -- though, of course, these storeswere owned by local Chinese merchants.Hardly uneducated know-nothings, young nationalists tend to be middle-class urbanites. Farmore than rural Chinese, who remain mired in poverty, these urbanites have benefitedenormously from the country's three decades of economic growth. They also have beguntraveling and working abroad. They can see that Shanghai and Beijing are catching up toWestern cities, that Chinese multinationals can compete with the West, and they've losttheir awe of Western power.Many middle-aged Chinese intellectuals are astounded by the differences between them andtheir younger peers. Academics I know, members of the Tiananmen generation, areshocked by some students' disdain for foreigners and, often, disinterest in liberal conceptssuch as democratization. University students now tend to prefer business-oriented majors toliberal arts-oriented subjects such as political science. The young Chinese interviewed for astory last fall in Time magazine on the country's "Me Generation" barely discusseddemocracy or political change in their daily lives.Beijing has long encouraged nationalism. Over the last decade, the government hasintroduced new school textbooks that focus on past victimization of China by outsidepowers. The state media, such as the People's Daily, which hosts one of the most stronglynationalist Web forums, also highlight China's perceived mistreatment at the hands of theUnited States and other powers.In recent years, too, the Communist Party has opened its membership and perks to youngurbanites, cementing the belief that their interests lie with the regime, not with politicalchange -- and that democracy might lead to unrest and instability. According to Minxin Peiof the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, "The party showers the urbanintelligentsia, professionals and private entrepreneurs with economic perks, professionalhonors and political access." In the 1980s, by contrast, these types of professionals andacademics were at the forefront of Tiananmen protests.The state media also increasingly highlight the problems of rural China -- China now hasincome inequality on par with many Latin American nations -- suggesting to urbanites theeconomic and political catastrophe that might befall them if these rural peasants swampedwealthy cities.Now, though, according to Chinese officials, it appears that the Chinese government actuallywants to tamp down nationalism. Some officials privately worry that nationalist protests,even ones targeting other countries, ultimately will transform into unrest against Beijing,like previous outbursts of patriotism in China before communist rule in 1949, whicheventually turned into nationwide convulsions.

In 2005, Beijing initially fed the anti-Japan feelings with public statements. Then Beijing --which depends on Tokyo as a crucial trading partner and source of aid -- tried to tamp downtensions by keeping much of the protest details out of the state media. Ultimately, though,Beijing had to roll out riot-control police in large cities. Similarly, after a 2001 collisionbetween American and Chinese military planes that killed the Chinese pilot, Beijingstruggled to keep street protests from erupting into riots.In the long run, this explosive nationalism calls into question what kind of democracy Chinacould be. Many Chinese academics, for example, believe that, at least in the early going, afreer China might become a more dangerous China. Able to truly express their opinions,young Chinese would be able to put intense pressure on a freer government to adopt a hardline against the West -- even, perhaps, to invade Taiwan. By contrast, the current Chineseregime has launched broad informal contacts with Taiwan's new rulers, including an Aprilmeeting between Chinese President Hu Jintao and incoming Taiwanese Vice PresidentVincent Siew -- contacts denounced by many bloggers. One day, Hu may find even he can'tdefend himself before a mob of angry Chinese students.World population will be 6,666,666,666 on May 10...Blessings,Kade

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INFORMATION SHEET #8 – May 10-11, 2008
Starting May 7 – 8 Weeks to a Better You!