On China.. without love

Tydzień temu moja dobra znajoma poleciała do Chin. Krótko przed jej wyjazdem poszłyśmy na kawę w Londynie i swobodnie żartowałyśmy, że trudno będzie nam utrzymać kontakt z powodu chińskiej cenzury. Żarty żartami… nie minęło wiele czasu, a mogłyśmy doświadczyć owych ograniczeń. O ile pierwszy mail dotarł do Ugne bez problemu, dostałam odpowiedź, wysłałam kolejną wiadomość (w której wychwalałam Chiny pod niebiosa), znów dostałam odpowiedź. Do trzech razy sztuka, jak mówią – sprawdziło się i tu, choć w nieco odwrotny sposób. Mimo bardzo przemyślanego maila… nie dostałam odpowiedzi. Nie, nie dlatego, że Ugne się obraziła. Wiadomość w ogóle do niej nie dotarła. Serio? Nie wiem, może wzmianka o wyborach w Polsce (huhu, takie groźne!) zainteresowała cenzurę? No bo jak to, demokratyczne wybory, złooo…

Mam dość radykalne poglądy na temat Chin – a dokładniej na temat chińskiego rządu. Nie mogę, po prostu nie mogę zaakceptować tamtejszego systemu, który jest zaprzeczeniem tolerancji i otwartości. Nic nie usprawiedliwia opresji, represji, nadużyć, przemocy, braku wolności słowa i braku poszanowania praw człowieka. Jasne, to wszystko jest skomplikowane, złożone, wielowątkowe i tak dalej… Ale na litość. Pewnych rzeczy naprawdę nic nie usprawiedliwia. Również to, że społeczeństwo częściowo dało się wtłoczyć w pewne ramy i szczerze lub nie, mówi że taki system jest potrzebny, żeby trzymać państwo w ryzach i oni się na to godzą. No ja nie mogę się zgodzić.

The initial reason for writing this post was because a good friend of mine went to China a week ago, and just before she left we went for a coffee in London and were joking about how difficult it will be to maintain contact now, with all the internet restrictions and censorship.. well, it didn’t take long to experience it. I assume (how can I know for sure?) that my first e-mail to her didn’t go through the censorship security, so I sent another – praising China in every second sentence and saying how wonderful it must be there; I got a reply for that one, a very thoughtful one. Then I replied, checking every word and stopping myself from writing half of the things I wanted to write, as I wasn’t sure if they would be accepted. And.. no reply yet. How sick is that? I can’t even write that next month there are elections in Poland, because this is dangerous and suspicious. Democratic elections, that must be so damn frightening for the damn communists.

My views on China, or, to be precise, on the Chinese government, are very strong. In general, I consider myself to be very tolerant and open-minded, but there are some exceptions. I cannot maintain this approach regarding a system which itself is the opposite of tolerant and open-minded. Nothing, I say nothing ever, justifies the oppressions, repressions, abuses, violence, lack of freedom of speech and lack of respect for basic human rights.

Today I read the news (in the Western newspaper, which, according to my colleague who defends China saying that it needs to have this ‚strict’ rule to maintain order and lead the country to a happy future democracy.. honestly I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh; eventually we ended up having some massive arguments on that) saying that the Chinese government officially stated that one of the monks is responsible for the death of the other one, who set himself on fire in protest to the government politics and as a voice for free Tibet. But the official truth is that his friend is responsible for his death. I can’t accept it.

It is so difficult to do anything about it. Sadly, we are all dependent on China due to its economical power. This is a mad, mad world. I’ve recently read this quote on my friend’s facebook wall and I find it so true: „This is the story of the world’s economic crisis ‚… The story about us, people being persuaded to spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to create impressions that won’t last, on people we don’t care about.”

Sad. True. What to do? I believe, no matter how idealist it sounds, that the most important is to try to resist this craze. Remember what really matters to you and be faithful to your moral hierarchy. It’s hard, sometimes. I really hope that the prisoners in China don’t lose hope and know that they have lots of support in the world.


I

I follow and support the actions of Ai Weiwei from the moment I’ve heard about him, and when I saw the sunflower seeds installation in Tate Modern for the first time, I knew it was going to be something. Ai’s works are so meaningful. I do believe that the Chinese government is not able to break him. They didn’t manage when they took him to prison for 3 months and the whole world didn’t know where he was (oh but of course, the whole world kept buying goods from China and exchanging smiles at political meetings). He left the prison, officially „behaved well” but this „good behaviour”, which theoretically followed the government line, was in fact even more powerful and strong in its impact than any protest. And then he went on Twitter, which they forbade him to do. Ai Weiwei is great. Fingers crossed, that he will find a way to come to Europe. Well, he can.. but after signing a document saying that he will never come back to China. And he doesn’t want to sign it. I really do admire him.



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