Tuesday, July 02, 2013

July 1 March - related thoughts

There were many other images of interest from the march.  Some people, at least, have not forgotten Liu Xiaobo 劉曉波 and his wife Liu Xia 劉霞.  They are true heroes, showing tremendous courage and independent thinking in the face of suffocating oppression. They have paid, and are continuing to pay a very heavy price for what they believe in.

There were a lot of very meaningful references to Chinese history, the history of Communism in China, past and recent events in the struggle for democracy in Hong Kong, and ... faith.  Chinese culture has suffered tremendous damage in the past 100+ years.  To the extent that China is developing into a materially prosperous country without a moral compass - making money at all costs.

I truly believe faith can be the one thing that can invigorate and rebuild a strong and vibrant Chinese culture that underlie economic and material development.

I was happy to see university students in the march.  It would have looked better if there were more of them under those flags.  Many students, of course, marched by themselves or with other groups.  So the number of university students involved was probably much higher.

There were many Tibetan flags, presumably representing demands for Tibetan independence.  The flag is sometimes referred to as the “snow mountain lion”. It was actually designed by a Japanese.  The rising sun motif was used by the Japanese army and navy during the war with China and the Second World War.  It was used by the Tibetan government between 1912 and 1959.  There were some disagreements on the flag’s status, whether it represented the Tibetan military or the nation itself.  In any case, it is now a symbol of Tibetan independence movement.

By the way, when the Dalai Lama and others refer to autonomy or independence for Tibet, they refer not just to the Tibet autonomous region of China as it is now.  Their Tibet refers to that Tibet, plus all of Qinghai, a large part of Sichuan and a small part of Yunnan.

Mixing issues such as Independence of Tibet into the July 1 protest complicates matters.  However, you cannot stop people from doing so, can you?


YTSL said...

Hi Stephen --

Re Liu Xiaobo: Have you seen the documentary "Gates of Heavenly Peace" showing as part of the HK Cinefan programme at the HK Arts Centre? It's highly recommended -- including for the part played in it by Liu Xiaobo.

Re the Tibetan flags: Didn't see any last year but this year... but have to say I objected more to the American flags on display... and the Falun Gong whose followers slowed the rally down considerably. I applaud their having a right to demonstrate in Hong Kong but feel they should be more considerate of others on July 1, etc.

StephenC said...

Thanks, YTSL. No, I haven't seen the documentary and will try to see it. But it will be a while because I will be travelling all summer. Tomorrow I will be in Rwanda, and in August, USA.

Agree with you on the American flags and the Falun Gong.