A new generation is fighting back.
The great 1989 democratic movement started as a student movement and then made common cause with the workers who joined the movement with the slogan “down with guandao” (bureaucrats involved in market speculation). The regime then realized that there was grave danger ahead
This explains the 4 June 1989 massacre in Tiananmen Square. For the regime, the massacre was necessary because it was the only way to successfully re-establish capitalism and strike a deal with Western imperialism to allow China’s reintegration into the global system.
Soon after 4 June 1989, a huge amount of Western investment began to flood into China. Until recently, both sides enjoyed their great feast at the same table. The Western Frankenstein then understood that it had created an Eastern counterpart, and from 2010 it began to act to contain China.
The rise of China has enriched the ruling class in that country but there is now growing discontent among the population. China also realizes that its growth strategy of the past 30 years has begun to exhaust itself. In response to the growing crisis, it has tightened up control, especially in the periphery: in Hong Kong and for the Uighurs in Xinjiang. The reason for the choice is obvious – both had launched great protest movements against the regime in the past ten years.
The debate on whether the present crackdown on the Uighurs is enough to call it genocide is a secondary issue. The Chinese Communist Party regime had abandoned its original programme of self-determination for minorities long before 1949. When it came to power, it became clear that it was building an Orwellian state. Its cadres were consciously defending their political and economic privileges at the price of “thought control” over the people of China.
This was why, back in the 1960s until the late 1970s, the CCP tried to wipe out religions in the whole of China, especially among the Tibetans and Uighurs. Today in the face of a looming crisis, it is repeating what it has done in the past. This kind of regime necessarily sows the seeds of genocide of minorities.
The Hong Kong 2019 revolt has been harshly repressed. But it has awakened a young generation which is deeply devoted to democratic rights, and has the support of more than half of the population. This remarkable legacy has the potential to outlive the repression.
A recent event indicates that young people in Mainland China have begun to think independently, despite the constant brain-washing. The highly exploitative and repressive regime has been crushing the youth so much that some of them recently started a spontaneous “lie down” campaign. They argue that young people, instead of complying with the CCP’s line of pursuing successful careers through hard work should just do the minimum work necessary to stay alive and to enjoy their free time.
The youth now want a voice of their own to air their grievances. The CCP tried to ban online discussion of the issue, but the message has already gone out publicly. Brainwashing, however powerful, cannot wash away the cold hard facts of the unbearable exploitation and repression suffered by young people. This is the beginning of a new thinking which can potentially undo this brainwashing. Working people all over the world, while continuing to fight their own ruling class, should also redouble their efforts to support the fight for democratic rights in China, especially those of the youth and by the people of Xinjiang and Hong Kong.