GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON
A rumoured exchange between Premier Zhou Enlai and President Nixon. “Nixon asks Zhou “What are your views on the French Revolution?”. Zhou replies “It is far too early to say”. Perhaps light-hearted. Perhaps serious. It takes time to reach a balanced perspective on key historical moments. And yet Commissions of Enquiry are often set in motion immediately after events have occurred in an effort to provide people with answers to why family members have died – eg The Grenfell Fire in London.
China has suffered three disasters – the loss of life in the Great Leap Forward; the Cultural Revolution + the Tianamin Incident. These events placed China firmly in the Western spotlight as critics seek to undermine China’s credentials to be building a superior Socialist society. These three historical moments are regularly wheeled out by Western critics of China to undermine China’s leaders’ claim to be building a prosperous + harmonious society.
Consider the position of Mao Tsetung + recall the slogan “Mao saved China; Deng saved the Economy + Xi saved the Party.” At the same time, soon after his death, Mao was often referred to as 70% Good and 30% Bad. Maybe the percentage has moved against Mao in recent years.
The point is that China has its own domestic political reasons for deciding how to handle, internally, the investigation, review and conclusions of Events Gone Wrong. We can discuss that another time. But there is another point – China is increasingly important in the world and the world wants to know more about the Bad Things as well as the Good Things. It is part of the China Package – China Warts and All. For myself I have my views + and opinions on all three Events but my views are not important. The World wants to know – First, how China handles setbacks in terms of comprehensive internal review and investigation and Second, how are the setbacks avoided as China goes forward and what procedures are put in place to avoid repetition.
NEXT CHINA POST – 4 MAY 2022
TWO QUESTIONS FROM READERS OF THIS COLUMN