Happy 60th Birthday, P.R.C.!

Not everyone is happy about the P.R.C.’s birthday, or some of the festivities associated with it. Still, it’s important to mark these historical anniversaries, and I don’t think many people would disagree that at the very least, China and the Chinese people are better off now than they were sixty years ago. Plus we get charmingly confusingly-worded little People’s Daily blurbs like this.

Everyone else will be writing historical retrospectives and future predictions, but being simple folk, we offer you these lines of poetry, posted by Yin Lichuan on Septemer 29th. Perhaps it’s relevant, and perhaps not. As with all poetry — but especially Chinese poetry — translating it requires picking an interpretation, and there are many possible interpretations so if you can read Chinese we suggest you read it yourself.

A Cold Wind Springs Up at the End of the Day

What is the meaning of a sage*?

In these kinds of circumstances,
We needn’t play with words and phrasing, we needn’t make up tunes.
During some stages, a tune can be very enchanting.
But a tune doesn’t necessarily spread, [and] honesty is also a kind of melody.

*This word, 君子,could also be translated as “sovereign” or “nobleman”.

Meanwhile, in sadder news, CNN is just now learning that Communists aren’t robots. No wonder Anti-CNN is as busy as ever. Also, Xu Zhiyong’s blog has been closed. How long has that been true? Since this? Perhaps we missed it…

UPDATE: For those interested in the military parade, check out this flash app Xinhua has on their site. It’s got 3d schematics with some brief notes for almost all the military vehicles in the parade. Fun!

ABC montage:

0 thoughts on “Happy 60th Birthday, P.R.C.!”

  1. Firstly, as you say: Happy birthday to the PRC.

    A couple of reactions:

    While that is pretty disappointing to read on Peking Duck, it’s totally unsurprising, and actually to be expected under the circumstances. I realized very quickly that today’s republican party will take every last fulcrum they can to attack Obama, even if it means using China — something they obviously have no education about.

    The People’s Daily thing, I feel very confident, was not written by a native, or even a fluent, speaker of English.

    Separate from that, though, James Fallows makes an interesting point on his blog about the possible PR ramifications of the types of military parades going on today. I had the same talk with my girlfriend yesterday when I told her how I was a bit freaked out to see men in costumes the previous evening on CCTV1 screaming at the top of their lungs, “共产党万岁!” or when they had some people with microphones taking turns saying things like “我的祖国是我心.” “是我所有.” “是我自豪!” etc etc. I understand this type of patriotism happens everywhere, especially before an anniversary like this, and I always thought that Americans were excessively proud, but I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like this in the US. I can only imagine what the reactions from people would have been if there was a gala TV show where people were screaming “Long Live Obama!” on his birthday.


  2. One of my relatives will be at the gala on TAM Square tonight. It’s quite fun.

    Well, plenty of people will not be happy to see China (I do mean China, not CCP) prosper, and many will say the country and the people are not better off from 60 years ago.

    But hey, Obama is called Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot, a Communist, a socialist, a Nazi and a witch doctor, and he’s the president of the United State of America. So I don’t expect much when it comes to China.


  3. “Well, plenty of people will not be happy to see China prosper”

    ‘Plenty’? Where do they come from, other than your imagination?

    Paranoia at its sexiest.


  4. I still have a problem with the Empire State Building one actually. I think people should have more thoughtfully responded to it, true, but thats not right to do that. Not on one the landmarks of the nation. I can tell you with a degree of certainty, you won’t see China putting an “Uncle Sam” hat on the Giant Buddha, doing an American Flag display in Tiananmen, etc. if its one of our anniversaries. Someone’s trying to either suck up to the Chinese government due to recent import tax issues, or we’ve got too many nationalistic Chinese living in the country. Once again, people should have more tactfully responded though.


  5. @s, Custer:

    My point in one sentence:



    Burn on you guys. Though I guess 816k doesn’t really compare to 9.9 mill…


  6. yeah, especially when you compare the populations and respective internet sizes (as I understand it, there is now more Chinese internet than English internet, and obviously not all of the English internet is American…)


  7. To stuart:

    From another post, in response to Custer’s “Stuart; mtm does have a point; there certainly are plenty of folks in the west who just want to see China fail.”

    you replied: “Sure – but ‘plenty’ is still only a minority of knuckleheads.” This means you agree that plenty of people just want to see China fail (but they’re a minority), so what’s wrong with what I said – plenty of people don’t want to see China prosper?

    Stuart, after all this snark, I’m really curious, not angry or something but really curious. I like it here because I appreciate what Custer is doing, but I have to ask you because out of all the foreigners (numbering in the hundreds) I’ve known in my life, I’ve never met anyone like you: Sincerely, the only reply you have for people who disagree with you, especially when they’re Chinese nationals, is accusation that they are “brainwashed,” “drink the CCP cool-aid” and other effort to delegitimize the other side’s argument. I came here less often because it’s blocked by the GFW but I just checked the other post where you accused me of some other things which effectively means you really believe foreign scholars understand China better than the Chinese themselves (including my old relatives) who went through the cultural revolution and all that horrible stuff.

    I have good conversations here with Custer, OTR and once in a thousand years Josh, but I really don’t understand the automatic response you have when you meet someone, nay, a Chinese person, who says something that you don’t agree with. You immediately employ sarcasm and snark and the statement that the other side is not worth consideration that prevents any meaningful conversation.

    Please bear in mind that I don’t really mind what you say, but I need to understand because it is part of my daytime job to communicate with people. So yes I am kind of curious and treating you like an object.


  8. Woodoo,

    stuart is a liberal. Lecturing others about their inferiority is the cultural gene of liberals, Chinese or western. What do you expect?

    In my view stuart is certainly not one of the worst liberals – at least he doesn’t stab people in the back. For this I fully respect his views even if he doesn’t respect others’. Check out the defamation tactics of FOARP you know what’s disgusting


  9. Lecturing others about their inferiority is the cultural gene of liberals, Chinese or western.

    defamation tactics of FOARP
    Care to give examples? Just curious.


  10. To oiasunset,
    Yeah I thought that too, but his pattern is so interestingly robotic and predictable. First he never speaks but waits for people to say something, then he nitpicks and snarks with no original thoughts or substance, and then if the other person replies he’ll nitpick and snark more, always involving “nationalism” or something similar. And the conversation usually stops there. I’ve seen him do that many times with different users here. Interesting case.

    FOARP posts here, doesn’t he? I forgot how he behaves.


  11. that stuart guy is reactive. over at the other blog he said westerners understand the Chinese life better than the Chinese about the cultural revolution, which is implicitly racist. and he had the gall to point his fingers at someone else.


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