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I find it particularly fascinating that Chinese Youths are passionate about taking a stand against the rest of the world. In a rapidly globalising world *ahem social media ahem* one would intutively expect the ways of the world to merge into a more homogenous point of view.

Issues like human rights violations for example would be become more objective and less tied to subjective conceptions such as nationalism. So, if a people’s way of life is being compromised or worst yet trampled on by a government – individuals would be drawn to rally against this cause driven by notions of global justice.

This rise of cosmopolitanism however seems to have eluded the Chinese population? NYT offers a fairly comprehensive explanation to this:

But, to what extent I agree with this (argubly well-written) piece, I have yet to decide. To lump up the indifference of Chinese youths to the plight of the Tibetans because of a lack of life experience seems to be missing a deeper underlying cause. Instead the explanation offered panders to popular stereotypes.

“Young urban Chinese study hard and that’s pretty much it. Volunteer work, sports, church groups, debate teams, musical skills and other extracurricular activities don’t factor into college admission, so few participate. And the government’s control of society means there aren’t many non-state-run groups to join anyway. Even the most basic American introduction to real life — the summer job — rarely exists for urban students in China.”

A friend- pointed out that quickly scanning through the Facebook group – Tibet WAS,IS,and ALWAYS WILL BE a part of China – it becomes apparent that the bulk of the supporters actually live outside China. They are students who have perhaps studies abroad or work outside the realm of ‘government’s control of society’

Forney writes, ‘ If the debate over Tibet turns this summer’s contests in Beijing into the Human Rights Games, as seems inevitable, Western ticket-holders expecting to find Chinese angry at their government will instead find Chinese angry at them.’

The underlying assumption being for now at least, the cause of cosmopolitanism rising in China is a hopeless one.

As for my stand on this, it remains to be decided.


August 2020