60 years, an end to a start

Stephanie Cheng

The spirited national anthem and the five-star red flag filled every corner of China on the special day.  The navies, armies, air force and all branches of the armed force were presented in a panorama before the world.  Shouts of joy waved along streets and alleys.  On the 1 Oct 2009, the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of the country was celebrated with magnificence.  Sixty years has seen a full cycle of ups and downs in China. Never can anyone question its tremendous changes; neither would anyone doubt the key to this success – the sweat and tears the Chinese have shed in the past sixty years. 

China may be glittering on the outside, but within the country there is much to be desired.  Stepping into the glamorous-looking palace, few will not be surprised or disappointed.  Squatting there are people of different ages, with spit-strewn phlegm and cigarettes and tissue paper everywhere, traffic lights do not perform their true functions and even if they did, they are anyway ignored.  Regarding civil education, there is still a lot to work on.  Another unresolved problem that is typical with communist parties is the lack of political freedom.  In September 2009, three Hong Kong journalists went up to Urumqi, Xinjiang to report on the rioting. They were treated with violence and beaten by the local police.  With regard to the laws and policies of China, Chinese women are greatly restricted by the one child policy and in some cases are forced to undergo abortions if they bear more than one baby.  Residents are also discouraged from having their own religious. Where is liberty? Communist ideas cannot easily survive in the modern world along with the rising significance of globalization.  To be a substantially powerful nation, there is still a long way for China to go. 

2009 is the twelfth anniversary of the restoration of Hong Kong to China.  It has simultaneously been twelve years since the first implementation of ‘One Country Two Systems’ and ‘no change for 50 years’. Hong Kong has been privileged to enjoy a high degree of autonomy and boundless freedom in every single aspect. In our daily lives, we are broadly independent from the Chinese government and we rule ourselves.  However, one of my concerns, which may be that of many, is the future of Hong Kong.  Who can tell what changes there may be 38 years later

Vigilance! If ‘change’ is for the Americans, so is it for the Chinese.  Let this sparkling sixtieth year be the milestone marking the beginning of our freedom tomorrow. 

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