Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Politics and Profits

Thirty-five years after his death, Mao Zedong still enjoys respect or even reverence from many quarters in China. For example, in April 2010, Telegraph reported that Chinese protestor throws ink at portrait of Chairman Mao:

An angry Chinese protestor has attempted to throw ink over the famed giant portrait of Chairman Mao Zedong that hangs in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, police in China have confirmed.

Police wrestled the man to the ground last weekend after he threw a bottle of ink at the portrait, a potent symbol of Communist Party power which hangs on the Tiananmen gate tower where Chairman Mao declared a new republic 60 years ago.

"At around 13:35pm, April 5 2010, a man was put under control after he threw a plastic bottle of ink towards the Tiananmen gate tower," the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau confirmed in a statement faxed to The Telegraph.

The audacious attack echoes the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest when three young men threw ink-filled eggs at the portrait in a gesture of defiance against China' Communist ruling party that resonated around the world.

The three men, Lu Decheng, Yu Zhijian, and Yu Dongyue, received some of the harshest sentences in the crackdown that followed the violent crushing of the protests, being jailed for 16 years, 20 years and life respectively.

That kind of disrespect to the Mao could not be tolerated by Chinese government, if it was out of political motivation.

However, if it was done in the name of development, the story could have a different ending.

Technews reported that 
A real estate company wrecked the statue of the 'Great Helmsman' -- China's most powerful figure between 1949 and 1976 -- while re-developing a district in Longlou town in Wenchang region, reported Hong Kong's South China Morning Post.

Erected in 2008, the 9.9m white marble statue had attracted many visitors, China News Service (CNS) reported.

"Developers now wield the greatest power of destruction in China, tearing down houses and flattening martyrs' mausoleums in the name of development," another (Internet) post remarked on China.com."
Indeed, in the name of development, developers, often combined with power of unchecked government and ruthless mafia, wrecked homes for profit at well.


海南省、文昌市 Wenchang, Hainan Province

The demolition of Mao's statue earned some condemnation from China's leftist corners but it is doubtful any developers involved would suffer the fate of those angry protesters who "defaced" Mao's giant portrait.

Profits tramps politics.  Call it progress.

Mao Zedong Statue in Shenyang, China - Matthew Felix Sun's Drawing_7339
Mao's Statue in Shenyang

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