I ran across this Associated Press article on Yahoo News this morning, “China paper blasts Middle East protest movements.” According to the AP article, the Beijing Daily editorial said “The vast majority of the people are strongly dissatisfied (with the protests), so the performance by the minority becomes a self-delusional ruckus…” It seems like a bit of an over-reaction by the CCP to me, so I dug up the original article on Beijing Daily, “自觉维护社会和谐稳定” and spent some time translating it. Now, my translation skills are not that good, but with the help of my Oxford English-Chinese electronic dictionary, I can understand what the original Chinese says. It’s clear that the AP’s characterization of the article is accurate. I believe that this is the part of the Beijing Daily article that they have quoted (in translation): “广大群众对此强烈不满，少数人的表演只能成为一场自编自演的闹剧…” I would translate it as “The vast majority of the people are strongly/intensely dissatisfied/resentful of the protests, so the performance of the few protesters can only become a self-invented, self-performed farce…” After that it says, “一些满以为可以在中国制造和寻找中东式新闻的人，最后只能落空。” I would translate this as, “There are a few people looking for and thinking they can manufacture news in China like what is happening in the Middle East, but in the end it will only amount to nothing.”
Well, as far as the protests amounting to nothing, I think it is probably correct, but not for the reasons that the author of the Beijing Daily says. I think it is more likely that the Chinese people mostly: 1) still remember what happened the last time there was a large-scale protest in Beijing, and so 2) just want to avoid politics and live their lives in as much comfort as they can.
Eventually, there will be political reform in China, but I think it is going to take some time. Nevertheless, the CCP is clearly worried about the possibility of the kind of mass movements like are being played out in the Middle East happening in China. Otherwise, they wouldn’t need to denounce them so strongly in one of their mouthpiece newspapers.
Is there more going on in China than is apparent right now?