Symbolic wedding

An irreverent opinion piece in the Telegraph, oozing sardonic wit, draws comparisons between a recent wedding and the direction China is taking:

Many congratulations to Hu Haiqing, the daughter of China’s president, Hu Jintao, who has married Mao Daolin, one of the country’s richest internet tycoons.

It is a highly symbolic match. President Hu has repeatedly emphasised the virtues of a “modest and prudent” life, and is steeped in Communist lore – he was Jiang Zemin’s heir apparent for a decade before his appointment as China’s leader a year ago. But, behind all the rhetoric, he has been presiding over a great economic leap: China is going the way of his daughter, embracing capitalism with some passion and at a feverish pace.

After noting the highly celebrated milestones the “new China” has achieved — a man in space, soaring economy, the 2008 Olympics, it suddenly brings us back down to earth and its tone changes markedly:

Economic freedom usually brings, in its wake, social and cultural freedoms. China is not following the model. Tibet is still repressed, Taiwan remains under threat and human rights abuses are legion: 14 years after the Tiananmen Square massacre, thousands are imprisoned and tortured for exercising their rights to freedom of expression.

There are no signs of the repression letting up. Here’s hoping that the marriage of Hu Haiqing and Mao Daolin, both educated at American universities, might herald the arrival of a new generation with an enlightened approach not only to money, but also to free speech.

Yes, here’s hoping. We’ll see….

The Discussion: One Comment

Marriage of power

I just got this news from The Peking Duck, Hu Haiqing get married with Mao Daolin in Hawaii. “In a sign of the ever closer relations between power and money in the new China, the daughter of its Communist president,…

November 7, 2003 @ 8:02 am | Comment

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