China can be described as a sleeping giant with everyone working towards a common goal. The blocking of media communication such as social networking sites allows the Government to keep a tight grip on the population. After World War II, China was in disarray after the invasion of Japan. Copying the methodology of the USSR, China adopted communism and the first Communist Party was formed. It has worked as it had managed to keep all the regions together, including Tibet and the Islamic region of Xinjiang.
They are also able to implement dramatic changes to policy. Originally, it was socially inadequate to have less than four children and wives who were unable to have as many were labelled as infertile This was the Party’s efforts to increase the population of the country to keep them in contention with the other rising powers. Due to overcrowding, China has now over one billion occupants, the Party changed the rule to have only one child per family. That is the power of China.
Casually walking around Tiananmen Square, watching tourists taking photos and guards on marched patrols, it was hard to imagine what the scenes were like in the 1989 protests. It is a humbling experience to have been brought up in a country with such freedom that some might take for granted. Back home where students would cause mayhem and riots over university fees, here the students stood their ground for social equality, end to political corruption and economic reform.
Phil, Ed, Andy and I entered through the famous gate into the Forbidden City, that contained a lot of beautiful architecture and interesting facts. The gates all had lines of 9 golden spheres, 9 being the number of the emperor, while his roofs were of gold. In the past if any other building was painted gold, it was burned down and owner was executed While the population believing 8 to be a lucky number that would bring wealth while red was their colour. The emperor would have only a single empress but could have hundreds of mistresses. The city had plenty of rooms to accommodate them however…9,999.5 to be precise! This was due to the god having 10,000 in his kingdom and you know, the emperor does not want to outshine his god. There are also two lions that protect the emperor’s most important rooms (a feature used by most places in China and Chinese restaurants now) the female lion would have the cub under her paw as she was the keeper of the house while the male would have the world under his as he was the ruler. This lead to jokes that the female lion is on the right because the woman is always right.
There was also a moment where I was walking through the gardens. I came across a pond where people would throw money in for good luck. Due to the harsh winter of Beijing, the pond had half frozen and some of the money had been trapped on the icy surface. A man appeared from under the bridge and started picking up the notes of a high value. Secretly, I was hoping the ice would break and he would fall in but not so much luck.