The Arab Spring has travelled to other parts of the world and inspired the Wall Street Occupation but China has nipped its Jasmine Revolution in the bud by cracking down on civil rights activists since February 2011.
However, China does indeed have its own revolutionary traditions. The successful Wuchang Uprising on October 10, 1911, marked the beginning of the Xinhai Revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) and established the Republic of China. This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the Wuchang Uprising and and the Revolution.
100th anniversary of Wuchang Uprising
Against the background of the global revolutionary climate and Internet-faciltated social unrest, needless to say, modern interpretation of Xinhai Revolution is highly sensitive and political.
The China Media Project looks into the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) representation of the Xinhai Revolution through the mainstream reports on October 10, 2011:
We can see the basic Party treatment best by looking at the front page of the Party’s official People’s Daily, where a photo of the standing committee + 1 (former President Jiang Zemin), with Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin right smack in the middle, accompanies a dry report on the commemoration and the full official text of Hu Jintao’s “important speech.”
The Chinese President Hu Jintao's speech on the Xinhai Revolution contains nothing out of the ordinary, but the discussion in the Weibo online forum is more contentious and interesting.
Reporter Wang Wen from Global Times, another party controlled media outlet, talks about the Revolution in a celebratory mood [zh] and foresees that that it will take another 100 years to accomplish its goals:
On the other hand, Chinese historian Lei Yi believes that Chinese people should not hold on to the China model and argues [zh] that the Xinhai Revolution signifies the bankruptcy of a political system with Chinese characteristics:
However, not everyone is in a celebratory mood. Current affairs commentator, Chen Jieren comments in his Weibo [zh]:
Xiao Gongqin, another historian, argues that the Xinhai Revolution has only brought chaos to China in an interview with Caijing.com [zh] and his commentary has also been widely circulated in Weibo [zh]:
The conclusion of Xiao's argument can be very conservative, as the CCP has been compared to imperial power among netizens. Nevertheless Editor of Southern Metropolis, Ximen, picks up his “what if” argument and concludes that [zh] all the bloody revolutions of the past 100 years were results of missed opportunities for peaceful transformation:
Guangdong-based historian Yuan Weishi sums up [zh] the lesson we can learn from the history in a blogpost:
He said that the revolution should be under “one leader with absolute obedience” and that “I am the initiator and practitioner of the Republic that overthrown the authoritarian system. For those who talk about the Republic and Democracy away from my direction, they are standing in my opposition.”
When confronting with all these frightening historical events, for those who really are concerned about the fate of our country, please do not use “tradition” nor “national character” as the pretext to resist the modern civilization from entering China. You can play with Chinese classics: Shangshu, I Ching and the Analects as you like, please do not fool the Chinese people by saying that we have the best computer and constitution!