Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

To Move on from Oppression, China Must Recognise Itself

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

To Move on from Oppression, China Must Recognise Itself

Article excerpt

It is a challenge, and also a privilege, to have the opportunity to guest-edit the New Statesman. The magazine has such along and celebrated history, it is so highly respected, and so many intelligent people have put such effort into it over nearly a century. Like all written publications and works of literature and art, the magazine reflects a human condition. I am thrilled to have the chance to be associated with it.

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The only thing I can contribute to this edition of the New Statesman is the content. I chose to dedicate my issue of the magazine to China, its people, its history, its culture, its current situation and its future. My country has to recognise itself, which is a challenge to anybody at any stage in life. Right now, in China, we are living in conditions that no other generation has ever experienced--of great economic growth and expansion, but also great oppression of freedom of speech and human rights.

We are living in a time of change (as is the west, in a different way). China--its government and people--has to develop a true understanding of the specific conditions of the country today, and so reinterpret our position in the world. Over the years, I have made many efforts to do this--through art, through films, through investigations, through direct action in the face of government oppression--but I still don't have a clear answer to the problems facing our country. This is why. I want to share my thoughts, and those of the other contributors to this issue, with a wider audience. …

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