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Showing posts from October, 2011

Still Work to Be Done 同志仍須努力

This past October 10th marked the centennial anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution (辛亥革命). Exactly a hundred years ago, rebels led a successful uprising against the Qing Court and toppled millennia of imperial rule in China. It was arguably the most pivotal moment in all of Chinese history. 
Pivotal as it was, the 100th anniversary went by in Hong Kong just like any other day. I asked some of my gweilo friends about it and none of them had heard of Xinhai. Even among the local Chinese, the word was little more than a vapid factoid they once memorized for history class but bears no relevance to their lives. Worse, the anniversary was upstaged by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who had died just a few days earlier. When it comes to vying for attention, our Founding Fathers, for all the sacrifices they made and all the blood spilled, were no match against a gadget wizard in a black turtleneck.

To set things right, we start with a quick refresher on modern Chinese history. We go back to the turn o…