torsdag 18. april 2024

In Retrospect: Fifty years of China-US relations [Part 2]

In achieving stunning economic growth, there was a fundamental shift in China’s source of national confidence. In Mao Zedong’s era, the mainstream ideology among the Chinese people was to break away from the old world, build a new one without exploitation and with equality for all, unite the global proletariat and create a global revolution.

But the Cultural Revolution proved that to be a pipe dream, and plunged China into an abyss of closed doors, damage and poverty. Reform and opening up was like a sudden awakening for the Chinese, allowing them to see the vibrant and colourful world outside. Overnight, the former imperialist America came to represent Western democracy and prosperity, which the Chinese longed for, especially the younger generation — following the June Fourth Tiananmen Square incident, the main US consulate in China saw long queues for US visa applications every day.