I remember a small anecdote, when I returned to China in January. The knowledge of the conversation I had yesterday with Cai Li, this story takes on a whole different scale.
Last year in France, attended the riots in the suburbs, and I have always insisted on security problems in France with the Chinese, as their image of Epinal in the homeland of wine and the fragrance is beautifully idealist. Well, I was just a little too stressed, because when I arrived at the airport in Shanghai in January, I spent a call immediately to Cai Li, to tell him that I was leaving the plane, and I took the bus to Suzhou. She told me on the phone this time I was surprised, “That’s it? Are you in China? Aaaah … Now you’re safe.” I did not try to understand more before this remark, which felt to Cai Li, the evacuation of a major concern. I’d say it was definitely a good laugh about the situation made claimant season in France, including CCTV and we had folded ears. What we must add that I stayed focused on the TV set once we talked about on the news. In fact, I realized that there was not that much. There was also the result of a communication policy Orwellian to believe that Chinese living in the best of worlds.
Yesterday, Cai Li told me that since his childhood, at school, we kept him teach the benefits of Mao, revolution, the system in place in relation to any other, and therefore m ‘ explained that there was endoctrineur education, not secular. There must be a slight downside for this: in France too, even if we do not advocate the benefits of a political party at school, but also demonstrates, however, the superiority of a democratic system in relation to everything else. Do not make me say what I did not write against a potentially undemocratic approach. The purpose is not to take sides, but to attempt a retreat analytical and therefore completely dispassionate.
Last night to conclude the conversation, Cai Li was stunned to hear that if foreign countries were currently kowtow to China was due to the international economic situation, which made inevitable the country, while for everyone in the West, China is still a country without freedom of expression, where human rights are the most widely abused primary. And I felt uncomfortable. Everything he had been taught was collapsing, and that evil be, I feel, not from the fact that we had directed his thoughts from his youth, but rather the fact that Chinese patriot, it does not recognize the undoubted superiority of his country. Simply estomaquant.
Cai Li and then asked me a very direct question, as laying a teacher: “do you, yourself, the system in China is the worst that we can have?”. And, I admit, I have mixed feelings. Why? Because there is the ideal, conceptual … But there is also the reality of things. I lived in a democracy thirty years, and three years in a dictatorship. This allows me to have an opinion in relation to any Westerner who has not lived elsewhere, or in relation to Cai Li who has known as China, is that I’ve tasted the two. You can not blame Cai Li, or any Chinese they have known it. Their reference to their own ends, through ignorance of the rest. And similarly, we can not blame the West, who have the experience of democracy as a repository.
I answered Cai Li trying to weigh the pros and cons. China is nearly a billion and a half people. China is thirty provinces. China is fifty ethnic groups (here, we call it “nationalities”), with disparate cultures, economic and social situations ranging from modern high-tech for the South East in the Middle Ages Western countries. China, are tens of thousands of dialects alive and active, Federated solely the obligation to learn the Beijing dialect in school (because Mandarin is the dialect of the capital). But we must see that there are still many people who do not know, because of a lack of education disturbing. To give you an example, I often hear Cai Li receive calls, and after a few seconds of conversation with his interlocutor, screaming into the phone “speak to me in Mandarin” because the speaker in question spoke in Suzhou dialect, which she does not know a word traitor … His birthplace is two hours drive from Suzhou.