Sunday, December 21, 2008
2009 - A Year of Anniversaries
Next year sees multiple anniversaries in China and related to China. I expect the 30th anniversary of Deng Xiaoping's Reform and Opening Up movement will continue to be lauded officially though only the upsides naturally. We can expect the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic in 1949 to be pushed hard - but what of other more problematic anniversaries cropping up next year:
20 years since Tiananmen Square - expect little or nothing about that except more police than usual around the Square on June 4th;
50 years since the great famine kicked in in 1959;
50 years since the Tibetan revolt and the Dalai Lama fleeing to India;
90 years since the May 4th Movement and the birth of a mass modern political consciousness in China in the wake of the Treaty of Versailles and China's disappointment at being deserted by the Great Powers;
150 years since the founding of the China Maritime Customs Service, one of China's most efficient ever tax collection bodies and headed by Ulsterman Robert Hart (pictured);
170 years since the start of the First Opium War;
The 730th anniversary of the end of the Southern Song Dynasty in 1279;
The 730th anniversary of the start of the Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty.
Plenty of contentious discussion points there then!!