I exist on the side of not being too fond of the current President of the United States along with many of my close acquaintances. I think back to a conversation I had with a family friend when talking about American politics whist I was in China. In the conversation, I was voicing some of Trump’s policies and how I disapproved of the direction the United States was going yet she was completely unaware of any of the points that I was touching on, the only thing that was known was his name (despite her having travelled to the states on multiple occasions). This is not due to her being uneducated but simply due to the lack of information on American Politics provided to her from the Chinese media. This reaction is quite different among the younger generation of the people of China, making a clear line of understanding between the younger generations and the older generations. Most of my Chinese friends attend secondary schools and universities in the United States and in parts of Europe so the exposure to foreign news is easily accessible and therefore, they think with a more Western type of thinking.
Once broken down, there are even more lines drawn between the differences within the Chinese population. With age difference and also the difference in privilege. There is a fast rising upper class with excessive amounts of displays of wealth that would have never existed 50 years before, in the level it is today. It is within these differences that knowledge and the awareness of the happenings of the “outer world” exists. Censorship has always been a big suppressor of Chinese media but the levels of exposure fall within these lines. Moreover, the government, censorship remains on both sides of media in terms of what goes and what comes out.
Currently, there is the extermination and re-education of the Uyghur community within China (upwards to 12 million people). They are an ethic minority of Muslims who live in the Xinjiang. This is quite similar to the Holocaust that happened under Hitler’s rule and without intervention it will only get worst. This current genocide however was unknown to the people outside of China until very recently and still remains unknown to many. This begs the question of how can something so big and so utterly unjust be hidden from so many people?
Personally, I have a very close family friend that is a Uyghur mother along with her daughter. Although it is not obvious to those around her, she is unable to travel and in constant fear of being taken from the Chinese government. Even myself, I had been oblivious to the happenings until I was directly told by someone who is physically enduring it.
Censorship is interwoven into so much of the foundations of societies, it’s the grey line that remains unseen yet is undoubtedly there. Only individuals can spread the truth in hopes of educating others.