A Chinese citizen's thoughts on Matt Pottinger's speech in Mandarin

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The CCP government has done its utmost to prevent Chinese citizens from viewing Matt Pottinger's remarkable May Fourth speech (see "Selected Readings" below) or even from reading about it or expressing their ideas concerning it.  Yet some of them have taken the risk of using illegal VPNs to jump the Great Firewall (GFW) and have managed to see Pottinger's presentation with their own eyes.  Among those who have watched the video of Pottinger's speech, some have dared to express their reactions to it.  Here is one:

I watched Matt Pottinger's message. His Chinese is excellent except for his stressing on more than necessary words that makes him sound a bit unnatural like machine-generated. Had he been acquainted with the subtleness of spoken Chinese, he would definitely qualify for an A+.

Not surprisingly, his message can't be watched within the GFW. What's on the news are the slams and abuses on the message from the official media. Some curious people might wonder what the original message is and climb over the walls to explore. There are quite a few comments on the official news demanding access to the original message of Pottinger so that people may "join the government to criticize".

In Pottinger's message he mentioned Dr. Li Wenliang as a person who committed small and big acts of bravery, and so is Dr. Li remembered as a light and comfort by many people. His Weibo, in which he posted his last message on Feb.1, becomes a memorial. People continue to post their greetings or feelings, some as simple as "good morning" or "school will open", or some with long paragraphs whispering their happiness or sadness. His last message has more than 950,000 comments and new comments continue to come in every day.

Another person to remember is Fangfang. Her Wuhan Diary has roused such a split of public opinions. Many people who have been friends for years have turned their backs to each other for either pro or against Fangfang's diary. In fact, I have turned off many people's "moments" in my WeChat. I did try to reason with a few and found it impossible. Born and hatched by the red flag, most of the eggs have grown the way the flag has expected. Fortunately a nonconforming egg still has some friends of its kind. I think Fangfang is also a person who has committed small and big acts of bravery. She is like a soldier defending her position so firmly in spite of all the attacks. Her courage is admirable in such a hazardous situation. You may have already learned the news that some pinky "hooligans" dug through Weibo and reported the "inappropriate remarks" of several professors who supported Fangfang. Cultural Revolution is never far away.

It has been 101 years since the May Fourth Movement. With all the turbulences in a century Chinese are still groping in the darkness. For a moment one fancied that light emerged from the horizon, but then realized it was just an illusion. A nation can't escape from the influence of its cultural and political legacies no matter how much one wishes for. It is hard to image people who have gone through the rigid education and harsh circumstance in the past 70 years will voluntarily accept the "Western values" if not having free access to different ideas and information. However, accidents did happen from time to time that had changed the path of the nation. To some extent, China has walked along its destiny with a bit of luck. So there is still reason not to be pessimistic.


Selected readings



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