Frontline: Young and Restless China 2004
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Corruption and Patriarchy in China
At a first glance, PBS documentary shows how it is to be young in China, a country that only recently started to open up both economical and socially. However, this essay aims to show a broader portrait of how youth in China struggle and thrive in their intents to succeed in a country that turns more competitive and globalized each year.
After watching Young and Restless in China, it becomes evident that China is already well-prepared for globalization and most of its youth is trying to catch up. However, despite its many opportunities, the documentary shows us that not everything in China has a silver lining. For instance, we see Xu Weimin as he navigates through the realities of doing business in China, and how he deals with the local Chinese officials to start his venture (Williams 1).
Evidently, corruption is one of the challenges Chinese entrepreneurs have to face when they try to jumpstart their businesses in the country. It seems that although the country has changed economically, some old ways remain. However, in 2012 an anti-corruption law was implemented to avoid the situations Xu Weimin might have encountered in 2008. Notwithstanding, the situation has not improved drastically, as Transparency International ranks China the 80th most corrupt country out of 176 (ECOI 1).
Now, let’s change our focus to a woman, Miranda Hong. Being a woman might be hard in China, a country that clearly favors men. Imagine being a woman and an executive. Situations such as hers are not new in China. Since the 1990s, the rapid development has not changed the fact that women are not well-received in most business circles. In the same way, she suffered the pressures modern Chinese parents put on their children as they want them to succeed and be ahead of the competition.
This is not wrong per se but places a great deal of pressure on Chinese youngsters. Concerning the issue of patriarchy, it is one of the defining features of traditional Chinese society (DFID 5). Chinese society imposed a great deal of oppression on women and removed many of the fundamental rights out of them as a way to keep them relegated from the public life to prevent them from taking their decisions. Being as economically dependent as they were, most Chinese women had to bow to their husband’s will.
Nowadays, young women like Miranda Hong are struggling to change the paradigm and enter in areas that were reserved for men. It seems that many things have improved since the communist governments prior 1990s, but Chinese women are still searching for equality as a way to fill the broad gender gap they face in their country. The documentary shows that women and attitudes toward them are changing toward as women as a primary motor in the country’s economy.
In the eyes of those nine Chinese entrepreneurs, we see the future of the country. Chinese people prepare harder to succeed as they understand themselves as the engine behind their country. Nevertheless, in new countries such as post-communist China, some unavoidable old vices are likely to surface. That is why situations such as corruption and patriarchy are going to be nuts tough to crack. What it is true is that with people such as the interviewees, China’s economic future is safe.
“China: Official Corruption.” ECOI. ECOI, 11 Mar. 2013. Web. 18 Sept. 2015. <http://www.ecoi.net/file_upload/1226_1369737571_china-corruption.pdf>.
“Gender Equality and Poverty Reduction in China: Issues for Development Policy and Practice.” (2003). DFID. Web. 17 Sept. 2015. <http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ /http:/www.dfid.gov.uk/pubs/files/gender-equality-china.pdf>.
Williams, S. “Young and Restleess in China.” PBS. PBS. Web. 18 Sept. 2015. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/youngchina/>.
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