How do I define my country in the new century? The antiquity of China is fading away with the economy, like a new born baby, is developing at a world-shocking pace; however, its one-party leadership, blockages on the Internet and the press… are still not be understood by western countries. As a Chinese student abroad I am given the freedom to feel something that I would not be allowed to learn in my homeland.
Chinese government puts blockage on multiple western websites such as Facebook, Gmail/Google Search and BBC. To some extent, the websites of Social Networking Services and News from western countries are mostly banned in China. The Chinese government wishes to restrict the information which would seems to be not conductive to Chinese economic development and political stability. For instance, this article I am writing could probably be scanned and banned from the internet world of mainland China because of its political sensitivity. When I arrived to this new western country, the first freedom I felt is the freedom of the Internet — I can search a lot of things that I couldn’t find in China; for example, the ‘Tiananmen Square Protest’, which were student-led popular demonstrations in Beijing bur forcibly suppressed by hardline leaders who ordered the military to enforce martial law. As a journalism student, it is helpful for me to learn the real history of my country with critical thinking.
Homosexual marriage has been legalized in the UK, but there is still a long way to go in China. In my perspective, every human beings have the right to pursuit happiness, even though heterosexual people. We should respect different people’s choices. As J. S. Mill’s opinion on the book On Liberty that individual does not need to be responsible for as long as their own behavior does not affect others; once this personal action harms or hurts other’ benefits, individuals need to take responsibility. Chinese law does not accept homosexuality at the moment. It does not mean we don’t have gay or lesbians in China, but the freedom I can feel in here is much bigger compare to China.
Academic freedom in teenage ages is one of the freedom to be felt in the UK. IGCSE and GCE A-Level as the secondary education system in here, the students are allowed to have more freedom in choosing the courses what they are more interested in or want to learn compare to Chinese secondary education system. The variety in combination of courses benefits the students to focus on their further plans. Chinese high school students (equivalent with GCE A-Level) have to study Chinese, Mathematics, English, and the combination of either Science (Chemistry+Physics+Biology) or Liberal Arts (Geography+Politics+History). They are not given the opportunity and space to choose whatever courses they like. That is why many Chinese high school graduate students have no idea which course they should learn in the future university or what sort of career they are prefer, which is a common phenomenon in China.
Gambling is restricted in mainland China, too. Only national public welfare lottery is legal. Gambling freedom in the UK is embedded in the legality of casinos. However, probably someone would ask me there is a weird phenomenon that although Hong Kong and Macau are belong to China, but some of the freedom above could be found in these two regions; for example, Macau is very famous for gambling, and there is no internet restriction at all in Hong Kong. This is because Chinese government has set ‘One country, two systems’ to apply to two regions.
In conclusion, the main reason for all these kind of banned freedom above I can not feel in mainland China, for my perspective, is because of the level of actual development of the country. I believe one day in the future that I can feel the same freedom in my own country sooner or later. I truly love my homeland, and I hope that day is coming soon.
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