- the 90th anniversary of the famed May Fourth Movement
- the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China
- the 220th anniversary of the French Revolution
- the 20th anniversary of the 1989 Student Movement and Tiananmen Massacre.
The budding "movement" of Charter of 08 seems to have stalled with its main leader Liu Xiaobo still detained. Liu Xiaobo's wife was recently allowed to meet him briefly at a "neutral location" and told that Liu Xiaobo was not formally arrested. All other participants who had been detained or called in for questioning one way or another has been released. It looks like the government is being cautious in how to nevigate through this sensitive Spring-Summer season of political minefiled wihtout major incidents.
The economy is not helpful either. Hampered by the global recession, the manufactary sector in South China, long the engined of China's "peaceful rising", is in collapse. Unemployment is rising fast and spontaneous mass protests are becoming a common occurances in small cities. Twenty years ago, it was the rampant inflation and corruption that had helped feuling the popular support to student movement.
Meanwhile, the government is preparing for a major celebration of the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic, in which the mighty military will once again march through Tiananmen Square. The last time a celeration of this kind was done is way back in 1984, which was a joyous occasion for Deng Xiaoping. Partyly due to Tiananmen Massacre, it has been staged for a quarter of century.
May we live in interesting times.