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China speaks out

Despite recent anti-dissident measures, the authorities in China are carefully opening up television and radio to critical voices. A semi-independent fourth estate seems determined to combat the inheritance of mass conformism

By Kim Gordon   March 1999

One of the clearest memories of my youth as a young Red Guard in China, during the late 1960s, is of fighting alongside my comrades for control of the local loudspeaker network. The speakers, which day and night blared out revolutionary songs, recitations of Mao’s writings or readings from the People’s Daily, were the main means of communication, driving forward Mao’s campaign to overthrow entrenched bureaucracy. I can no longer recall the ideological differences dividing the Red Guard group to which I belonged from the opposing group. But the differences resulted in real violence, including night-time raids on the residential…

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