Yang LAN: The Generation that’s remaking China (B); 杨澜:重塑中国的一代 (下)

Yang LAN: The Generation that’s remaking China (A); 杨澜:重塑中国的一代 (上)

Microblog boomed in the year of 2010, with visitors doubled and time spent on it tripled. Sina.com, a major news portal, alone has more than 140 million microbloggers. On Tencent, 200 million. The most popular blogger — it’s not me — it’s a movie star, and she has more than 9.5 million followers, or fans. About 80 percent of those microbloggers are young people, under 30 years old. And because, as you know, the traditional media is still heavily controlled by the government, social media offers an opening to let the steam out a little bit. But because you don’t have many other openings, the heat coming out of this opening is sometimes very strong, active and even violent.

微博在2010年得到了爆炸性的增长,微博的访问用户增长了一倍,用户的访问时间是09年的三倍。新浪(Sina.com),一个最主要的微博平台,拥有1.4亿的微博用户,而腾讯拥有两亿用户。(在中国)最有名的微博主——不是我——是一位电影明星,她拥有近九百五十万”粉丝“。接近80%的微博用户是年轻人,三十岁以下。因为传统媒体还在政府的强力控制之下,社交媒体提供了一个开放的平台进行了一些(民众观点的)分流。因为这样分流的渠道并不多,从这个平台上爆发出的能量往往非常强烈,有时候甚至过于强烈。

So through microblogging, we are able to understand Chinese youth even better. So how are they different? First of all, most of them were born in the 80s and 90s, under the one-child policy. And because of selected abortion by families who favored boys to girls, now we have ended up with 30 million more young men than women. That could pose a potential danger to the society, but who knows; we’re in a globalized world, so they can look for girlfriends from other countries. Most of them have fairly good education. The illiteracy rate in China among this generation is under one percent. In cities, 80 percent of kids go to college. But they are facing an aging China with a population above 65 years old coming up with seven-point-some percent this year, and about to be 15 percent by the year of 2030. And you know we have the tradition that younger generations support the elders financially, and taking care of them when they’re sick. So it means young couples will have to support four parents who have a life expectancy of 73 years old.

通过微博,我们可以更好的了解到中国的年轻一代。首先,他们中的大多数都出生在八零九零年代,在独生子女的生育政策的大背景下长大。因为偏好男孩的家庭会选择性的堕胎,现在(中国)的年轻男性的数量多过年轻女性三千万,这可能带来社会的不稳定(危险),但是我们知道,在这个全球化的社会中,他们可能可以去其他国家找女朋友。大多数人都拥有良好的教育。这一代中国人中的文盲率已经低于1%。在城市中,80%的孩子可以上大学,但他们将要面对的是一个,有接近7%的人口都是老年人的社会,这个数字会在2030年会增长到2030年。在这个国家,传统是让年轻人来从经济上和医疗上来支持老年人,这意味着,一对年轻的夫妻将需要支持四个平均年龄是73岁的老人。

So making a living is not that easy for young people. College graduates are not in short supply. In urban areas, college graduates find the starting salary is about 400 U.S. dollars a month, while the average rent is above $500. So what do they do? They have to share space — squeezed in very limited space to save money — and they call themselves “tribe of ants.” And for those who are ready to get married and buy their apartment, they figured out they have to work for 30 to 40 years to afford their first apartment. That ratio in America would only cost a couple five years to earn, but in China it’s 30 to 40 years with the skyrocketing real estate price.

所以对于年轻人而言,生活并不是容易。本科毕业生也不在是紧缺资源。在城市中,本科生的月起薪通常是400美元(2500人民币),而公寓的平均月租金却是500美元。所以他们的解决方式是合租——挤在有限的空间中以节省开支,他们叫自己”蚁族。“ 对于那些准备好结婚并希望购买一套公寓的中国年轻夫妇而言,他们发现他们必须要不间断的工作30到40年才可以负担得起一套公寓。对于同样的美国年轻夫妇而言,他们只需要五年时间。

Among the 200 million migrant workers, 60 percent of them are young people. They find themselves sort of sandwiched between the urban areas and the rural areas. Most of them don’t want to go back to the countryside, but they don’t have the sense of belonging. They work for longer hours with less income, less social welfare. And they’re more vulnerable to job losses, subject to inflation, tightening loans from banks, appreciation of the renminbi, or decline of demand from Europe or America for the products they produce. Last year, though, an appalling incident in a southern OEM manufacturing compound in China: 13 young workers in their late teens and early 20s committed suicide, just one by one like causing a contagious disease. But they died because of all different personal reasons. But this whole incident aroused a huge outcry from society about the isolation, both physical and mental, of these migrant workers.

在近两亿的涌入城市的农民工中,他们中的60%都是年轻人。他们发现自己被夹在了城市和农村中,大多数人不愿意回到农村,但他们在城市也找不到归属感。他们工作更长的时间却获得更少的薪水和社会福利。他们也更容易面临失业,受到通货膨胀,银行利率,人民币升值的影响,甚至美国和欧盟对于中国制造产品的抵制也会影响到他们。去年,在中国南方的一个制造工厂里,有十三位年轻的工人选择了结束自己的生命,一个接一个,像一场传染病。他们轻生的原因各有不同,但整个事件提醒了中国社会和政府,需要更多的关注这些在精神上和生理上都与外界脱节的年轻农民工人。

For those who do return back to the countryside, they find themselves very welcome locally, because with the knowledge, skills and networks they have learned in the cities, with the assistance of the Internet, they’re able to create more jobs, upgrade local agriculture and create new business in the less developed market. So for the past few years, the coastal areas, they found themselves in a shortage of labor.

对于那些回到农村的年轻人,他们所经历的城市生活,所学到的知识,技巧和建立的社会网络,让他们通常更受欢迎。特别是在互联网的帮助下,他们更有可能获得工作,提升农村的农业水平和发展新的商业机会。在过去的一些年中,一些沿海的城镇甚至出现了劳动力短缺。

These diagrams show a more general social background. The first one is the Engels coefficient, which explains that the cost of daily necessities has dropped its percentage all through the past decade, in terms of family income, to about 37-some percent. But then in the last two years, it goes up again to 39 percent, indicating a rising living cost. The Gini coefficient has already passed the dangerous line of 0.4. Now it’s 0.5 — even worse than that in America — showing us the income inequality. And so you see this whole society getting frustrated about losing some of its mobility. And also, the bitterness and even resentment towards the rich and the powerful is quite widespread. So any accusations of corruption or backdoor dealings between authorities or business would arouse a social outcry or even unrest.

这些图片展现出整体的社会背景。第一张图片是恩格斯系数(食品支出占总消费支出的比例),可以看到在过去的十年中,食物和生活必需品在家庭消费中的比例有所下降(37%),然后在过去的两年中,这项指数上升到39%,说明近两年中生活成本的攀升。基尼系数早已越过了危险的0.4,到达0.5——这甚至高过了美国——体现出极大的贫富差距,所以我们才看到整个社会的失衡。同时,“仇富心态”也开始在整个社会蔓延,任何与腐败和走后门相关的政府或商业丑闻都会引发社会危机和不稳定。

So through some of the hottest topics on microblogging, we can see what young people care most about. Social justice and government accountability runs the first in what they demand. For the past decade or so, a massive urbanization and development have let us witness a lot of reports on the forced demolition of private property. And it has aroused huge anger and frustration among our young generation. Sometimes people get killed, and sometimes people set themselves on fire to protest. So when these incidents are reported more and more frequently on the Internet, people cry for the government to take actions to stop this.

通过微博上很火的话题,我们可以看到年轻人的关注点。社会公正和政府的公信力是他们首要需求的。在过去的十年中,急速的城市化让民众读到太多强制私人住户拆迁的新闻,这引发了年轻一代的愤怒和不理解。有时候,被拆迁的住户以自杀和自焚的方式来抗议(强制拆迁行为)。当这些事件越来越常在互联网上被揭露出来,人们期待政府可以采取一些更积极的制止行动。

So the good news is that earlier this year, the state council passed a new regulation on house requisition and demolition and passed the right to order forced demolition from local governments to the court. Similarly, many other issues concerning public safety is a hot topic on the Internet. We heard about polluted air, polluted water, poisoned food. And guess what, we have faked beef. They have sorts of ingredients that you brush on a piece of chicken or fish, and it turns it to look like beef. And then lately, people are very concerned about cooking oil, because thousands of people have been found [refining] cooking oil from restaurant slop. So all these things have aroused a huge outcry from the Internet. And fortunately, we have seen the government responding more timely and also more frequently to the public concerns.

好消息是,今年早些时候,人民代表大会通过了一项关于房屋征用和拆迁的新法规,将征用和拆迁的权利从当地政府移交到了法庭。相同的,很多其他与公共安全相关的问题也在互联网上被热烈讨论。我们听到有太多空气污染,水污染,有毒食品的报道。你甚至都想不到,我们还有假牛肉。人们用一种特殊的材料加入鸡肉和鱼肉中,然后以牛肉的价格进行出售。最近,人们对食用油也很担忧,大量的餐馆被发现在使用“地沟油“。所有这些事件引发了互联网上民众观点的大爆发。幸运的是,我们看到了政府正在更积极和更及时的对这些民众的质疑给予回应。

While young people seem to be very sure about their participation in public policy-making, but sometimes they’re a little bit lost in terms of what they want for their personal life. China is soon to pass the U.S. as the number one market for luxury brands — that’s not including the Chinese expenditures in Europe and elsewhere. But you know what, half of those consumers are earning a salary below 2,000 U.S. dollars. They’re not rich at all. They’re taking those bags and clothes as a sense of identity and social status. And this is a girl explicitly saying on a TV dating show that she would rather cry in a BMW than smile on a bicycle. But of course, we do have young people who would still prefer to smile, whether in a BMW or [on] a bicycle.

一方面,年轻人越来越积极的参与到公共事务中;另一方面,他们也在寻找或者说迷失与个人生活的价值和定位。中国很快就要超过美国,成为世界上第一大奢侈品消费国——这还不包括中国人在国外的消费。但你知道吗,超过半数中国的奢侈品消费者的(年)收入都低于两千美元。他们其实并不富裕,他们用那些奢侈品牌的服装和包体现身份和社会地位。这是一位在电视节目上公然表明,自己宁愿在宝马车里哭也不坐在自行车后笑的年轻女孩。当然,我们也有更多的年轻人,喜欢微笑,不管是在宝马还是在自行车上。

So in the next picture, you see a very popular phenomenon called “naked” wedding, or “naked” marriage. It does not mean they will wear nothing in the wedding, but it shows that these young couples are ready to get married without a house, without a car, without a diamond ring and without a wedding banquet, to show their commitment to true love. And also, people are doing good through social media. And the first picture showed us that a truck caging 500 homeless and kidnapped dogs for food processing was spotted and stopped on the highway with the whole country watching through microblogging. People were donating money, dog food and offering volunteer work to stop that truck. And after hours of negotiation, 500 dogs were rescued. And here also people are helping to find missing children. A father posted his son’s picture onto the Internet. After thousands of [unclear], the child was found, and we witnessed the reunion of the family through microblogging.

在下一幅图中,你看到的是现在非常流行的”裸婚“,这并不代表这“裸露出席婚礼”,这体现的是年轻人愿意接受结婚不买房,不买车,不买钻戒,甚至不办婚宴的这个现实,作为对纯朴的真爱的致敬。但同时,人们也在通过社交媒体做一些善事。这副图片里,这辆车上装有500只被”绑架“来,准备被送去屠宰的狗,这辆车被网友们发现后,人们开始通过微博关注事态的进展,并且通过捐钱,捐食物和做义工来试图拦截该车。在几个小时的周旋后,这500条狗获救并被放生。有更多的人在通过微博寻找丢失的孩子。一位父亲将他失散的儿子的照片发布到微博上,在几千条”转发“之后,他的儿子被找到,家庭的团聚也在微博上被报道出来。

So happiness is the most popular word we have heard through the past two years. Happiness is not only related to personal experiences and personal values, but also, it’s about the environment. People are thinking about the following questions: Are we going to sacrifice our environment further to produce higher GDP? How are we going to perform our social and political reform to keep pace with economic growth, to keep sustainability and stability? And also, how capable is the system of self-correctness to keep more people content with all sorts of friction going on at the same time? I guess these are the questions people are going to answer. And our younger generation are going to transform this country while at the same time being transformed themselves.
Thank you very much.

“幸福(感)”是近两年中国的流行词汇。幸福感不仅仅与个人体验和价值观相关,更多的,它与环境息息相关。人们在思考:我们是否要牺牲环境来提升GDP?我们要怎样进行社会和政治体制的改革来应对经济的发展,保持稳定性和可持续性发展?同时,这个系统的自我修正能力是否足够强大,是否能够让生活在其中的人民接受在前进过程中的各种压力和困难?我想这些都是中国人民需要回答的问题,而中国的年轻一代将在改变这个国家的过程中也改变自己。

One thought on “Yang LAN: The Generation that’s remaking China (B); 杨澜:重塑中国的一代 (下)

  1. Pingback: Yang LAN: The Generation that’s remaking China (A); 杨澜:重塑中国的一代 (上) | Nuttyear's

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *