Communist China Turns 60, Really Just Celebrates Past 30

Communists used people as 'cannon fodder' before making it OK to get rich
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2009 8:34 PM CDT
Buses loaded with performers drive toward Tiananmen Square for a rehearsal for China's 60th anniversary in Beijing, Aug. 28, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A blowout party is hours away in Beijing, where the People’s Republic of China will celebrate its 60th anniversary with an unprecedented display in Tiananmen Square. But it’s worth noting that only the second 30 of those years are worth applauding, Isabel Hilton writes—not the first 30 under the Communists, when the Chinese “people were tossed from one political convulsion to another.”

Thursday’s “message is one of prosperity and national strength under the party’s benign, enlightened leadership,” she writes in the Guardian, “when, finally, the people were told that to get rich—or at least richer—was no longer a political crime.” She concludes, “May the good times continue for them, and may the rights they nominally enjoy under the Chinese constitution—freedom of expression, religious liberty, civil rights and access to a robust legal system—become real before the next decade is up.”