The Chinese Question
“Foreign friends should come to China to appreciate Chinese art objects, yet too often we end up going overseas to see them in foreign museums. Our national treasures should not be flowing beyond our borders. They are ours, part of our roots.” - spokesman from China Poly Group Corporation, Beijing
- How do you define “roots” of a culture? Do they extend equally to all populations and cultures within modern China?
- Are antiquities of other cultures (within China’s borders) preserved as well as Han Chinese antiquities (and how can they be, when dictated by the dominant and elite Han Chinese bureaucratic authorities)?
- Can the state rightfully determine “national culture”… More specifically, how does a person define what is CHINESE?
Who owns culture? Are China’s protective cultural property laws justified?
"So, freedom of speech becomes more important than justice, which to us is preposterous, because, for us, being just to people is the first end, if you like, of a state to be a just state. Not for it to be free state, but for it to be a just state, and freedom is quite a good way of getting there."