By: Zhou Hongyi
As H. Res.11 passes the House in a largely unified bipartisan vote, as Chinese Americans, we must look within ourselves even further.
“The select committee, chaired by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), will zero in on the Chinese Communist Party’s economic, technological and security progress and the strategic competition between Beijing and Washington. The resolution tasks the panel with investigating and submitting policy recommendations on those matters.” (The Hill)
It is clear that China, our motherland, the land of which many of us hardly know, is now seen as an adversary. An epic war bubbles beneath the surface, as the privatized, cumulative result of white supremacy and European colonization faces off with Chinese, nationalized, socialist industry.
So many of the stories that we have been told as second generation Chinese Americans, by our parents, our families, society and from culture at large, are withering away before our eyes in real time. Blurry stories of poverty, hunger, and of individualist triumph are failing to address the geopolitical reality emerging before us.
“努力学习和听妈妈爸爸的话“. Life was so much simpler when all there was to do was to establish middle class material security.
How much longer will we continue to bury our heads beneath the sand? How much longer can the mirage last?
I spoke with another Chinese American recently and we discussed the meaning of not forgetting where one comes from. Do you remember? The bucolic countryside, the “sanitizing” of restaurant bowls with hot tea water, the lotus flowers and bamboo forests? The large family reunions with aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, gleefully eating and drinking ‘round the lazy susan?
I believe that most of us have good intentions. To me, that includes believing that the underprivileged of the world deserve a chance for industrial development. Today, millions of Chinese people are still living in destitute conditions. For every privileged middle class Chinese American child, there’s dozens of left behind children still in the countryside living with a grandparent as their parents migrate to a city thousands of kilometers away to assemble goods for Walmart’s shelves for the former to consume and discard.
Many factors are at play and the stakes are high. Materially, who should get what? Philosophically, is realism, liberalism, constructivism, or Marxism the closest to truth? Environmentally, can our planet handle whatever is coming next? Spiritually, what is our relationship to ourselves and to one another?
As emerging Chinese American millennials and Gen Z, I hope we will use the advancements and gifts provided by our forebearers to make for the best possible future for all posterity.
History is watching.
Zhou Hongyi（周弘毅）is a Chinese American zillenial passionate about international development and global issues. A former tech worker in San Francisco, Zhou found his passion by pivoting to community outreach, social justice, and education.