Much of the progress that has been seen in criminal procedure, environmental protection, and corruption recently in China has been made by weiquan lawyers pursuing legal claims, activists using social media, and rural citizens engaging in acts of civil disobedience.
In China, food scarcity is not a new problem. Famine is deeply embedded in Chinese history and ingrained in the public’s historical consciousness. Censorship programs by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) aim to wipe memories of the Great Leap Forward and its catastrophic consequences from the minds of the Chinese, but interviews with survivors and aggressive research has led to scholars estimating that between 35 and 45 million people died between 1958 and 1961 because of the CCP’s collectivist agricultural policies.
Tobacco’s history and China’s reactions thereto reflect the profound impressions that colonial intervention has left on China’s historical consciousness. By considering China’s former opium trade and its current tobacco industry, one may discover a paradox that is both a product of and a response to its modern history.
More than 60 million people in China have disabilities. The scope of these problems has increased in recent years not only in size but in proportion to the population. They persist not only as a result of political apathy, but because of deeply ingrained cultural perceptions that render them far more formidable than many of China’s other problems.