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Economic Policy – China's youth protested quietly against turbocapitalism News

Thursday, September 7th, 2017 | Economy

They are increasingly confronted with the shadows of rapid economic growth. For many, doubts about the rampant turbocapitalism in the metropolises are spreading. They no longer unreservedly believe in the great ideals of progress and success. They suffer from the enormous expectations of society and see their future rather gloomy. This feeling of despondency and oppression in the growing generation has a name in China: "Sang". The word now stands for a cultural basic mood, which is increasingly being combated by the Communist leadership as a threat to state values ​​such as efficiency and confidence.
"Sang 'is a silent protest against the relentless pursuit of society for success in the traditional sense. It is about the admission that you simply can not do it," says 27-year-old Zhao Zengliang, with her black-haired Internet contributions and a book on the topic of acquaintance. It stands for the 380 million 18- to 35-year-olds in their country, which are in a much sharper competition for jobs and living standards.
Life is getting more and more expensive
Not least the one-child policy – now softened – helped parents and grandparents surpass the children with expectations. The offspring are supposed to put all their forces into the big city, to get a well-paid place there and to buy an apartment. But this is becoming increasingly difficult. From the Chinese universities, eight million graduates per year are pouring into the labor market. This is nearly ten times as many as in 1997. Their starting income fell by 16 percent to 4014 yuan (525 Euro) a month this year. Even for elite trainees who have often invested a lot of money in an international study, the content of a survey is, in most cases, far below their own expectations.
At the same time, housing is growing rapidly. Two-room apartments in Beijing now cost an average of 790,000 euros, according to calculations from China's largest property portal Fang.com. In relation to the available per capita income, the prices are therefore drastically higher in New York. According to the Ziroom.com website, the average rent in Beijing has risen by a third in the past five years to a total of 360 euros. This corresponds to 58 per cent of the average income in the city, according to an investigation by the research institute E-House China R & D.
The high housing costs lead to the fact that many young people are moving to the edge of the city, and that stressful work is taking place in the millions of metropolises. Another consequence is that the Chinese always marry later and start a family.
Absolutely nothing achieved
The frustration over failure and sustained pressure can only be discharged with difficulty in the highly regulated society. On the Internet, too, censorship does not allow this, says Xiao Ziyang from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), a state research institute. "The government must control public opinion to prevent social problems." The Congress of the Communist Party, held every five years, is subject to increased attention. The depressive mood in parts of the well-educated young generation causes nervousness in the government. She sees symptoms of a dangerous defeatism. The Parteiorgan "Volkszeitung" sang the "Sang" culture in August as "attitude of extreme pessimism and hopelessness, which gives cause for concern". At the same time, the editorial contained an urgent appeal to optimism: "Stand up and be brave. Live the battle spirit of our time."
The "sang" trailers, on the other hand, do without loud slogans. They spread their vitality in Internet contributions, songs, cell phones and TV broadcasts with the help of witty allusions. The 29-year-old Xiang Huanzhong has even found a very successful way to make money. He founded the tea chain Sung Tea, which attracts attention with original product names. The offer includes "Absolutely-nothing-Achieved Black Tea," "The-Life-My-Ex-Is Better-than-Mine Fruit Tea," and "Around-and-on-the-Death-Wait Matcha Tea." ". Zhao's "Sang" priestess also celebrates her Depri cult with a fine pinch of irony: "I wanted to fight for socialism today, but the weather is so coldly cold that I can only lie in bed and play with my mobile phone," it says in one of their Internet contributions. "It would be great if I just wake up tomorrow and would be retired."
(Reuters)

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