I mean, you obviously don't need them to communicate, since they're not present in speech, which is still readily understood. The Chinese themselves can hardly write them anymore. No, they write in Latin characters and have them converted to hanzi by a computer. The Chinese government's relentless promotion of Standard Mandarin has eradicated the need to use hanzi as a bridge between dialects. So what good are they? Do they serve any purpose anymore?
'Cause if they don't, well, like them as we might, chances are they'll disappear. That's just how things work. They're too much of a hassle to keep around if they don't actually do anything besides look pretty.
Everybody is already writing in pinyin. All it takes is for some kids to start skipping the conversion to hazi in online chatrooms and then a provocative young writer will publish a book in pinyin and then we're off to the races.
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