Chinese Nationalism, Difficult for Outsiders to Understand

A patriotic Chinese girl. Foreign Policy's photo.

A patriotic Chinese girl. Foreign Policy’s photo.

We have a very interesting essay on Foreign Policy on August 25 titled “The New Face of Chinese Nationalism”, giving description of Chinese people’s nationalism. The writer believes that the Chinese government plays a significant role in that, which precisely shows his ignorance.

When Japan invaded China, Chinese government did not want to fight for fear of defeat as it knew well Chinese troops were far inferior to Japanese ones, but college students lied on railway tracks in order to force the government to fight.

Patriotism lies in Chinese culture. It has not been the result of Communist propaganda. During World War II, Chinese people fought a bitter war for 8 years to resist Japanese invasion. At that time, the communists did not control the means of propaganda.

The understanding is very important for those who want to invade China. Japanese people will continue to have nightmare about China’s retaliation for decades to come.

Another issue I have to make clear is that the Taiwanese beauty Zhou Tzuyu was wrongly attacked for advocating Taiwan independence due to her appearance on TV screen holding a flag of the Republic of China.

The Chinese Communist Party in power on Chinese mainland and KMT previously in power on Taiwan Island have reached “1992 consensus” that there is only one China but each side can have its own interpretation of the one China, i.e. mainland China can regard the People’s Republic of China as the one China while Taiwan can regard the Republic of China as the one China.

Note: Taiwan’s official name is the Republic of China not the Republic of Taiwan that pro-independence Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen wants but dare not change Taiwan’s official name for fear of military attack by mainland troops. Now, China has been pressuring Tsai to accept the 1992 consensus to make clear that she does not advocate Taiwan independence but Tsai refuses to accept as she still cherishes her dream of Taiwan independence.

The Chinese government supports Chinese netizens’ attack at Tsai’s website but does not support their attack at Zhou as Zhou as a Taiwanese has the right to hold the flag of the Republic of China according to 1992 consensus. She did not advocate Taiwan independence in holding the flag on TV screen. As a result, Chinese netizens stopped their attack at Zhou but attacked the Taiwan singer who framed up Zhou.

However, it was too late as the damage has already been done. Zhou, the poor Taiwanese beauty only 15 years old, had left Taiwan to receive hard training in South Korea for more than 3 years to pursue her dream to become an idol singer. As a naïve young girl, she knows nothing about the politics concerning Taiwan independence. However, she had already been seen on TV screen miserably reading her apology.

Some people believe that tears are girls’ best weapons, especially perhaps when the girl is exceptionally beautiful. At that time, Zhou has already been chosen as ranking the 13th in beautiful face in the world by an American company well-known for its choice every year of 100 beauties in the world. It has been the first time ever a Taiwanese girl has been chosen by the company. She, therefore, had lots of fans in Taiwan and was regarded as a symbol of Taiwan’s national pride.

As a result, the tears she shed on TV screen became Tsai’s best weapon in defeating pro-Beijing KMT, its rival, in Taiwan’s recent presidential and parliamentary elections. Indignant at Chinese netizens’ attack and enthusiastic to defend their identity, lots of Taiwanese people vied with one another to vote for Tsai’s pro-independence party, giving her a landslide victory. Taiwanese media believe that Zhou brought at least one million votes to Tsai.

It may be true that beauty has its irresistible charm.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Foreign Policy’s essay, full text of which can be viewed at


10 Comments on “Chinese Nationalism, Difficult for Outsiders to Understand”

  1. Simon says:

    All because Zhou Tzuyu sobbed on an apology video she made and nobody forced her to do it, one million Taiwanese voters voted with their puny dicks.


  2. Joseph says:

    Chinese patriotism is a real headache for the American seeking to undermine China from within. So far, the American has much success to create dissidents from Korean to Indonesia, to Afghanistan, to Syria and Libya. What they do not expect is the revival of Chinese patriotism, not only in China, but in Chinese-prominent countries such as SE Asia, which wreak havoc in their plan for hegemony. It makes sense that the American would accuse China to play role as the American has play significant role to create misguided dissidents. I remember how much the American bloggers would accuse me in the payroll of Chinese government when I was active in The Diplomat blogs. It didn’t bother me. Although it would be nice if the Chinese government would really pay me. They could not accept that Chinese Indonesian like me, who they believe to have been beaten into submission would demonstrate such defiance. I am not even a Chinese citizen, and could not even speak Chinese other than a few mumbled words. But the silly American just don’t understand. The Chinese are millenia-old civilization, not some tribal people who just discover civilization. We have been sophisticatedly civilized before the ancestors of the Americans even wore clothes or cooked their food, in fact it was only less than a hundred years since the American began using toilet paper, a humble Chinese practice. To be not Chinese would be to be something less, and advance people always preserve to be something more. Perhaps what the American always hates the Chinese for is our unity. For millenia, the people of China had banded together under the banner of the people of Han, no matter what ethnicities we are. While the concept of ‘we are American’ is a ridiculous one. The White, the Black and the Hispanic always struggle to define their ‘American’ existence, which is why the American loathes and resent our Han identity. We represent something that the American has failed miserably to achieve.


    • Jane says:

      There are Chinese dissidents on the American payroll. However, the U.S. has a knack for supporting the stupidest dissidents in China.

      An example is Chen Guangcheng. He was once the toast of the “human rights” establishment in the U.S. Hillary Clinton gave him a hug. He was invited to give speeches at major American universities. A blind lawyer going up against the evil Chinese government? What could be more photogenic?

      After he arrived in the United States, he began associating with Christian fundamentalist sects who are trying to make abortion illegal in the U.S. He’s now a fellow at a right-wing “institute” that opposes stem cell research, opposes gay rights, and opposes the separation of church and state.

      No respectable university will invite him to give a speech. His former supporters in the Democratic Party are embarrassed they ever knew him. It would be sad if it weren’t so funny.


      • Joseph says:

        Sound like the blind fella is trying to start another Taiping rebellion. Another Jesus younger brother? If only he is not so blind, literally, he would know that the Taiping was back-stabbed by Western governments who preferred to keep Chinese government weak than create a new friendly but stable and strong government.


  3. Steve says:

    Nowadays, people are generally selfish, showing concern only for oneself, but not for the needs of other people, as in this case the unification of Taiwan back to the Motherland. In reality, it was the stupidity of the one million voters that was easily swayed out of emotion or hoodwinked by delusion that brought Tsai the votes. This is democracy at it’s best, searching for weaknesses and falsehood by the opposition to bring down a Government. Clearly, China has its own political wisdom without having to succumb to such low standards. This is a clear example why democracy is unsuitable for 1.37 billion voters as it would send the nation into a bottomless chaos.


    • Joseph says:

      How do you know that Taiwan election was not rigged? It is after all American practice to rig elections. That’s why they love elections. In the last Indonesian election where the pro-American candidate lost, he threw a tantrum, saying that he could not have lost as the American had ‘promised’. Taiwan election result was, after all, as clear as the PCA ruling. It was known even before Taiwan people went to election booths.


      • Steve says:

        As I stated my above post, ‘This is democracy at it’s best, searching for weaknesses and falsehood by the opposition to bring down the Government’ or vice versa. If the Taiwan elections are rigged, the Taiwanese seems happy and I cannot answer this question. As for the pro-American Indonesian candidate throwing a tantrum blaming the Americans for his lost, what can we say other than to call him a Stupid Fool.


        • Joseph says:

          If you want to see democracy at its best, Taiwan is hardly the place. NAZI Germany, Al-Qaeda and ISIS were the example of democracy at their best. The American is often puzzled how Hitler and Osama could fool people to get their allegiances as their goals were not compatible to the American goal. They might have evil intention, but they could not function without followers. The truth is, no matter misguided their goals were, they had their followers complete votes, which warrants the description of democracy. They were not self-destructing, but destroyed by force much more powerful than themselves. Ironic that the American loves to promote democracy but the true democracies always met their demise at the hand of the American.


          • Steve says:

            Al Qaeda and ISIS are Not democracy at it’s best, but Godism or Allahism at it’s worst. They completely misused their religious doctrine to gain rebirth into the heavens for eternal sexual paradise with thousands of virgins. They are sacrificing their stupidity on behalf of the higher authority. They are self destructing, not destroyed by a force more powerful than themselves, but their very own delusion and stupidity.

            The US and Nazi Germany shares the same goal of gamesmanship. That is to conquer the world and become world leader by using various political ploys and tactics to gain a psychological advantage commonly known as Genocide.


            • Steve says:

              ….And the ISIS and Al Qaeda don’t need complete votes nor polling booth, they only have to open their Bible and Hey presto a million followers ready to sacrifice themselves….makes democracy looks like crap, just look at Trumpy and Hilly mouthing for votes..


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