Patriotism

People look at publicity posters of The Battle at Lake Changjin at a cinema in Fuzhou, Fujian province, China, on 7 October 2021. (CNS)

Can the Chinese criticise their patriotic movies?

The movie The Battle at Lake Changjin has broken all sorts of box office records in China. This patriotic drama portrays Chinese volunteer troops fighting in the Korean War against the US, and is highly rated by the authorities and the public. However, certain comments have been criticised for being disrespectful to the people and times in the movie, and the police have detained Chinese financial media personality Luo Changping for his allegedly disparaging comments against the country's volunteer fighters. Zaobao’s China Desk examines the issue.
People walk past a China Energy coal-fired power plant in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China, 29 September 2021. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

The conspiracy theories behind China's power cuts

Last year, Western media attributed the cause of China's power shortages to the latter's unofficial ban on Australian coal. This year, Chinese netizens and we-media are claiming that power cuts are necessary and a result of “an invisible exchange of swordplay in big country economic competition”. Leveraging nationalism and big power competition to garner attention and support is indeed the order of the day. Zaobao journalist Liu Liu explains why Chinese authorities and state media are debunking these conspiracy theories and refusing to ride on the patriotism wave.
Mima Ito and Jun Mizutani of Japan celebrate winning their match against Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen of China, Tokyo Olympics, 26 July 2021. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Japan-bashing by Chinese netizens: A lack of sportsmanship during the Olympics?

A week into the Tokyo Olympics and the Chinese internet is already a minefield of anti-Japan sentiments. Displeasure ranges from Japan’s win over China in the table-tennis mixed doubles to perceived slights against China. By playing the nationalism card, Chinese netizens are not doing China any favours in the run-up to next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics.
A woman walks past a decorated board with images of Tiananmen Gate and the Chinese national flag, marking the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China, at a hi-tech industrial park in Beijing, China, 23 June 2021. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Chinese butting heads with Western media: Irrational nationalism or deeds of justice?

Yang Danxu observes that the Chinese are becoming more confident about refuting Western media reports they deem erroneous or biased. This stems from recent events such as growing US-China antagonism, China’s rise and even some goading on by the authorities. But if unleashed in a vacuum, nationalist sentiment can be a dangerous sword that ends up hurting the one who wields it.
A Chinese paramilitary police stands guard while a light show is seen from the Bund in Shanghai on 30 June 2021, on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

When doing business in China, beware of patriotic netizens

Han Yong Hong takes stock of the bruised feelings and sensitivities that have been stirred up in a sideshow to the CCP’s recent 100th anniversary. Whether it is a “lone wolf” attack in Hong Kong, Didi’s fate or Sony’s misstep, nationalist netizens are quick to “correct” wrongdoings that hurt China or its feelings. All this just makes one feel a greater need to walk on eggshells. Looks like doing business in China just got trickier for foreign and domestic companies alike.
Commuters take photos with a flag of the Communist Party of China at Nantong Railway Station, Jiangsu province, China on 1 July 2021, during celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. (STR/AFP)

More Chinese youths proud to be associated with the CCP

Positive attitudes towards the Chinese Communist Party among the young have been on the rise. China’s relative success in combating Covid-19 has further impressed Chinese youths. More of them are becoming party members and are proud to be called “red and expert”.
People walk along Qianmen Street, a popular pedestrianised traditional street with shops and restaurants in Beijing on 2 May 2021. (Photo by Noel Celis / AFP)

Nationalistic and patriotic? Chinese youths are more than that.

Every day, scores of young people from small cities or farming villages make their way to big cities to find work. Inhabiting the space between their old and new worlds, they find kinship and cultural affinity in online groups, forming subcultures that have emerged as alternatives to the mainstream. While this widens their network beyond their usual social circles, it has also spawned a form of online tribalism. How does this affect their worldviews and interactions online and offline? Wu Guo explores the topic.
Members of the media (bottom) take photos as (left to right) Acting Law Officer (Special Duties) Llewellyn Mui, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng, Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang and Permanent Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Roy Tang arrive for a press conference at the government headquarters in Hong Kong on 13 April 2021. (Anthony Wallace/AFP)

Hong Kong's electoral reform: Powerful businessmen to lose influence in politics?

Zaobao journalist Tai Hing Shing analyses the Election Committee’s expanded role in deciding who becomes the chief executive and gets to sit on the Legislative Council. Will these adjustments help Beijing reduce the influence of the pro-democracy camp as well as the business sector?
This handout photo courtesy of US Army taken 27 October 2020 shows soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division. (Bridgett Siter/US Army/AFP)

Chinese Americans in the US military: Will their loyalties be questioned in a Taiwan Strait conflict?

Given the current highlight on issues of racism in the US and patriotism in China, it seems that Chinese Americans serving in the US army are in a unique situation. Hong Kong commentator Chip Tsao wonders: if a conflict breaks out between China and the US over Taiwan or the South China Sea, how would these military persons be viewed?