Nationalism

Customers dine near a giant screen broadcasting news footage of Chinese President Xi Jinping attending a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan, at a restaurant in Beijing, China, 16 September 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

[Party and the man] Xi Jinping faces biggest challenges in decades

While Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to secure a third term at the 20th Party Congress, Loro Horta recalls the saying that one should “be careful what you wish for”. The road ahead in his third term looks to be fraught with challenges, both domestically and externally. This is the first in a series of four articles on President Xi Jinping and the road ahead.
This Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense handout picture taken and released on 24 August 2022 shows a US-made 155mm howitzer firing during a drill at Penghu islands. (Handout/Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense/AFP)

Cross-strait reunification is not a precondition for China’s national rejuvenation

The Chinese government should not cave in to nationalist voices keen on equating reunification with China’s national rejuvenation, says East Asian Institute senior research fellow Lance Gore. Given the strength of the PLA, neither the US nor its allies are keen or have the capability to engage in a direct conflict with China. Rather than overreacting at every premeditated provocation, the mainland should have confidence in coming to a common understanding with Taiwan and work on improving its international image.
A map showing locations where the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) will conduct military exercises and training activities including live-fire drills, is seen on newspaper reports of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, at a newsstand in Beijing, China, 3 August 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Pelosi’s Taiwan visit reveals the ugliness of Chinese nationalism

Despite the bluster and big talk of the Chinese government warning against US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visiting Taiwan, the visit did happen, leading to China’s “red fans” asking why no “real” action was taken. It did not help that well-known nationalist figures like former Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin lent their voices to fanning the flames of nationalism, ultimately leading to disappointment and anger.
People wearing face masks following the Covid-19 outbreak walk past a Chinese flag in Shanghai, China, 2 August 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Class struggle and extreme nationalism have become CCP’s ideological weapons

Commentator William He notes the disturbing nature of extreme nationalism in China, citing numerous examples of how perverse Chinese “patriotism” can be. He attributes this phenomenon to long-term brainwashing by the Chinese Communist Party, where Chinese people are taught from a young age what to think and say about other countries and their own.
The Rocket Force under the Eastern Theater Command of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducts conventional missile tests into the waters off the eastern coast of Taiwan, from an undisclosed location in this handout released on 4 August 2022. (Eastern Theater Command/Handout via Reuters)

Five big questions about Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit

Amid the furore following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, US academic Zhu Zhiqun answers five questions on everyone's minds about the visit — Does the US Congress follow its own version of China policy? Why has Beijing responded so vehemently? Who is changing the Taiwan Strait status quo? What does the Pelosi trip mean for China-US relations? And what did Taiwan gain from Pelosi’s visit?
Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu welcomes US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi at Taipei Songshan Airport in Taipei, Taiwan, 2 August 2022. (Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Handout via Reuters)

Nationalist sentiment exploding in China over Pelosi's visit

Despite repeated warnings from Beijing, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has landed in Taiwan. Her act has triggered strong reactions from Chinese netizens, raising Chinese national sentiment to a new high. Beijing has strongly condemned the visit, sent jet fighters over the Taiwan Strait and said that it would conduct live-fire exercises around the island. It has also announced economic sanctions on Taiwan, and warned of more "long-term, resolute and steadily advancing actions”. Zaobao's Beijing correspondent Yang Danxu examines the situation.
Eileen Gu at the Beijing Winter Olympics, 10 February 2022. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Chinese netizens questioning Eileen Gu's identity and loyalty

Skiing star Eileen Gu has announced that she will be an ambassador for Salt Lake City’s bid for the 2030 or 2034 Winter Olympics, sparking online debate in China. In today's increasingly polarised world, can a "globalised" person gain acceptance and recognition from conflicting parties and be that communicator of goodwill?
Chinese textbook illustrations have come under fire.

Suggestive Chinese textbook illustrations: An infiltration by the West?

Recently, there has been an uproar in China over illustrations in school textbooks, with comments that the characters drawn are “ugly”, with some depicted in suggestive poses and wearing questionable designs on clothing. Is this merely a question of aesthetics, or does the problem go deeper? Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks into the issue.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma in Paris, France, 15 May 2019. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

How Jack Ma’s surname sent shockwaves through China’s capital market

News of the arrest of an individual surnamed Ma in the technology industry in Hangzhou on suspicion of endangering national security led to a sharp drop in the stock market, as people associated the name with Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba. Zaobao’s Beijing correspondent Yang Danxu notes that perhaps this is not so surprising, given Jack Ma’s previous trouble with the Chinese government, especially during the crackdown on the “disorderly expansion of capital”.