en English

The Delusions of China's Growing Nationalism

BEJING: China has recently seen an upsurge of ultra-nationalism, all the more disturbing because of the way in which Party, state and military leaders have, by insisting that "hostile foreign forces" are arrayed against them, charged this nationalism with a xenophobia that is never far beneath the surface in modern Chinese history. This August on the 50th anniversary of Japan's defeat in WWII, hard-line Politburo member Liu Huaging invoked memories of "successive and fierce aggression by imperialist powers" to insinuate that certain antagonistic countries "will not accept a powerful and prosperous China." Flag pins have become popular. Then on October 1st at a National Day speech in the Great Hall of the People Premier Li Peng defiantly proclaimed that "After shaking off imperialist bullying and persecution from various powerful nations, the long suffering Chinese people have been on the rise ever since." More recently Taiwan is threatened with military maneuvers across the straights, even the firing of test missiles in its direction, whenever independence is suggested