Thursday, November 1, 2012
This is a rather simplistic report for such a large topic.
It has been often said that China is a civilization pretending to be a nation. The Chinese civilization historically was more culture based, not race or ethnicity based. The so-called Han, is really a mixed race blended by thousands of years' migration, melting and wars. The people originated in Guangdong, one could argue, is much closer to Vietnamese racially than to people in Northeast.
The Chinese nationalism, in the western sense of the world, was really started to forge since the invasion and aggression from the western powers in the nineteenth century, and had finally completed during the Anti-Japanese War during WWII. It is therefore fair to say, the Chinese nationalism is rooted in the defensive reaction, a far cry from the aggressive nationalism originated in the west/Europe based on competition for national interest, colonialism and racism. In China, patriotism is a much more familiar term than nationalism - a lot of Chinese do not really understand the meaning of nationalism ("minzu zhuyi"). Often, these two terms might be mixed up by Chinese, and there is none of the shame or negative connotation associated with nationalism that European feel about it after WWII. The Chinese experience of the 19th and 20th centuries are so much different from that of Europe, it's almost led to confusion if people try to map their corresponding concepts and understanding to China.
The national rejuvenation is a natural extension of Chinese nationalism/patriotism, whose goals were first to expel the foreign occupiers and aggressors from China, restore China's sovereign, and ultimate rejuvenate the Chinese civilization that had lost it's vitality over the last few hundred years. The Chinese Communist Party, despite its name, and Chinese Nationalist Party, are both originated from Lennist Party and were really the two sides of the same coin, one being the left end extreme and the other being the right extreme of the same nationalist movement in the early 20th century. The Chinese Communist Party would not exist and be supported by the mass had it not for its nationalist goals.
The reporter quotes from Wang Lixiong, who has always represented a tiny minority opinions among Chinese. It creates a wrong impression for western readers who are not familiar with the debate and discussion within China. It's like quoting Liu Xiaobo about the status of the Chinese political system or Gordon Chang about the status of Chinese economy.
Plus, can 17th police checkpoints be a strong evidence of the upcoming Chinese fascism? We don't need get into the discussion of Tibet to make our judegment.