The curtain came down on the London Olympic Games early this morning Beijing time. The event offered Chinese people happiness and food for thought.
In this platform for world competition, Chinese people have acquired a new thinking of who we are and what the world is.
The country is still the highest-level unit representing real interests. It is clear that innocent patriotism is not exclusive to any particular country.
Competition among countries in the Games attracts dedicated efforts from athletes. It is difficult to imagine an Olympics holding its competitions on any other basis than between countries.
China ranked second in both the gold medal and total medal tally, following the United States.
The majority of Chinese aren't upset about the result. Despite domestic media's censures of "over-worshipping gold medals," few Chinese really support the idea of winning gold medals at any price.
While it is a sports competition, the Olympic Games is also a contest of national strength.
This is not a bad thing. The ancient Olympics had the goal of replacing war with sports competitions. In the modern era, Olympics has a far greater meaning.
The Olympic Games has once again put China's "national sports system" in the spotlight.
It is difficult to tell whether it's an advantage of the country or a flaw. The system has leveraged China's competitive sports potential to the full. Its glory in the Olympic arena cannot be easily copied. Going back a few decades, an impoverished China wasn't able to realize it either. The strong criticism of the sports system is partly aimed at the entire Chinese system.
Compared with the Beijing Olympic Games of four years ago, China now has more dynamic and diversified media. This is a sign of progress.
However, domestic media also indulged in too much self-reflection under certain circumstances, for example, discouraging the pursuit of gold medals and roundly condemning the badminton players who threw their match.
It might require more time to see if this is fair or not.
When the West made accusations following Chinese athletes' performances, some thought too much weariness against the West reflected a narrow nationalism.
Perhaps the right attitude also needs time to take root. This Olympic Games has reflected a China with confusing values. But there are also positive debates, which will lead the country forward.
It was a fortnight when China witnessed both achievements and confusion. It is foolish to look down on oneself, though overconfidence might be worse. The Olympics is like a mirror, in which China should look at itself clearly.