| Global Times | 2013-10-8 23:53:01
By Global Times
A series of interviews on patriotism was broadcast by China Central Television during the National Day holidays. Interviewees gave a diverse range of answers when asked for their opinions about the definition of patriotism and ways to show their patriotic feelings. Such interviews have not only helped increase public attention to patriotism, but also sparked new thoughts and debates among China's intellectuals.
Chinese civilization is the only uninterrupted civilization in the world for the past thousands of years. Despite having enormous pride in their ancient culture, Egyptians and Indians have little to do with the glorious phases of civilization in human history. It is only in China that middle school students are able to understand characters written on bamboo slips more than 2,000 years ago.
The great oriental power would hardly have been able to survive after going through all its vicissitudes without the patriotism of its people. And in turn, China's unique history has helped shape patriotism, which has affected every Chinese from Qu Yuan the ancient poet to the ordinary citizen today.
Patriotism is prevalent in all peoples and nations, of which China has more reason to eulogize the emotion. There are various political factors in newborn states, while China, with its spectacular civilization, possesses more cultural elements that stimulate people's patriotic sentiments.
On the contrary, the trend of "anti-patriotism" that has become popular among China's public opinion in recent years is completely political. The Chinese government enjoys the same relations with the whole country as other nations that uphold patriotism. Some have even picked different defects with the state to justify their "unpatriotic" feeling.
China is not perfect most of the time, but this is not directly proportionate to patriotism. The cases of patriotism being bashed on the Internet clearly shows that some people have broken the bottom line regarding one of the most prestigious values in Chinese civilization.
Patriotism is not something that should be toyed with, and China should never encourage certain small selfish groups whose interests diverge with the long-term interests of mainstream society, since without the most fundamental common consensus the country will become mired in disunity.
China has now embarked on the road of national rejuvenation after suffering from poverty and misery in its early modern times. It is fair to say that the Chinese society has been penetrated by the patriotism of other countries which have had a political consciousness to a certain degree, so we must remain patriotic at this critical juncture.
We are correct to eliminate extreme nationalism, but patriotism represents a basic indicator for the health of the state, and any attack on such sentiments will have disastrous consequences.
There is no need to repeatedly discuss patriotism because Chinese civilization has framed its general significance. Perhaps we may feel ashamed when patriotism has stirred a heated debate in public.
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