OPINION / VIEWPOINT
China's patriotism a uniting force in face of major pressure from virus, US strategic suppression
Published: Jun 26, 2020 09:47 PM

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

On the occasion of the Dragon Boat Festival, I'd like to talk about patriotism.

In the past two days, US politicians including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien and Republican senators like Tom Cotton have all repeatedly criticized China. The US government must be the most abusive on China among all countries in the world.  They accuse China of almost everything, from trying to destroy the US economy to having ulterior motives in aiding Africa and monitoring the world with Huawei. How did they come to hate China so much?

To China's south, Indian media continued their attack on China Thursday, inciting anti-Chinese nationalist sentiment in the country. They made irresponsible and unprofessional interpretations of so-called satellite images, claiming that China has been "encroaching on Indian territory."

In addition to these geopolitical conflicts, COVID-19 continues to impact the world and affect all of our lives. As the epidemic in Beijing is not over yet, everyone around me has cancelled their travel plans for the Dragon Boat Festival. However, the situation in Beijing is only a small case compared with that of the US. The latest statistics show that the US has returned to the height of the epidemic, with nearly 40,000 confirmed cases and a staggering 2,000 deaths a day.

We live in an era of turmoil, when the US is turning strategically against China and contributing to the overall deterioration of China's strategic environment. The impact of the epidemic has added up to a broader shock. A few years ago, we could not have imagined such a change in the world.

It can be said that we are at a true "historical juncture." If Chinese history can be regarded as a complete epic, then today's China must be experiencing one of its climaxes.

Chinese history used to be the history of Chinese civilization. Since modern times, we have been a passive actor in the process of globalization. Today, we are gradually becoming one of the protagonists. But at the same time, we are facing all-round suppression by the US, which is trying to maintain absolute hegemony. 

No matter whether we like it or not, and no matter how many interpretations we may have of the formation of this situation, the US suppression of China has actually started strategically, and dealing with it is a test that the Chinese nation must endure. This provides a basic setting and value thread for contemporary patriotism. It is the common mission of today's Chinese patriots to help the country overcome this challenge.

How can China stabilize and sustain its growth? The story of the rise and fall of great powers over the past century tells us that this is not an easy thing. China must become more determined and united, and if it fails to do so, there will be many ways for the country to collapse quickly. China's internal dynamism and the country's resilience will determine our endurance. The game between China and the US will not last just one year, five or 10. It may drag on for decades.

Look how extreme the US has become on China. Its basic logic of justice has been tampered. It is impossible to fight such a US policy without provoking some internal chemistry in China. Some of these reactions are "natural antibodies." While we stand firm in safeguarding our core interests, we must be vigilant in managing these reactions so that America's extreme acts do not lead to our overreaction. For example, when the US threatens to decouple, China will open wider to the outside world. It is completely different from an extreme response.

In my opinion, how to counter the US suppression and adapt to the normalization of the epidemic prevention and control are new topics. It is the duty of every Chinese to do his utmost to promote the unity of Chinese society, to work hard for the development of China and to play a constructive role in promoting the vitality of society. As ordinary people, it is difficult for us to make our lives centered on patriotism. We have to get on with our lives first, but we need to get a sense of where the country really is, what's right and what's wrong, know what we should stand for, what we should respond to, and what we should oppose in this world.

The US is now desperately trying to suppress China. At the end of the day, what the US is doing is tearing apart the interests of 1.4 billion Chinese people.  Of course we have to defend our interests, the most important of which is the right to make our lives better. This is actually the essence of contemporary patriotism.

The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn
blog comments powered by Disqus