Thursday, August 16, 2007

China's nationalism : the way to collapse of China or the way to Fascism ?

From "China" Susan L. Shirk. Oxford

History teaches us that rising powers are likely to provoke war page 4
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The worst nightmare of China's leaders is a national protest movement of discontented groups....The two previous dynasties fell to nationalist revolutionary movements. Mass movements that accused leaders of failing to defend the nation against foreign aggression brought down the Qing Dynasty in 911 and the Republic of China in 1949
China's leaders became fixated on what they call "social stability." They that euphemism to convince the Chinese public that Communist Party rule is essential for maintaining order and prosperity page 7

Domestic considerations take precedence over foreign relations during international crises page 8

The Communist Party has embraced nationalism as its new ideology in an age when almost nobody believes in communism anymore. page 11


An informal poll of provincial officials enrolled in a shot-term course at the Central Party school in 2001 found that they expressed surprising hard-line views on relations with Japan and the United States.(One possible explanation was offered by a scholar who said that the local officials "free ride on hard-line nationalism" because it helps them get promoted but is "completely disconnected from their local economic interests. page 43


A retired PLA general confided to me that he worries about the lack of a political counterweight to the nationalist public, military, and intelligence agencies that might push China's leader into military action. page 43


ALP general candidly suggested that the students demonstrated against foreign targets to express their domestic discontents. "Demonstrations after the Belgrade embassy or against Japan aren't really about foreign policy . They are result of an accumulation of people's grievances against Chinese government, just the same as in the Qing Dynasty and the Republican government. page 61


The leaders recognize that popular nationalism is intensifying as the country grows stronger. IN fact they have been largely responsible for this trend. In schools and the mass media, they have promoted nationalist themes as a way to bolster the legitimacy of the Communist Party, now that almost no one believes in Communist ideology anymore.
After Tienanmen, the CCP launched a nationwide "patriotic education campaign" in school and the mass media.....
Beginning in 1994, schools added new courses to stimulate patriotic loyalty, and students won awards for reading the one hundred patriotic books and seeing the one hundred patriotic movies chosen by the Party. Patriotic songs, patriotic books, and patriotic version of history became the steady diet of school children School tours crowded historical sites established earlier, now called "patriotic education bases." The Museum of Testimony to the Crimes of Japanese Army Unit 731, the Japanese unit....received more than three million visitors a year.
page 62


Chinese history textbooks teach that dynasties fall when they are overwhelmed by the twin threats of internal unrest and foreign aggression....
The Qing Dynasty , weakened by multiple economic and administrative problems, was unable to prevent the Western powers from encroaching on Chinese sovereignty beginning in the late eighteen century. After the British defeated China in the Opium War, Beijing was forced to surrender a number of its key ports to the British, the French, the Americans, and other foreign governments. ....
China's defeat by Japan in the war of 1894 was the most painful humiliation of all because the Chinese had always considered themselves superior to the Japanese. page 64-65

News media, competing for audiences but "guided by the propaganda authorities, reinforces nationalist myths......Journalist ...have to satisfy two masters; their audiences and the Propaganda Department. A nationalist slant on news events works for both of them. Nationalism has become the politically correct point of view, enforced by the market place as well as the censors page 85


Chinese politicians use Japan-related issues to mobilize support for themselves as strong leaders or to divert attention from difficult domestic problems. The less confident the leaders, the more they fan the fires of anti-Japanese nationalism. Jiang Zemin took a much tougher public stance toward Japan than Mao Zedong or Deng Xiaoping ever did page The propaganda effort to revive popular support for the Communist Party through patriotism----effort that began after Tienanmen---took Japan's aggression against China as its main historical justification. The Party facilitates Internet-based mass petitions against Japan, and even permits small demonstration on a regular basis outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing. page 144

Until recently stirring up popular hostility toward Japan looked safer than stirring up anger toward the United States or Taiwan, ....."The U.S. is a superpower, so China does not want to offend it. But most Chinese view Japan as a second-rate power whose economy depends on China's growth. ""That's why the leaders take tough public positions against Japan. "page 145


The Chinese government has not publicized the (Japan's development)aid. (page 146) *1


A young netizen I interviewed said that when posting any online opinion regarding Japan, you have to begin by saying how much you hate Japan, otherwise the Web site manager will usher you off. page 152
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A survey of young people conducted in summer 2005 found that more than half said they hated or dislike Japan. Nearly 80 percent said they had never met anyone from Japan. More than 60 percent said they formed their opinions about Japan through the press, TV. and the Internet. page 152



Every perceived slight by Japanese leaders, every revision of Japanese textbook---as well as every misstep by Japanese students studying in China or Japanese visitors to China ---is an opportunity for tabloid newspapers and Internet Website to attract audiences and whip up popular passions.....Advertisements for Japanese products that inadvertently affront Chinese consumers---such as a Toyota and ad that showed a Toyota Prado(unfortunately transliterated as Ba DAo, "the way of of the hegemony") driving in front of bowing Chine stone lions under the line, " You can not but respect the "Ba Dao"---give people a chance to vent their anger. page 156



On the occasion of diplomatic recognition in 1972, Mao and Zhou willingly forswore any Japanese reparations from World War Ⅱ, reaffirming the commitment that Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of the Republican government , had made following the war.
....Mao and Zhou were satisfied with Japan's statement of remorse in the joint communique. "The Japanese side is keenly conscious of the responsibility for the serious damage that Japan caused in the past to the Chinese people through war, and deeply reproaches itself." They believed that it settled permanently the issue of Japan's attitude toward its wartime aggression against China As one Chinese scholar of relations with Japan said, neither Mao nor Zhou "thought it was necessary fro Japan to apologize all the time. "


The Chinese government did react vigorously in 1982 when a Japanese court handed ownership of a student dormitory, purchased in 1950 by the Republic of China , to the government on Taiwan instead of the PRC,. page 160

Under Jian, as China continued to move toward a capitalist-style economy, nationalism replaced communism as the rationale for people to support the Party. Beginning in 1994, the CCP Propaganda Department's "patriotic education campaign", designed to ensure the loyalty of its subjects---young people in particular---by nurturing their nationalist attachment to the state, became the dominant theme in school and media socialization....
The Nanjing Massacre Memorial Museum, built in 1985, was expanded in 1995. (in 2005, the city government announce plans to further expand it---the expansion track perfectly the high points of nationalists mobilization. ) It became a focal point of Chinese popular nationalism and a counterpoint to Japan's Yasukuni Shrine. ...When a local figure proposed turning the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Museum into the Nanjing International peace Center to signify a more forward-looking attitude in 2002, he was viciously attacked in local newspapers and Web sites for being unpatriotic. (page 165)


The PRC Minister of Education began in 2001 to revise senior and junior high school history textbooks for the first time since the early 1980's. ...The treatment of Japan ....was made even more negative and more emotional. page 170

The Communist Party's post-Tienanmen effort to rebuild its legitimacy through the patriotic education campaign is largely responsible for the increase in anti foreign nationalism among today's youth. page 258


Chinese leaders tolerate more citizen activism against Japan than they do in any other foreign policy domain. Anti-Japanese Web sites survive for years while Web sites attacking the United States are shut down. page 171


Anti-Japanese activist like Tong Zeng hold small protests outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing. Nothing similar is allowed outside the American Embassy. Tong Zeng, who began his activism in 1991 with a letter demanding reparations from Japan, was fired from his job and sent out of Beijing by the authority during the 1990's, but several years ago was allowed back , and now freely organize anti-Japanese activities. page 172

One Chinese student recently told me, "our generation thinks that anything that we're not told not to do it's probably OK to do".page 173


..Civilian control over the military remains incomplete,. Therefore , the leadership can 't say no to the PLA's budget requests for fear of alienation the people with the guns, as double-digit annual increase in official military spending make clear. page 259

Even if Prime Minister Abe actually desists from visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, China will not be able to negotiate a comprehensive resolution of history issues and overall improvement in relation with Japan unless it can credibly commit to stop criticizing Japan's wartime history. The South Koreans, who pledged in writing to do so, couldn't keep their promise because of the same sort of domestic political pressures that roil China. (page 179)


Singapore former prime minster Lee Kuan Yew, ....says that although he is confident that the current leaders want to concentrate on economic development and avoid the mistakes made by Germany and Japan when they were rising powers, he worries about "whether the next generation will stay on the course...We know the mind of the leaders but the mood of the people on the ground is another matter. Because there is no more communist ideology to hold the people together, the ground is now galvanized by Chinese patriotism and nationalism. page 257


I share his apprehension.

Given the fact above, and its aggressive policy towards Tibet and other minority, it is laughable to say Chinese nationalism is healthy.Nationalism and Democracy

We should be reminded that

Adolph Hitler used a combination of myth, ethnic nationalism, and national pride in his regime of power, which resulted in the deaths of millions of innocent people. Nevertheless, German people felt pride in their nation and in their leader, who was bringing Germany back as a world power. Adolph Hitler used pre-existing nationalist sentiment, pre-existing views on other nationalities, and sheer force to instigate his regime. His Ethnic Nationalist views led both to the extermination of millions as well as his desire to make gains in Europe.

The extreme negative forces of Ethnic Nationalism were at work in Germany under Adolph Hitler. Hitler believed in a 19th century German belief known as the Volk, in which Germany surpassed other nations in terms of culture and society and had a duty to dominate.

Ethnic Nationalism(cash)




Fascism regarded nations not as equal and interdependent entities, but as natural rivals in struggle for dominance. Fascist nationalism did not preach respect for distinctive cultures or national traditions , but asserted the superiority of one nation over all others. .....
Germany had been both defeated in war and German s believed, humiliated at Versailles by reparations, the loss of territory and the deeply resented "war guilt clause"....Fascism page 226 "political ideologies" Andrew Heywood.



China, for that matter, another rising power, Korea 's ultranationlsim are getting out of control. They cover up their atrocity and the invasion after WWⅡ. Instead, they make up myth for their convenience. They have been using nationalism to cover up the domestic issues.They have made up a collective memory to "build their identities around symbols of collective humiliation. The politicians have been using pre-existing nationalist sentiment to instigate the regime. They tend to look upon Japan as inferior in their value of hierarchy.

People often miss the the point that anti-Japan activity and their nationalism are the two side of the same coin:the Chinese and Korean ultra ethnic nationalism is a blind spot in journalism.


"How about Japanese nationalism?" someone might ask.
Japanese nationalism is practically dead.
In this respect it is important not to be mislead by journalism who often focus on " Japanese nationalism".
The best that Japanese nationalists have done is to write the patriotic history textbook that less than 1 % of school has adopted. China and Korean journalism takes it up like crazy. Journalism domestic and abroad focuses minor statements by politicians to use and abuse it as an opportunity to bash them, saying it is nationalistic.
Paying respect to war dead privately is criticized domestically and internationally by fanatic bashers. The number of cabinet members visiting Yasukuni is shrinking at the cost of freedom to faith, alleged that visiting Yasukuni is "too ultranationalistic. "
Even hoisting a national flag and singing a national anthem are regarded "too patriotic".
In this regard, it is vital to realise that "patriotism" is politically correct in China and Korea, but it is politically wrong in Japan.

That said, I don't think Japanese people should overreact to China and Korea's ultra nationalism----It is devilish idea to provoke their ultra nationalism to destabilize their society (^_-),
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Historically among nation-states, the pursuit of rapid industrialization inevitably leads to the emergence of mass nationalism....
Industrialization undermines domestic political equilibrium, yet it is this very stability that successful industrialization requires. Thus the leaders begin to use nationalism as a tool to maintain social cohesion. A nationalist ideology can legitimate and even exalt the hardships that industrialization inevitably entail, .It can justify the effort and self-sacrifice, the high savings rates, and the deferral of consumption that are required......
Moreover , nationalism inevitably spills over into foreign relations. it can be argued that every case of industrialization has led to expansionism. The political scientist Samuel Huntington wrote that in the past "the external expansion of the U.K. and France, Germany and Japan, the Soviet Union and the United States coincided with phases of intense industrialization and economic development." page 306 "Japan rising" Pyle




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During his October 1978 visit to Japan, Deng indicated receptivity to low-interest Japanese government loans in the form of ODA. ....Amid rising tensions between the two countries in June 1987,Deng asserted that Japan had an obligation to assist China's development because as he put it, "it has the biggest debt to China. In 1972 China did not ask for reparation. Frankly speaking, we harbor dissatisfaction over this point.."......
The circumstances under which Japanese ODA began.therefore, signaled a tacit understanding on both sides that it was related to the Chinese expectation that Japan was obliged to provide reparations. page 325-326 "Japan Rising" Kenneth Pyle.

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