Lily Kuo, The Guardian: ‘China is powerful now’: Beijing’s aggressive global stance sparks wave of nationalism
As China comes under attack abroad, nationalist sentiment at home is being stoked – at the expense of other voices
For days, the US consulate in the Chinese city of Chengdu was not just a site for curious onlookers but for residents eager to express pride in their country. Some waved the Chinese flag while others set off fireworks. In one video, a woman said she was “extremely happy” to see the consulate close. “We have kicked out one more hub for spies!” she said, smiling as she pointed at the building.
In another video, widely circulated on Chinese social media, a CNN reporter attempting to broadcast is drowned out by a group belting out a patriotic Chinese song. The crowd sings cheerfully, if discordantly: “Praising our beloved motherland as it goes towards prosperity and power.”
Residents noted how different the scene was to one in 1999, when thousands of Chinese protesters descended on the US embassy in Beijing, after the US bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. Crying and pelting the building with eggs, stones, and any other objects they could find, demonstrators were angry at the US but also frustrated at how little their government could do to retaliate.
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WNU Editor: China has always been nationalistic. There is no new “wave”. That “wave” has always been there. The only difference between now and when I lived and worked in China in the mid-1980s is that the Chinese now have social-media to express their sentiment.