China’s Dream of Becoming a “Great Power” Again

China.com.cn/BBS 中国网和平论坛 is an online forum whose editorial position has a strong nationalistic bent. The following quote is from an essay, written by Wang Li, published on China.com.cn, and reposted on the front page of Netease.com, one of China’s most popular online news portals. The title of the article is “The Olympics have arrived. How can ordinary Chinese respond to the world?”, translated by CDT: This ancient country, it is integrated and fragmented, it is fragile and solid. It is anxiously waiting for an opportunity to rise again. The Beijing Olympics is such a signal. It is China’s official, legitimate date with the world. Every Chinese wants to get back the name which once belonged to this land, the name is: “great power.” “大国”。 Yes, it is such a great power that, “all neighbors submit to her and all foreigners come to her to offer congratulations” “四方臣服,群夷来贺”. It is such a great power that, “anyone who offends the powerful Han will be destroyed regardless of the distance.” “犯强汉者,虽远必诛” In order to rebuild such a dream of a great power, the whole country has been mobilized. Domestically, we have built up facilities, constructed roads, improved the environment; externally, we have demonstrated good will, carried out promises, consolidated foreign policies. This country has made enormous efforts and sacrifices; the people here eagerly hope to gain corresponding recognition. However, in a pluralistic world, differences between cultures, races and values make this process of China emerging into the world particularly difficult. ...
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