Nationalism Rages in New Chinese Book

One of China’s newest book releases is Unhappy China: The Great Time, Grand Vision and Our Challenges(《中国不高兴:大时代,大目标及我们的内忧外患》). A 2009 analog to the nationalist 1996 bestseller China Can Say No, the book is a stinging critique of Western countries and their media. The Zhongnanhai blog translates a Oriental Morning Post (东方早报) article:01300000084627123677071763441

The book Unhappy China – The Great Time, Grand Vision and Our Challenges has been put on the shelves of Beijing bookstores. The book is authored by Song Xiaojun, Wang Xiaodong, Song Qiang, Huangjisong, and Liu Yang.

Unhappy China contains severe criticism of western countries, with the harshest words reserved for the United States. Zhang Xiaobo, who helped plan the book, said, “This is the revised and upgraded version of the book China Can Say No published in 1996. In the past 12 years, the situation inside and outside of China has changed dramatically, however, there is just one thing that hasn’t changed and never will change: that is we Chinese need to tell the western world we are not happy about what they did to us.”

One of the authors of this book, Song Qing, was also one of the authors of China Can Say No.

Unhappy China has 340 thousand words, and is published by Jiang Su Renmin Publishing House. Zhang Xiaopo said, “What happened to us Chinese in 2008 made Chinese people really angry, depressed and annoyed. We finally had our Olympics and we finally made it to the center of the world stage, but look what we got! Boycotts from the western world; treated by them like we are different kind of animal in the world.”

Oiwan Lam of Global Voices Online has also written about the new release and has translated portions of a book summary posted on Douban:

Why is China unhappy?
– There are ghosts behind the Lhasa 3.14 incident, the strategic encirclement of Western World towards China has become more concrete and obvious.
– Sanlu milk power incident has result in a “psychological tear” among Chinese people. It threaten a strong nation’s core values.
– People like Nicolas Sarkozy have been offensive to China out of nasty opportunism.
– The so-called “knowledge elites” or “excellent Chinese people” are harmful to our national spirit.

[…]What should China advocate?
– China should become a country with heroic mission.
– Hold our sword to protect our business, this is a way to build a strong nation.
– The National Liberation Army should follow China’s core value.
– We should not listen to the sweet talk of “finance warriors”, industrial upgrade is the fundamentals
– Get to know the “Russian Roulette” nature of western diplomatic strategy, lower the concrete diplomatic relation with France.
– China should be brave in protecting international security and clear our path towards a strong country.
– Avoid high-art’s culture for affecting our social life or else we cannot actualized our political and economic goals.

Lam has also translated some online reactions on Douban. Some readers heartily recommend the book, while others disdain the publication. From the user abing:

The content of this book is very simple. It follows the old demagogic discourse of China can say No, reconfigures a number of contemporary social problems, and finds some entrance points in attacking Southern Weekend, Jian Zhong Shu, Wang Xiao Bo. It tells us, China is good enough, don’t be self-critical, don’t be caught in internal problem, the West is just a paper tiger. What else? There is nothing else.

March 13, 2009 10:50 PM
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Categories: Politics, Society