Chinese People Reluctant To Forgegt Their 100 Years Of National Humiliation

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Chinese people reluctant to forgegt their 100 years of national humiliation

Chinese people reluctant to forgegt their 100 years of national humiliation

Chinese people reluctant to forgegt their 100 years of national humiliation


Chinesse people are reluctant to forgegt their 100 years of national humiliation because they want to forget it. This painful and shameful period of history is something every Chinese person knows. It makes every one of us Chinese extremely sad. But none of us in the present know just what was the real situation in Nanjing during that time, none of us personally experienced it. Moreover, our understanding of this period of history all comes from books, schools, and the media. As a present-day Chinese person, we must not forget national humiliation. However, we must not so simply choose hatred even more. [We] should be more rational and objective looking at this period of history. Being too influenced by emotion is completely pointless, and is also futile. We should think for a moment and ask what should we steadily do for this country and for this nation? History is always that heavy. In elementary school, we were taught to be proud of being born in China. In middle school when we studied modern history our hearts were entangled, our throats blocked, with tears running from the corner of our eyes, but our anger could not be vented. Now when we look at history, we can only sigh, for the humiliations of the past, for the helplessness of the present, and for the hopelessness of the future. Only during why can we take revenge and avenge this.


Over the past few months, China's given a few lessons in how not to do public diplomacy, whether it's nationalist students abroad or Party officials at home. Orville Schell has a piece in this week's NYRB that's worth a look for some of the backstory, exploring a sense of persistent historical humiliation that he argues is central to modern China's self-image. It all began, he argues, with 19th century colonial humiliations such as the Opium Wars. More recently, when the Treaty of Versailles gave Germany's concessions in China to Japan, the expression “wuwang guochi” - “never forget our national humiliation” - became a popular slogan.

And so it went on. When the PRC was founded in 1949, Mao said “Ours will no longer be a nation subject to insult and humiliation. We…have stood up.” When Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997, Jiang Zemin said that “the occupation of Hong Kong was the epitome of the humiliation that China suffered in modern history”. And in 2001 the National People's Congress even passed a law proclaiming an official “National Humiliation Day.” (However, so many historical dates were proposed that delegates could not agree on any one, and thus, no day was designated, although one of the leading candidates is now September 18, the day in 1931 that Japan began its invasion of Manchuria.) And so we come to the ...
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