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Profound patriotism should prevail
Source: Global Times [02:24 July 13 2010]
"Patriotic thief" is a new catchword on the Internet. Netizens commonly use the term "patriotic thief" to refer to those who express their patriotism in an improper way, thereby harming national interest.
The term is worth thinking over. Along with its national rejuvenation, as sections of overseas media have pointed out, China seems to witness excessive outbursts and outpourings of patriotism. However, going through some of the intensive online debates, one sees the other side of the coin: The term "patriotic thief" has been much abused, and many a sincere patriot is thus labeled and denounced, too.
Several months ago, Google China's retreat from the mainland divided the public into two: Pro-China and pro-Google factions. The former was disdainful of Google's disregard for China's laws while the latter trumpeted the company's idealism. Soon, the latter dubbed the former as "patriotic thieves", who were fawning on the powers that be.
Never theless, as the incident snowballed, in the course of developments, more and more people showed declining sympathy toward Google and stood by the Chinese government. Gradually, many became averse to Google's manipulative and unrealistic posturing, and realized that they had misread people who were pro- China as patriotic thieves.
Google ended up surrendering to China. Looking back, it can be said that had it not unwittingly triggered strong waves of Chinese patriotism, Google could have gone further to defy China's Internet censorship, which may have left China quite passive.
It's improper to label impulsive patriots as patriotic thieves. In the past couple of years, several incidents have inspired strong patriotism among the Chinese. Many Chinese, especially the youth, showed a high level of patriotism during the March 14 riots in Tibet and the Olympic torch relay in 2008.
Their emotions seemed impulsive and naïve. However, such instinctive, unaffected feelings are also precious to a nation.
For a government, people's patriotism is never a burden. In a world where people still walk forward with a nation as the basic unit, every nation, including China, needs its people's solid, profound patriotism. It nourishes a sustainable impetus for national development. In any nation, there are core values and resources that can never be swayed or encroached upon. This is the responsibility of not only the state, but the people as well.
We have to learn to express patriotism in a befitting manner, and foster appropriate expressions and practices. Deep patriotism, founded on reason, strengthens national cohesion and reinforces social stability, and is indispensable to China's true rejuvenation and sustainable growth.