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China: It is more than you think

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By Jon Jiang

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s celebration of its centenary has drawn global attention. In the West, the spreading lament is that nationalism, or patriotism, from the Western and Chinese perspectives, respectively, is becoming the de facto official ideology of Beijing and that it is intertwined with the cliched past century of humiliation. Despite decades of economic integration with the rest of the world, China remains China, and that has always been the case.

This humiliation discourse can be traced to Liang Qichao, a writer and activist of the late Qing Dynasty and early Republic of China. The discourse was also exploited by the Chinese Nationalist Party, the adversary of the CCP during the Civil War, at the end of the 1920s after the death of Sun Yatsen, who had proposed nationalism as an indispensable component of his "Three Principles of the People" political philosophy. Drawing on, but not limited to the importance of nationalism for Sun, it's no wonder that he is one of the rare historical figures that is well acknowledged by both the mainland and by Taiwan.

As for the Mao era, while it seemed like a period when communism simply took control, this situation was also not totally true. Despite the lip service Mao and the CCP paid to the Soviet Union, their national revolution had little to do with Moscow's brand of communism. "Using the countryside to circulate around cities" shied away from the Marxist orthodox belief that the urban working class should be the key force of socialist revolution.

Wang Fanxi, one of the early CCP leaders, argued that,........

© The Korea Times

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