Yan Xuetong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of Tsinghua University, recently pointed to the intergenerational differences between college students born in the 2000’s and the previous generations. Yan highlighted their idiosyncrasies in terms of ideology, aesthetic standards, values and moral concepts.
Yan observed that Chinese college students born in the 2000’s often look at the world with a dichotomous view, treating countries other than China as the same group, and regarding universal values such as peace, morality, fairness and justice as unique Chinese traditions. They tend to believe that only China is righteous and innocent, while all other countries, especially those in the West, are “evil,” and that Westerners have a natural hatred toward China. In addition, Yan believed that this generation is deeply influenced by the Internet and they take what they have learned from cyberspace, such as economic determinism and conspiracy theory as common sense.
Yan pointed out at a conference that contemporary students often have a strong sense of superiority and self-confidence, and they are easily influenced by the Internet. He suggested that teachers should help students understand the twists and turns of history and the diversity of the world; they should also help them enhance their ability to think logically and critically.
Source: Mingpao, January 14, 2022