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EV71 Cases on the Rise

Part of two preschools in Beijing were closed after discovery of EV71 cases, according to local authorities on May 6, 2008. EV71 cases in Fuyan City, Anhui Province have increased to 4,496 with 22 deaths. Zhejian Province is reported to have over 1, 198 cases between January and May 4, with one death. Hunan Province reported 368 cases as of May 5, with most patients being children under 5 years old. Guangdong Province has 3 deaths, with 1,692 infections.

Source: Beijing, May 6, 2008 3562@4427593.htm

The International Herald Leader on Internet Nationalism

As seen in the loud protests before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, many Chinese have truly demonstrated anti-US sentiment and nationalism both in China and abroad. For the Western world, an increasingly powerful China is also an increasingly expanding and arrogant nation. Since the future leaders of China are among them, this is an issue that will have an influence on world peace. The following is an article from the International Herald Leader [1], a newspaper under the Xinhua News Agency, the Chinese official media.

The Internet creates three "new precedents;" Internet nationalism blows a new horn

Five years ago, the International Herald Leader published an article that claimed that Internet nationalism had opened a new page in Chinese nationalism. Five years later, in the spring of 2008, Chinese Internet nationalism completed a real evolution in virtual space.

Immediately after the serious violent incident in Lhasa on March 14, some websites were created to criticize the Western media’s biased and distorted reports, calling people to go to the streets, using their flesh bodies to defend the Olympic torch. In March, with the help of the Internet, in China and abroad, tens of thousands of ordinary Chinese coincidentally showed the world what the true public opinion of the Chinese nation really is. Some western media have had to admit that "the outburst of China’s nationalism is not from top to down," but it also a reflection of a prevalent "new patriotism" among the Chinese people.

About five years ago, International Herald Leader wrote an article, asserting that Internet nationalism had opened a new chapter in Chinese nationalism, predicting, "Internet nationalism is a new starting point, not an ending point." This music chapter was played again this spring, with three new "precedents;" it confirmed the former prediction. Chinese Internet nationalism has completed its real evolution in virtual space, and has blown the horn to march forward.

Three new precedents

After the March 14 incident in Lhasa, a considerable number of Western media blatantly distorted the truth. They completely showed their sinister intentions and their attitude of arrogance. At the same time this also demonstrated their poor methods. In their report, the police from Nepal and India became Chinese police and emergency vehicles became China’s vehicle to ship prisoners. The liars used such a simple way to deceive the public. Thus Chinese Internet users in China immediately brought out the truth.

The Western media, which has a monopoly on television, newspapers and other traditional media, did not realize that the Internet’s subversive impact on traditional media occurs not only in Europe and the United States, but also in China. This time, due to the rise of Chinese nationalism, this revolutionary means of using the Internet as a media and communications tool created three new "precedents” in Chinese Internet nationalism.
First, the broad geographic is unprecedented. From Beijing to San Francisco, from London to Paris, in such a short period of time, the Chinese around the world combined their resources and not only broke through the Western mainstream media’s language barrier, but also successfully launched a large-scale counterattack. They exposed the lies of the Western media, and immersed those waving the rag a few call ”Tibet independence” amidst an ocean of people waving the five-star Chinese flag. The Internet, as a low-cost communications tool, played a decisive role. Without the help of the Internet, it would have been inconceivable to get so many overseas Chinese to act together.

Secondly, the amount of agreement was unprecedented. Earlier, Chinese in China and overseas, could all feel they were separated by territory and by administrative power. Although the subjects of Chinese people’s attention are similar, their views are quite different. The cursing and fighting on the Internet has become a common phenomenon in Chinese forums worldwide. But this time, the voices of Chinese all over the word were shockingly similar. This indicates that, for the issues that involve the fundamental interests of a country or nation, the Chinese people are capable of reaching a high degree of consensus.

Third, the significant effect is unprecedented. The anti-US sentiment and nationalism of Chinese in China and overseas, were fully displayed. Although not all western media that lied were compelled to change their attitude as a result of pressure from Chinese Internet users, and even fewer apologized, still to be able to have the western media bow to Chinese people’s opinions is itself a landmark since Chinese Internet nationalism was formed. With the nature of Internet’s nature, the Chinese Internet users supervise the western media. This represents a model for a vulnerable nation breaking through the western soft language hegemony.

[1] International Herald Leader, April 15, 2008

Hu Calls on Chinese Youth to Steadfastly Follow the Party

This Xinhua commentary article, titled “Soundly Blow the Strong Note of Patriotism”, quoting a speech by Party General Secretary Hu Jintao given during a recent visit to Beijing University, urges Chinese youth to carry on the glorious tradition of patriotism and steadfastly follow the Party down the socialist path with Chinese characteristics. The article calls on Chinese youth to strongly persist with patriotism and the socialist [path] and unite with solidarity around the core leadership of Hu Jintao to realize the great goal of the country’s revival.

Source: Xinhua, May 5, 2008

Beijing: New Policy Starts Random Security Searches around Tiananmen Square

A new security regulation, announced yesterday by Beijing’s municipal government, goes into effect today that all persons and vehicles entering the Tiananmen Square are subject to a random security search. The new regulation also adds a list of illegal items forbidden to be brought into the area, including guns, ammunition, knives, explosive and radioactive items, drug and adult materials, and other hazardous articles that can disrupt social order and endanger public security. Security searches around Tiananmen Square will become a routine that will stay in effect all year long, according to one official from the municipal government. Under the old regulations, security searches around the square were performed only during times of special events and major holidays.

Source: Xinhua, May 6, 2008

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Opposes US Religious Freedom Report

China "firmly” opposes the “arrogant criticism” by a U.S. report on the religious situation in China. The annual report, released by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, constitutes a “malicious attack” on China’s policies on religious and ethnic minorities and is “gross interference” in China’s internal affairs, according to Qin Gang, the Foreign Ministry spokesman. It is a “fact and reality” that Chinese citizens of all ethnic groups enjoy full freedom of religion protected by Chinese law, the spokesman said, adding that the US report undermines China-US relations.

Source: Xinhua, May 6, 2008

Soft Spread of the Chinese Language Is a National Strategy

Xu Lin, director of China’s National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, talked about the international spread of the Chinese language in an interview with Xinhua’s publication Outlook Weekly magazine. Xu said that the international spread of the Chinese language was a national strategy. To accomplish such a great venture, it must be done through the combined efforts of various departments of the government as well as the whole society. Xu emphasizes that the most pressing issue is to improve the ability for the Chinese language to spread [beyond the country]. China’s National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language was established in 1987. It is made up of officials from 11 departments of the State Council. Its mission is to coordinate various ministries, treat the international spread of Chinese as a national issue, and spread it in a quiet manner. The headquarters of the Confucius Institutes established later is another face of the same office.

Source: Sohu, May 5, 2008