EYESHENZHEN  /   Opinion

Powerful motherland boosts patriotism

Writer: Wu Guangqiang  | Editor: Vincent Lin  | From: Shenzhen Daily | Updated: 2019-10-14

The Chinese people have celebrated the birthday of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) every year since its founding on Oct. 1, 1949, yet never has any celebration in other years witnessed more joy and greater passion among the populace than that of 2019. The age of 70 adds special meaning to it, as the 70th anniversary is considered a “big birthday.” It is China’s historical achievements, however, that have stoked unprecedented national pride in Chinese people around the world.

The highlight of the grand celebration, the largest-ever military parade on Tian’anmen Square, ignited an explosion of “bravo” and elation on social media as everyone was busy posting and reposting photos and videos of an array of cutting-edge weapons displayed in the parade, including the DF41, one of the most advanced nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles in the world, the hypersonic ballistic missile DF-17, the latest bomber H-6N with in-flight refueling capability, and the submarine-launched ballistic missile JL-2.

Excited by the showcasing of the unexpected advancement of weapons, most viewers expressed their confidence in China’s future, saying that the country’s strong military will ensure that China will never be bullied or humiliated again.

The Chinese people have every reason to hold their head high. For over a century before the founding of the PRC — despite its glorious history, massive population, and kind and diligent people — China had been invaded, carved up and occupied by foreign bandits, just because it was too weak economically and militarily, and consequently, politically. Besides, in today’s world, even though China has risen as the world’s second-largest economy, it still has to deal with incessant prejudice, discrimination and containment from the U.S. and some other Western countries. But the Chinese are convinced that no one dares to challenge China’s core interests anymore.

Independence wins strength, and strength breeds patriotism. Patriotism filled every corner of the country and inspired overseas Chinese as well during the National Day holidays. The song sung most was “Me and My Motherland” and the colors seen everywhere were red and yellow, those of the Chinese national flag.

A record number of moviegoers flocked to watch patriotic movie “My People, My Country,” making it the top-grossing movie during the holiday. Many burst into tears viewing those who made selfless contributions to the founding and construction of New China. Applause and chorus of the National Anthem resonated the theaters at the end of the movie.

The same film also aroused tremendous patriotic passion in overseas Chinese. Thousands of viewers packed into theaters around Europe. Waving tiny Chinese flags and singing Chinese songs, they saw the movie and felt the warmth and intimacy their dear and strong motherland brought to them. The most circulated comment among overseas Chinese was “The further away from home, the fonder the heart for mother.”

Patriotism is not a hollow and abstract idea. It is a reflection of history and respect for the martyrs and heroes who gave up their lives or shed their blood and sweat to the founding and construction of the PRC. When President Xi Jinping with other top leaders bowed three times before the statue of Mao Zedong, the founding father of the PRC, it represented deep respect toward those who initiated the world-changing revolution that led to the Chinese Miracle today. It was a clear message that China will stick to the path our forefathers chose.

Patriotism concerns the fundamental interests of a nation. No pain was greater than the humiliation when the old China was at the mercy of foreign powers. No indignation was more intense when American missiles destroyed the Chinese Embassy to Yugoslavia and when U.S. aircraft carriers provoked China in the South Sea. And we all know how desperately the U.S. has been trying to strangle China’s rise in science and technology since Trump started a trade war and suppressed Huawei and other Chinese companies.

It is a national consensus now that so long as we continue to promote patriotism and pursue unswervingly our set goals, as President Xi put it, “There is no force that can shake the position of our great nation. There is no force that can block the Chinese people’s pace of progress.”

(The author is an English tutor and freelance writer.)