On Sept. 3, 12,000 officers and troops of the People’s Liberation Army marched along Chang’an Avenue, to celebrate the victory of anti-Japanese war. With over than 500 items of weaponry and about 200 aircraft on display, China showcases its strong military strength and Xi’s authority, as billions of people in China and over the world gathered in front of the TV watching.
The parade has quickly become the leading topic of discussion among Chinese people and overseas Chinese. When Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, appeared on the red carpet in the Forbidden City, text messages have quickly flooded the WeChat rooms – the most popular social media platform for overseas Chinese.
“I am quite inspired,” Jenny, one of my university classmates posted from the L.A. “Many of the Chinese Americans here are very enthusiastic and are encouraged by the amazingly strong power of China! We are extremely proud about the achievements of our motherland, and our great leader Xijinping!”
Her post quickly drew many followers:
“That is my thunder!” A follower posted. “I admire President Xi… Under his leadership, China is getting stronger and stronger. He is capable in everything from anti-corruption to the conflict in the South China Sea. He is a great man.”
Since Xi took office, he has made the fighting corruption a centrepiece of his tenure. Xi’s anti-graft campaign has become an emblematic feature of his political brand, and has enjoyed a great popularity among most ordinary Chinese people.
Xi has also stirred a strong patriotic fervor among Chinese people. His has promoted China Dream to advocate the rise of China in the post America era.
But public sentiments over the parade and Xi are mixed. Among cheers and applauds, there are scoffs and sneers.
What behind China Dream is a nation facing challenges both domestic and overseas. While China is flexing its military muscles through the massive parade, most Western country leaders largely skipped the invitation, and only countries that eager to tap into China’s resource demand have attended the parade.
In the domestic front, China is griping with internal crisis. The depth and reach of the nation’s economic slowdown has raised unsettling questions, and Tianjin explosion has rattled people’s confidence. Adding fuel to the flame was the devalued Yuan and stock market crash in the summer.
The parade comes at a critical time for Chinese authorities. It is seen as giving Xi an opportunity to dispel the hounding problems and to hide his battered credibility. It was a show designed to portray Xi and China as strong and confident. The city of Beijing had been largely closed down for the event. Factories were ordered to stop production days ago, cars kicked off the streets to ensure a blue sky backdrop.
“The parade is at the huge costs of public purse. It was a wastes human power and money!” Charles posted from France.
By above all, the rising power of an authoritarian government is not embraced by those who demand democracy and freedom. In fact, patriotic frenzy is dangerous, and was the underlying cause for German Fascism. A few weeks ago, China has secretly launched a crackdown on its human rights lawyers, leaving hundreds of those who defend religious beliefs and protect the rights of political dissents facing raids, detains and torture. The crackdown has sparked backlash from the global community.
“I won’t watch a dictator’s military display!” posted Jason from New York, which has gained quite a few supporters.
我们鼓励所有读者在我们的文章和博客上分享意见。We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. Visit the FAQ page for more information.