China believes that their patriotism is insufficient. A recent bill seeks to alter that

Junior high school students from Fuzhou, southeast China, gathered in a country park on a crisp December day to examine the ideas of Chinese President Xi Jinping. They sought enlightenment by following Xi’s footsteps on his return to the neighborhood in 2021, unfurling a red banner that described their outing as a “walking classroom of politics and ideology,” according to a local news site with ties to the state. In Tianjin, a seaside city in northern China, a different group of youths visited a fort to consider “the tragic history of Chinese people’s resistance to foreign aggression.

 

The travels are a component of China’s recent surge in nationalist education, which is now enshrined in a comprehensive new law that went into force earlier this week. The “Patriotic Education Law,” which aims to “enhance national unity,” requires everyone, from the youngest children to professionals and workers in all fields, to incorporate love for the nation and the ruling Chinese Communist Party into their job and studies. A Chinese propaganda official stated during a news briefing last month that it is intended to assist China in “unifying thoughts” and “gathering the strength of the people for the great cause of building a strong country and national rejuvenation.

 

In China, where propaganda and patriotism have long been ingrained in business culture, education, and daily life since the People’s Republic was established about 75 years ago, the movement for love of one’s nation and the Communist Party is by no means new. Furthermore, Chinese nationalism has flourished under Xi, the nation’s most autocratic leader in decades. Amid escalating tensions with the West, Xi has vowed to “rejuvenate” China to a position of power and importance globally and has supported a confrontational, “wolf warrior” diplomacy. Social media has given rise to ultra-nationalism, where anyone thought to be disparaging China faces severe criticism and boycotts, including comedians, live streamers, and international companies.

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