China Blog Blotter – Issue #1: Humility Spotted on the Rise of China

“The Middle Kingdom,” as China refers to itself, does not hesitate to smile inwardly at its continuous rise. For many, this rise is a symbol of its own manifest destiny to return to it’s former glory and be deserving of its proper title of “Middle Kingdom.” Although the world is turning its head toward China, the Chinese are still unsure about exactly where they are in this rise. Chinese microbloggers are not easily deceived and refuse to fall to hubris and pride. Many continue to remind each other that China cannot dominate like it used to hundreds of years ago.

Without fail, the Chinese government feeds out daily reports on the economic advancements of the country. It repeatedly reminds its citizens of how great a job the communist government is doing in providing people with higher standards of living.  Of course, the Chinese are acknowledging the growing value of the Renminbi, China’s currency, in the international market.  These reports excite many Chinese citizens because they allude to the possibility of raising China to the dominant position that it used to occupy. Such excitement certainly feels nice, but microbloggers are skeptical of these reports.
Humility is a Confucian value, one that the Chinese culture holds close to its heart, even when it comes to economics and politics. This generation of microbloggers is not a bunch of reckless young radicals typing away behind the computer screen. The bloggers are actually embodying the traditional Confucian culture that values humility. In this case, microbloggers are comparing the Renminbi to the British Pound and the US Dollar, juxtaposing their histories to explain why China is far from becoming a sole dominant power.
For China, there are some prerequisites that must be met before it develops monetary dominance. Not only does dominance require economic growth, but also appropriate historical conditions. Microbloggers suggest three prerequisites: one, China must become the only economic power; two, China must become the world’s most innovative country; and three, international monetary systems must reform to appropriate conditions. All of these three pillars, microbloggers state, will not be realistically achieved within the next century. In other words, China’s return on being “The Middle Kingdom” again as many Chinese would like it to, is not going to happen soon.  Microbloggers are reminding the Chinese public to slow down, be cautious in their aspirations and plan strategically.

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