DavidD wrote:one thing China has gotten it right since the Mao days is to not give a crap about international opinion, only pragmatic calculations of risks and rewards. Surely they don't always get it right, but they'll do what they believe needs to be done, western media be damned.
I don't think its that simple. I believe the Chinese do care a great deal about what the West and others say - but they are looking for admiration and respect.
Both views are right in a way.
CCP has 2 views just like pakis about opinions - one for internal and one for external consumption-
Internal consumption-- which the CCP views and monitors with great alacrity. It is very sensitive.
1) The CCP is paranoid about internal security. It has got rattled during the tiannenmen riots in 1989 when it killed 1000s of young chinese people. It purged officials sympathetic to the protests.The fervour of communist ideology has been lost on the chinese masses. Since then it has started a policy of indoctrination of chinese with nationalism/patriotism. It has established propagandu cells for it. . Hence this a new ruse to get the masses rally on the CCP thru nationalism. CCP + protector of nationalism, defender of china etc.Vitriol is poured on certain issues- US, Japan,Taiwan and territorial issues. Anything small spoken by anyone on these is magnified and manifold by party propagandus and circulated in internet and print media. With a ready young indoctrinated chinese in universities on nationalism, it takes its own turn thru cell phones/emails/print media etc.
In chinese universities many students are monitored and their emails cannot be anonymous, has to be in their names. They cannot be critical of CCP or communism. Hence the students take to nationalism, also with rising economic prosperity it is a natural offshot with propagandu.
many a times the protestations on foreign embassies like japan US or others are a just a show of frustration by the chinese as they cannot do on their ruling CCP. This is known to foreign govts, hence relatively quiet action from them.
2) CCP are wary of international opinion particularly western ones(read USA). it is economically interwined with it. it kisses and quarrels with it. Many a time it manufactures internal protestations to take a tough stand with negotiations. It wants to be like uncle , has respect and understands its power
However internal security is paramount and it takes precedence over external threats. Reason being CCP is ruling for a long time. Once it loses power there is no second chance as in democracy.
Like pakis it is riding a tiger of a different kind-- on a potent mix of dangerous nationalism bordering on ethnicity, economic growth, stifling media/internet/propagandu and avoiding mass unrest- trying to diffuse it by small protests at local levels.