Why do some overseas Chinese desire to see China collapse and fail?

I’m a first generation Chinese immigrant. I was born in China but grew up and educated in the West (Canada).

I don’t want to see China collapse and fail at all, my main concern is the actions that the CCP has taken in recent years has resulted in quite concerning consequences.

The Hu Jintao years were great for China, that was when China became a major world power, the 2008 Beijing Olympics really being the point where I could say wow China has come a long way and now they are on the world stage, caught up to Japan and Korea technology wise, and catching up to the US GDP wise. At that time Chinese were still quite humble about themselves and saw a desire to improve their country.

But after Hu stepped down and Xi Jinping took over, I saw a much more protectionist shift.

Websites blocked in mainland China – Wikipedia

Check out this list of websites blocked in China, and take note of how many of those websites were blocked post 2011 when Xi Jinping came to power. That’s most of the list. Now if you go to China as a tourist, 95% of your apps and websites will probably be blocked. You also won’t be able to use your credit cards anymore, since China is now largely cashless. It’s basically a big F U to foreigners when you go to China.

I myself saw a huge difference when I went to Shanghai first in 2011, then last year in 2018. Back then, I could still access my websites and apps, there was more friendliness to foreigners, and I didn’t sense as much materialism or arrogance back then. Then last year I went back, and although technology has improved a lot – the people have gotten more unfriendly, being a foreigner made you a target, everyone was very materialistic and judged you if you didn’t support China etc

Since Xi took over and in recent years, China has gotten increasingly more aggressive when it comes to blocking or censoring foreign websites and apps. They’ve gotten much more politically sensitive and eager to ban or boycott foreign companies or persons (notably Korea, Japan, Canada and US all suffered some kind of ban or boycott in recent years).

I can see the motivation for Xi Jinping’s approach – which is to protect the Chinese industry and people – but I also think its unhealthy for the people. Because of the degree of censorship, anti-Western bias played by Chinese media and political sensitivity in China these days, Chinese have become more and more nationalistic, less humble and notably, anti-Western, especially compared to the Hu Jintao era.

Now all it takes to get yourself banned from China is to is to be on good terms with the US (Korea, Canada), say something about Hong Kong (NBA, various celebrities, etc) or criticize their human rights abuses (Soccer club Arsenal, South Park etc) or mentioning Winnie the Pooh, Tibet, Taiwan etc any number of things will get yourself banned and criticized on Chinese social media.

Take a look on Quora for example, or other social media (Chinese have to use VPN to access Western social media) and all I see are anti-Western answers and comments saying how Western democracy has failed, Americans are arrogant, theres a anti-Chinese conspiracy going on, Westerners want China to fail (i.e this very question is an example of that), Westerners are all brainwashed to hate China, Americans are hypocrites etc that’s all I see.

I don’t think its healthy to have this anti-Western, pro-Chinese sentiment going on at this degree, and that’s led to Chinese losing their humility and lose sight of what made them improve from the 1990s in the first place which is the ability to self-criticize, learn from their mistakes and improve their country.

What a marked difference from the Hu Jintao era. Now it’s all about ‘China is the best country in the world, we have the best economy, we are allowed to bully other countries because America does it, and anyone who criticizes us must have been brainwashed to do so’

This is a rather concerning development, and its a result of the protectionist / nationalistic push that China has taken in the Xi Jinping years. So it’s not that I have any desire to see China fail, I just disagree with the current Xi Jinping government and most Chinese netizens because I think that their actions in recent years is what leads to a lot of deserved criticism from foreigners and foreign countries, and they don’t seem to acknowledge it or want to change/improve that.

I supported China in the Hu Jintao era. Now, I don’t want to anymore – a lot of China’s uber nationalism, arrogance, hypocritical actions, banning/boycotting and economic bullying of other countries just makes me think of China as the Eastern version of the USA, and that just makes me ashamed to associate myself with Chinese in recent years. I thought China/Chinese were better than that and wanted to be better than USA/Americans, not become like them.

Lest Chinese forget, protectionism and arrogance is exactly what caused the Qing Dynasty to fail…


Is the CCP encouraging the rise of Chinese nationalism?

I’m not sure if the CCP actually encourages extreme nationalism, but it certainly isn’t doing much to prevent it.

Since the opening of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 I feel that Chinese have gotten considerably more prideful and dare I say, arrogant since then.

I can only speak from personal anecdotes. I’ve seen Chinese people and Western people living in China post the most biased answers on Quora, upvoted 1k+ times by other Chinese nationalists. This is only the segment of Chinese who are either abroad or using a VPN (since Quora is banned in China), I can only imagine what it’s like on Zhihu.

You can do a search on Quora: notice that all the answers regarding China written by Chinese that have massive amount of upvotes have something the lines of:

[shows pictures of China’s high speed rail system and skyscrapers] -> China’s the best country! we have the best technology! see, there’s no poverty here at all!

[shows pictures of Chinese food] -> China has the best food! way better than Japan/Korea! etc

One poster even went out his way to search for the ugliest pictures of Korean/Japanese school uniforms he could find, and the best pictures of Chinese uniforms he could find, to show that Chinese school uniforms were actually ‘prettier’ (he failed, they still looked worse).

And from personal experiences, it seems that Chinese almost never miss a chance to praise their technology, development, food, women, etc especially at the expense of either America, Korea, Japan or Taiwan. Whenever one of those countries have an issue, Chinese jump on it.

Korea president goes to jail? we never have that problem! Our country is perfectly stable! Taiwan and Japan economy declining? Well that’s because our country is better! USA having issues with Trump? Well we don’t elect our leaders so we don’t have that problem!

And they rationalize the CCP’s blanket decisions by thinking in the extreme. Ban on sex/violence/too much video game playing? It’s so that we don’t have a country of sex-addicted criminals! Censorship on social media? its for a more stable country just look at the chaos in the US! Everything is justified by thinking in the extreme. It’s actually not unlike how in the US, Republicans justify their expensive healthcare by assuming that anything socialist will lead the country to become like Venezuela or that any firearm restrictions will turn the whole country into a crime riddled dystopia like Chicago.

Also don’t forget: Korea and Japan stole everything from China, and they are US puppets. Chinese never miss a chance to put down other countries, even if those countries never provoked them, even if they never talked to any Korean/Japanese before and personally I’ve never met a Korean/Japanese person who insulted any Chinese person, but Chinese cannot pass up a chance to assert their superiority.

Of course Chinese also say ‘but Americans brag about themselves all the time too and are nationalistic too, so we can be like that too’. Hmm. I thought Chinese didn’t want to be like America. Oh wait.. biggest income inequality gap in Asia, likes to be bullies to their neighbors, almost no traditional Chinese clothing in favor of casual Western style clothing, everyone for themself culture, thinks that their political system and culture is the best.. China is almost exactly like America.

Now where I have a problem is that Chinese people can’t seem to take any kind of criticism of their country well, they perceive everything as an insult, and are way too sensitive to any kind of feedback. I’ve had so many Chinese collapse my answers and comments on Quora, for no other reason other than because it was ‘anti-Chinese’ (really? my parents are Chinese FYI, since when is using empirical evidence + trying to be unbiased “anti-Chinese”?)

Tong Zou’s answer to What do you dislike the most about Chinese people? I’ve already gone over this here.

So look it’s ok to have pride in your country and achievements, but I just wish Chinese would tone it down a little. Arrogance was the main reason why they had that ‘century of humiliation’ last time. If this continues, it seems like it will happen again.

It’s ok to be humble about your achievements. But I’ve never met a Korean/Japanese/Taiwanese that boasts about their country and achievements as often or as voraciously as mainland Chinese people do. And although Chinese like to say Americans are arrogant and nationalistic, you will notice a lot of Americans don’t like their country these days either. The USA is split between half of which support the current President and half of which hate his guts. On the other hand, I think something like 80–85% of Chinese people support Xi Jinping and the CCP. quite a big difference from the 35% that support Trump in the USA.

If I had to guess, I think the extreme nationalism is not solely because of CCP propaganda and education but an overcompensation for the century of humiliation and the Mao-era where China was far behind other powers. Now that China has caught up – Chinese people have been so caught up in the rapid progress of their country that they express their patriotism (i.e extreme patriotism is nationalism) in extreme ways, and are very defensive about it.

-my 2 cents from interacting with Chinese-Canadians, Chinese-Americans, mainland Chinese, Hong Kong Chinese, Taiwanese, Koreans, Japanese, Americans etc  btw keep this answer saved. It might be collapsed by Quora soon as well. Quora is surprisingly pro-Chinese, which you will notice in which answers gets upvoted the most and which answers get collapsed the most.