Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 8, No. 4, April 2020
By Conal Boyce, Century College
It’s just the evil Chinese Communist Party (CCP), right? Not so fast. It has been said that we Americans ‘deserve the government we have’; but could it be that the Chinese, similarly, deserve the government they have? Let’s have a look at a phenomenon that I call the ‘We Chinese’ syndrome. It speaks of a psychic illness that runs far deeper than any one regime, such as that of the Pooh-Bear.
In the Chinese media and in Weibo tweets, the phrase ‘Wǒmen Zhōngguórén 我们中国人’ (“We Chinese”) occurs often. By convention, it is translated blandly as ‘[the] Chinese [people]’ but what it actually says is this: ‘We Chinese’. Lest you imagine that ‘We Chinese’ is a term focused on things primarily cultural rather than racial or jingoistic, please consider this closely related phrase that occurs with equal frequency:
Zhōngguó tóngbāo 中国同胞
This latter phrase is regularly translated as ‘overseas Chinese’, but what it really says is the following:
“[Those of us] Chinese [from the] same womb
[who are temporarily abroad, not on the mainland of the Chinese motherland, hence ‘overseas’].” Continue reading