Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Magandang araw! Good day!

I have just discoursed on ultranationalist hegemony in domestic China and the repercussions of this extremism on foreign policy. China’s neighbors are now ‘crying wolf’ over Chinese military intrusions into their claimed island territories, which could be just but test-casing the extent and limits of the military option in China’s counter-claims over those islets.

China doesn’t possess the necessary ‘blue water’ navy yet that can aid in sustaining its military campaigns in case of long-drawn conflicts with potential adversaries. So its neighboring countries are unduly rendering China into a global threat of sorts, by over-estimating its strengths and by ‘cry wolf’ agitations.

Ultranationalism, an extremist form of nationalism that is in kinship with Japanese militarism, nazism, and fascism, is an anachronism in the emerging global context of increasing synergy among economies, cultures, and peoples. It is a scourge of any nation and isn’t easy to take down or diminish unless that other internal political developments will make them obsolete and powerless.

If there is any political force today that can effectively diminish ultranationalism in China, it is the youth of the Chinese nation itself. The globe is experiencing today a clash of generations, as the young generation just couldn’t resonate with the antiquated world views and ideologies of their elder generations.

The youth of China are very well in touch with the peoples of the outside world, and do not in any way share the fervor and enthusiasm for hegemonism by their ultranationalist elders. It will just take one cataclysmic event to rouse the youth, and before long the young ones will be shaking down the foundations of old ideologies and powers.

The same phenomenon is responsible today for the overthrow of old nationalists in Eqypt and Tunisia. It is also shaking down many other Arab states towards an overthrow of established order and replacement by a more pluralist, democratic governance and cultural ferment.

The same youth force strives to reach out in friendship, cooperation, and mutual respect with other youths and peoples of the world, contrasted to the ultranationalists who are intoxicated with dreams of expanding territories beyond established orders through military might and destruction.

I am very positive that the youth can be relied upon to further avert a breakdown of Chinese society into a new totalitarianism of ultranationalist mold. Fact is, if the Chinese youth will just speak out more strongly today about foreign policy, I guess the more moderate leaders of China may listen.

[Philippines, 17 June 2011]

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