80% of students can ‘do anything’ for China, while near half wish they were born elsewhere
From China Youth Daily
90.2% of Chinese high school students say they are proud to be Chinese; 80.7% reply, “If my country (China) is in crisis, I am willing to do anything for my country.” China, among all four countries that participated in this poll, has the highest percentage of nationalists, a recent survey found.
79.4% of them believe that the development of the country is vitally important to the individual good, that the progress of the country aids individual success, and that a powerful country means happiness of individuals.
The international comparison survey, jointly published by the China Youth and Children’s Research Center, the Japan Youth Research Institute, and the Korea Institute for Youth Development on April 11, polled over 8,000 students from China, South Korea, Japan and the U.S. in 2011.
However, paradoxically, 48.7% of Chinese high school students say they wish that they were born in a country other than their motherland if they could choose their country of birth. Only Korea among the other three countries has a higher percentage of respondents than China who give this answer.
Nevertheless, the proportion of students who have second thoughts about their country is still lower than the nation’s average, which stood at 64% in 2006, even before social tensions rose visibly in the past five years as the result of wider wealth gap, soaring inflation and consumer prices, and thriving social media that have unveiled previously little known social problems.
In September 2006, Chinese internet portal NetEase conducted an online poll that asked “If you had a second life, would you wish to be born a Chinese again?” The survey managed to garner responses from 10,234 net users within in a week before it was removed by the internet police. Tang Yan, the chief editor of NetEase’s news department, and Liu Xianghui, the editor of the editorial section, were sacked afterwards.
It also shows that Chinese students have a strong desire for cultural exchange with peers from other countries and studying abroad. 88.2% of Chinese students queried express an interest in foreign lifestyle, the highest among all four countries.
At the same time, Chinese students seem to lack an adequate understanding of foreign countries and actual experience of living abroad. China has the lowest percentage of high school students who have been abroad, at 26.5%. By comparison, Japan has the highest proportion of students that have been abroad, at 58.1%.
Selected comments from Sina Weibo
慧慧姓张：When I was in high school, I was this loyal too! Then, unfortunately~~I went abroad! After I returned, I have already had no so-called sense of happiness! My loyalty has suffered a great loss too. “I was once so in love with you, but what else can you give me other than pain and harm?”
幽羽珊：When I was in high school, I loved my country very much too.
合肥老母鸡：I guess (the percentage) would be even higher if the poll was conducted in Nazi Germany.
临风Kma：It is high school students they are talking about. If a high school student is not politically as correct as this, how is he going to pass the political science exam in gao kao? How can a high school student, enclosed in a confined living space and public sphere, acquire a real world view? This is not surprising.
马玲岁月神偷：That’s because they haven’t really entered the society yet. By the time they have seen the dark side of the society and the corruptness of government officials, they will not think this way.
安分守己好公民：The state media in the heavenly kingdom is never trustworthy…
4444phy：Because we have already drunk Mengniu (contaminated milk) and taken Xiuzheng (medicine capsules made from waste leather) for our country, there is practically nothing we cannot do for the country!!!
veryape：Well, high school students. Why not survey them a few years after they get a job and see what the result is.
Gowide88：Chinese people are good at lying without thinking. This is determined by the nature of our education.
勿愤勿弃一世：Should have surveyed primary school students.
冲破炼狱：Risking your life for a country that does not care if its people are alive or dead? Will you? I highly doubt the truthfulness of this report.
地球村的微博：This sounds as true as the Happiness Index issued by North Korea does.
小牛的PP：Even though I did think so as well back then, and despite the fact that I strongly take issue with this country and am very unsatisfied with this government, but when faced with outside forces, I will still risk everything for her, and not for a certain party.
Je逦依：Sigh, this has something to do with the education… The U.S., Japan and Korea are just not going to spoon-feed “politics” at the stage of compulsory education.