Angie Chiu Is Proud to be Chinese, Gets Flamed By Netizens


From NetEase:

Zhao Yazhi [Angie Chiu] Flamed For Posting Photo of Tiananmen at Night And Saying She’s Proud to be Chinese

According to media reports, on January 8th, Zhao Yazhi [Angie Chiu posted a photo on Weibo of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square at night taken from inside a car while driving by on Chang’an Street, and at the same time commented: “Every time I pass by Tiananmen, I deeply feel proud of being Chinese.” However, this moment of sincere sentiment nonetheless was met with criticism and flames by a portion of netizens. When a plain and simple feeling like patriotism becomes a cause to attack others, just what kind of mentality do these internet flamers/trolls who are so eager to “nitpick” have on an internet where public opinion and life is complicated?

The process by which public controversy is generated simply explained: At present, with the development and popularization of social networking platforms on the internet, helped by the rapid spread of Weibo, WeChat, etc., as long as those involved in an incident have some kind of characteristic that some netizens look for, such as being a celebrity or having the potential to be a conversation-starter, and with the desire to “be famous/become popular”, the words and actions of those involved in an incident will be quickly exaggerated, even misrepresented. The purpose of doing so is nothing else than to create controversy on the internet and from this controversy derive some benefit. As for whether or not this benefit can be obtained, they have the mentality of “if so, great, but if not, then let’s just have fun”. When those who take advantage of a controversy for personal gain become a community on the internet, “no petty criticism means not being news” then becomes a state of affairs, and when this state of affairs persists it becomes one of the roots of the hostile internet we have today.


Every person deeply loves their homeland/country, and we are no exception. When using a single saying to judge one’s own alma mater, the relatively classic saying is: “It’s the place we’ve cursed/criticized a million times yet do not allow others to even curse/criticize once”. This saying isn’t to say every one of us believes our country is bad, but that the we defend our homeland because we don’t want others to trample on it. We can use lawful channels to express our views on the good many problems arising from economic development, but we indeed should not deliberately manufacture this kind of artificially antagonistic subject on the internet. Love for one’s country can be left in one’s heart unspoken, but not loving one’s country should not be boundlessly magnified through the abuse of “loudspeakers” [the power of the internet] in a distortion of its [the internet’s] original intent.

Patriotism is a complex, that requires no reason; patriotism is an emotional sense of belonging, that does not need to be concealed. When an ordinary person is patriotic, we don’t see a mass of criticism on the internet, but when a celebrity makes a very normal expression of a sentiment, it instead incites the enormous interest of “flamers/nitpickers/petty critics”. From this we can see that each and every internet topic-maker is deeply versed in the art of internet dissemination, where celebrities, patriotism, etc. in an artificially manufactured context become a type of consumer good. When it comes to consumer goods then, the tastes of customers naturally are different, and differences have become reasons for people on the internet to duel/fight. With such a vicious cycle, a hostile atmosphere adds up on the internet, with the “picking up the bowl to eat meat, and putting down the chopsticks to yell at one’s mother” phenomenon being an example.

[Note: The last phrase refers to the post-Reform and Opening Up phenomenon of the Chinese populace enjoying better living standards than ever before but still complaining about the government. It refers to being constantly unsatisfied and not recognizing progress.]


Some have said that the internet is the biggest variable, because the capabilities of the internet is huge. Actually, the internet is just like a large household, and every member of the household’s words, actions, and bearing has a huge influence/effect on the entire household. Given that the internet is a household, then there should be a set of household rules, that regulates those who exploit controversy for personal gain, that prevents “flamers/trolls” from using celebrities to play tricks, from using patriotism as a pretext for attacking others, and only in this way can the internet be made better.

We dislike other people criticizing the things we like and love, because these things ultimately represent a comfort in our hearts. It’s true for our schools, and it’s true for our country. When other people express their patriotic sentiment, please do not maliciously attack them, because if we allow the attacking to go on, the next to be attacked may be ourselves.

Comments from NetEase:

我对毛澤東的爱永远不变 [网易上海市网友]:

Let’s take a count, those who support Zhao Yazhi, click [upvote].

[Note: The ratio of upvotes to downvotes on this comment is 3:2. The username of this netizen is “My love for Mao Zedong will never change”.]

供着贪官小三财产禁止观看 [网易上海市网友]:

Auntie Zhao Yazhi; [when you’re going through] menopause, you should avoid blindly getting involved [in these things].

[Note: The ratio of upvotes to downvotes on this comment is 4:1.]

danxin65818 [网易河南省信阳市网友]:

A restaurant’s food isn’t good just because the owners or their relatives say so!

卸下金刀再饮酒 [网易湖北省网友]:

Whose country?

另一种真相 [网易上海市网友]:

First, look at her Weibo, those criticizing/flaming her are the minority, and those upvoting her are the majority. This actually would have been unimaginable two to three years ago, which shows that the domain of flamers/trolls is getting smaller and smaller, and there are more and more rational and objective people.
Second, some people don’t like this country, and it is your freedom [to do so]. But when you also don’t allow other people to like it, then that is you being narrow-minded, and it is these kinds of people who are the remaining evil [of the past]. If we want to talk about the horrid aspects of this country, then there being too many flamers/trolls [complainers, critics] would definitely be among them.
Third, liking to be partisan [biased, prejudiced, one-sided] is an even bigger problem. Of course, it needn’t be said, I’ve always liked the films and television serials that Zhao Yazhi has acted in.
So, I strongly support Madame White Snake.
And I only have one thing to say to certain flamers:
“Don’t treat your ignorance as personality/individuality”!

[Note: Over 45% of the votes on this comment are downvotes.]

群424042798 [网易广东省手机网友]:

Fickle and ruthless, impatiently and pettily criticizing, interpreting out of context, demagoguery, exaggerations and escalations. “Picking up the bowl to eat meat, and putting down the chopsticks to yell at one’s mother.”

newmeibi [网易上海市浦东新区网友]:

Why don’t you research why she was yelled at/criticized?
Criticism itself is a neutral word, and what it specifically shows depends on looking at who is criticizing and who is being criticizing.

linliang03 [网易北京市朝阳区网友]:

It was never possible for humanity to be unanimous in opinion. A large number of people having the same opinion, now that is abnormal.

撸大和尚 [网易广东省东莞市网友]:

I believe those Japanese devils who defend the Yasukuni Shrine also criticize the Japanese people who advocate for reflecting on World War II in the same way.

NMNE [网易贵州省贵阳市网友]:

To summarize in a phrase: Everyone is having a hard time, so they are critical of everything.

If our translations of Chinese netizens reacting to Chinese editorials reacting to internet phenomena reacting to sentiments of Chinese patriotism and identity is of value to you, please become a patron, so we can continue translating!

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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