CCTV Asks ‘What is a Patriot?’ Student Answers ‘A Missile’

Chinese university student interviewed by CCTV about patriotism.

Chinese university student interviewed by CCTV about patriotism.

As part of a National Day segment celebrating the 64th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, China’s state-broadcaster CCTV conducted a series of interviews asking ordinary people on the street questions such as “what does it mean to be a patriot?” or “what does it mean to be unpatriotic?” One particular university student, when asked what he thinks of when he hears the word “patriot”, answered the American Patriot missile. Below is the video clip and transcript of the interview…

On Phoenix Online:

CCTV Asks “Who Do You Think Of When You Think Of Patriot”, Student Answers “Missile”

Reporter: Hello students, we are from CCTV and we are doing a special segment for National Day, can we ask you a few questions?

College Student: Okay.

Reporter: When it comes to patriotism, what song lyrics or saying comes to mind?

College student: I feel I’m not the right person to ask this question, I can’t really think of anything.

Reporter: Then when it comes to patriot, who do you think of?

College Student: Patriot, I think of the missile.

Reporter: Missile?

College student: Yes.

Reporter: Then what about patriotic people?

College student: Patriotic people, I don’t recall any.

Reporter: Then what do you consider patriotic behavior?

College Student: What behavior? Just live one’s own life well, thank you.

Reporter: Then what kind of behavior is not patriotic? In your opinion.

College student: This I’ve never thought about.

An American Patriot missle launch.

Comments on iFeng:


Are you still Chinese?! You’ve brought shame on millions of university students! A disgrace to your university, go die, fuck!


The truth.


This college students is quite clever, he escaped from the reporter’s trap, I’m genuinely impressed.


In this country, the most unpatriotic are the government officials.


CCTV shouldn’t ask: What do you think of when you think of patriotism? They should ask: What should one do as a patriot?


This program was well done, it realistically reflected the voices of today’s college students.


Down-to-earth answer, I commend it.


What I thought of was the same thing.


It can finally be said they interviewed a normal person, otherwise I’d think CCTV conducts its interviews in mental institutions.

The full 15-minute segment with responses from other interviewees can be viewed on Sina.

READ  Beijing University Student Embarrasses Japanese Reporter

Written by Joe

Joe is a documentary producer and journalist based in Shanghai

  • Cauffiel

    When I saw the headline, I thought it was going to be a little kid.

  • Peter Wilton Cushing

    Don’t want to hear about male students, only the female students.

    • MrC

      well thats easy, they only Patriotic to Iphone, handbags and shoes.

      • Peter Wilton Cushing

        True, but I just don’t like teaching boys, most just want to say hallloooooo. Male Foreign Teachers should only have to teach asian girls in Asia, nothing more, nothing less.

        • guest

          You’re obviously a loser who can’t girls in his country so he wants to go to an Asian country to pay for cheap sex. People like you give male Western tourists a bad name

          • MrC


          • MrC

            its always free..

          • Peter Wilton Cushing

            The old line….no, no, again FEMALE students should only be for MALE FT’s. Western women are like frumpy grumblers who have no business being in Asia, let alone teaching, but if they have to, they should teach the male students, they bore me to tears anyway. Pretty asian female students should only be for single male FTs, and those FTs should be free to date them AFTER the point of fact, that they are no longer being taught by them. Not a shirt lifter or pederast, so not a sex tourist. And take a hike body!!!!!!

  • 剑胆琴心

    haha,have my style…
    once i went to a company talked to the boss first with other two students.then went to next room with a girl student,that guy asked me what i saw besides boss in the first room.i said each side one girl,two girls.that guy was very speechless.then he asked me which season do u think our boss like best?i said i do not no,maybe the fall,because i like fall most,spring is windy,summer too hot,winter too cold.he refused to talk me any more.
    when i left their office,i could feel their anger at my back. hahaha!

    • David

      It is better to have their anger at your back then at your front.

    • Middle_Kingdum

      He tried to trick you with the old “What season do you like best?” question, eh? I guess you showed him! My, how clever!

    • Peter Pottinger

      are u a real ugly girl or a ugly guy with the avatar of an ugly girl?

    • Barack Obama


  • Cauffiel

    Please, nobody respond to any of 剑胆琴心 messages any longer.

    • xuedi

      sure thing, don’t feed the trolls ;-)

  • xuedi

    awesome answers, he clearly was smart enough to avoid the questions without revealing much of his private opinion … well done

    • samuk1000

      For Chinese, it is smart to withhold your own opinion. Because own opinions are baaaaad. Therefore you can’t have a straight conversation with a Chinese person. What is the solution to this difficulty? I’ve not met anyone of any persuasion from any country remotely behaving in this way. It is bizarre. It is not emotional intelligence, it is simply hiding the truth of who you are from others, due to fear of reprisals from some capricious master (the government). It makes Chinese stand out in a very odd way outside of China, even though Chinese people are generally, extremely smart, very polite and very proper. Why can’t this be his true, authentic self though, why does it have to be ‘smoke and mirrors’? Is it fear-based? Or is it of a superior thinking?

  • 剑胆琴心

    and someone even want to find out this guy to give him some lesson!
    some people are too terrible.
    they insult this guy a lot online already…

    • chichachachi

      Those are the morons who – if this were happening in real life – would find their words met by a room full of embarrassed silence. Most people think he was brilliant and deep. That’s why an article like this even gets popular. If it were mere stupidity, nobody would care and the words would never see limelight.

  • Cauffiel

    Resist the urge to answer 剑胆琴心 . Don’t let her suck you in.

    • mr.wiener


      • Cauffiel


        • David

          She is a lot of things (that I will not mention here) but she is not a troll. She gives her honest answers in her best English and does not back down from them no matter what anybody else says. Simply not being civil or agreeable does not make her a troll. I have been reading ChinaSmack for almost a year and even when I read the old articles she has posted on many of them.

          • Cauffiel

            Shut the fuck up.

      • Middle_Kingdum

        Ha ha!

  • 二奶头发

    It would have been better if the conversation went like this:

    Reporter: Hello students, we are from CCTV and we are doing a special segment for National Day, can we ask you a few questions?

    College Student: No.

    (then he rides off on his bike)

    • Germandude

      Problem is that in that case, CCTV would simply not show his “interview”. I think he did good.

  • mr.wiener

    I like this guy!

    • Stu


      • Stu

        Damn, this is addictive…

        • mr.wiener

          You must really want that pinup.

          • samuk1000


    • chosan

      Turkey decides to buy 4B USD worth of Chinese HQ-9 missile systems

      because HQ-9#$%$ all targets while Patriot and S-300 miss some in field tests.

      Google translate

      Turkish Defense Minister Yilmaz Thursday (26 May) announced that China
      Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation, has won the Turkish
      manufacturing range air defense and missile defense system tender.

      To participate in this project worth about $ 4 billion bid for air
      defense missile systems: American Patriot, Russian S-400, France, Italy,
      the European air defense missile’s Samp-T, as well as China’s FD-2000
      (Sina Editor’s note: the Chinese HQ-9 air defense missile export

      The reason why the red flag 9 wins, mainly in the tender scene shooting
      live ammunition in all hit, while the Patriots and S300 are repeatedly
      off-target, fa

      • Barack Obama

        hell yeah go china

      • Paul Schoe

        Interesting, thanks for the post

    • Germandude

      Came too early

    • 打到资本主义!

  • danzwl

    But I know what he really means.

    • lonetrey / Dan

      Exactly! hahaha that was actually the first thing that came to my mind when I read the title!

  • Probotector

    When first saw the headline, I thought it meant “patriotism is (China) shooting a missile at someone”. Kinda glad I was wrong.

  • Perseus Wong

    Great answer! “To Live One’s Own Life Well” …To take responsibility for one self without becoming a burden or an evil to society. That IS the highest form of patriotism.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Well it’s not like he’s wrong.

    • Wong Name

      He might be Wong though

  • Is it just me or do most Chinese dudes seem to look like that…..?

  • radbab

    …and in a way he was very patriotic by setting an example and not falling for the crude propaganda machine that is CCTV.

    • MrC

      unlike the expert BBC propaganda machine.

  • maybeabanana

    There wasn’t much ticking going on in that “college student” brain. I’ll give the benefit of the doubt of being shocked or surprised or scared by being caught on the road. But the responses really tells you how much thought is running in the avg. sheep brain.

    • MelGibson

      Mel Gibson?

  • Thomas Jefferson

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriotism.” Thomas Jefferson.

    “Patriotism is a virtue of the vicious,” according to Oscar Wilde.

    • David

      Considering you have it in quotation marks this is a bit misleading. You left out two important words at the end, “. . .with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

    • lasolitaria

      WTF? Patriotism can’t bleed.

  • loki

    This student’s response shows what the problem with Chinese people in general. Self centered, only caring about yourself. It “could” explain a large portion of the behavior we see in modern China today. Pissing in the streets, spitting, litter, suing people who help others, not helping others, etc etc etc.. only living ones own life without regard for others. I could be wrong but if everyone had the same idea (or most of the population) would that start to cause the problems we have now in this (China) country?

    Just me thinking out loud…. no offense meant.

    • Thomas Jefferson

      Well Said loki
      Cos of the problem is almost 3 Generation of “mainland Chinese” have lost the moral thinking.

      if some of them follow the Sun Yat-se, 國父 孫中山 先生

      Three Principles of the People. These Principles included the principle
      of nationalism (minzu, 民族), of democracy (minquan, 民權), and of welfare
      (minsheng, 民生)

      • schulz

        Nationalism(minzu)is about against the “manzhouren” The Han Chinese people slaughtered and expoilted by “Man” people are too many too count. “Man” people had slaved Chinese for more than 200 years(1644—1911) .Mr sun is the hero of “Han” Chinese! But today many Han Chinese do not have even a little bit nationalism.Under the propaganda of “56 ethnic groups” , many Han Chinese lost the confidence and the wish to face their own race. Instead, some of them just keep looking down upon their own kind and refuse to face the miserable history. This is just so pathetic.

      • jixiang

        I don’t like the first principle, 民族。Apart from that, I doubt the old morality pre-1949 was as good as you Taiwanese would like us to believe…

    • bprichard

      Nope, disagree. Patriotism is a concept to get dumb people to fight for a government’s bullshit ideas. Be a good person. Don’t be a patriot.

      • Dax

        That’s nationalism, not patriotism. “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.”

    • jixiang

      I am pretty sure that student doesn’t spit, litter or not help others. He is the best kind of mainland chinese. An intelligent young man, who doesn’t just spout mindless propaganda when asked a question by CCTV.

      Patriotism is rubbish!

  • MrC

    I always thought a “Patriot” was an American only thing.(you know die for your country and all that sht)

    Nowhere else gives a fuck.

    • MrC

      Patriot Google search. missile top .not a yank to be seen.

      • Cauffiel

        And Tom Clancy. ;-)

    • David

      I served in the U.S. military and I have a very good opinion of my country but I do not think we are the only people willing to fight and die for the principles that make our country what it is. Despite what Owen said, I think ,most people believe “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” It is good and right to die for your country. Of course as Patton said, in war, it is better to make the other poor bastard die for his country.

      • MrC

        Im waiting for non Americans to pipe in on this..

        • Probotector

          I gave a shit when I was with the RAF in Afghanistan.

          • MrC

            I would also have a shit if was stuck in Afghanistan.

          • Probotector

            Um… Good one?! Was that even a serious reply?

          • MrC

            you know it wasn’t!

      • Germandude

        So, help me out here. Did any American, German, British, Japanese, Italian or a soldier from any of the other involved nations die for their country in Iraq and Afghanistan?

        I am proud to state that I successfully dodged being drafted by the German army at the age. I am not dumb enough to risk my ass for some corrupt governments that get me involved in wars or “freedom operations” for corporations that decided that people in certain areas of the world need help. Besides that, with only half of the money spend on military being invested into education and support in “troublesome” countries, the world would be a better place.

        And I don’t have a general problem with the military, mind you. An army is needed for protection of your own land and for services in natural catastrophes like earthquakes and floodings. Running around in Afghanistan or Iraq?

        “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” is a great example of how the rich send the poor and/or uneducated to die. All that propaganda shit of honoring soldiers that lost their lives or legs in a war is just a retarded way of mind-washing the masses. Never heard of any soldier actually being happy to die for his country. At least afterwards…

        • 白色纯棉小裤裤

          I totally agree with you except for the part “American, German, British, Japanese, Italian or a soldier from any of the other involved nations die for their country in Iraq and Afghanistan”

          They are not dying for their country, they are paid to play shooting games at the cost of human lives of other countries.

          “The ratio of deaths to person-years lived, .00392 or 3.92 per 1000, is the death rate of military personnel in Iraq. Thus, the chance of death is approximately one in 255 per year. How does this death rate compare to those in other populations? One obvious comparison is to the civilian population of the United States, a standard with which many are familiar. The death rate of the civilian population of the United States in 2003 was 8.42 per 1000 (National Center for Health Statistics, 2006a). Thus, the annual risk of death for a member of the military in Iraq is less than half of that for a randomly-chosen American citizen.”

          • Germandude

            Do you have any number like these for the population in Afghanistan?
            Like the death rate of the civilian population of Afghanistan prior to the invasion and afterwards?

            I don’t give a shit if the death ratio of soldiers in Afghanistan is lower than back home. It should be ZERO, as in: “Don’t get the fuck in there in the first place”.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            The number will not be zero even back at home, they will still die from accident, sickness and crime. Being deployed does not increase their likehood of getting killed.

          • Germandude

            I meant: ZERO US soldiers died in Afghanistan, because they haven’t been deployed there.
            I understand what you are trying to say, don’t worry.

          • Probotector

            If you don’t like the US military, you should tell them to get out of Germany.

          • Germandude

            I am afraid nobody would listen to me. And there are reasons why US military is still in Germany and won’t be leaving/forced to leave any time soon.

          • Probotector

            I’m not sure what those reasons are, nor the point of the continued American presence there is, but my friend said just now in fact that “America never gives up its bases”. So perhaps it’s arrogance.

          • Germandude

            Germany is very interesting for the US military as a base in Europe because it is basically located at the heart of Europe. Right in the middle of it.
            During the cold war, allied generals expected a Russian attack in the Rhein-Main area (in the center of Germany). That’s why military bases were all over Germany in the past. Now, with wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, most injured soldiers are sent to hospitals in Germany (public and military hospitals), because transporting an injured soldier from Iraq/Afghanistan to the US would take too long. Same goes for any involvement in Africa.
            Germany benefits of course as well. The US military itself is not paying for the bases at all. But around those bases, economy is great because all those US soldiers want to be entertained etc. You can imagine that the bases are not right in any major economical area and for the local population, US bases mean good business.

            The reason why I want them out though is that 1st, they make us an allied out of terrorists’ eyes, no matter if we officially got involved in a war (Iraq we didn’t, Afghanistan we did) and 2nd, because I feel that as long as there are US troops in Germany, our government will on the one hand bend over and on the other hand avoid any responsibilities. As in “Let the Americans handle that, none of our business”.

          • Cauffiel

            The demographics of the military and civilian populations are completely different. Military does not include sick or elderly people. The two populations can’t be directly compared.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            Yeah you are right. But being a young black male in Philadelphia is still more dangerous than being a soldier in Iraq.

            The comparison is imperfect because a much higher fraction of the American population is elderly and at high risk of death from age-related diseases. A more suitable
            comparison group is young men. The death rate for US men aged 18-39 in 2003 is 1.53 per 1000, about 40% of that of soldiers in Iraq (National Center for Health Statistics, 2006b). But it is not difficult to find conditions equivalent to combat in American cities. In Philadelphia, the death rate for black males aged 20-34 in 2002 was 4.37/1000, 11% higher than for troops in Iraq. A slight majority of the deaths were from homicide (Philadelphia Department of Public Health, n.d.)

          • lasolitaria

            Here’s your A+, dude! Go play with it.

            Your calculations are bullshit. Reality doesn’t work like that.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            Your argument is bullshit, contains neither logic nor evidences.

          • lasolitaria

            What argument, you moron? There’s no argument here, just an observation.

            It doesn’t matter, though. Your calculations are still bullshit.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            So you are basically just trolling and can not tell which part of the calculations is wrong.

          • donscarletti

            Rubbish, in 2003 19973 people aged between 20 and 24 inclusive died in the US ( At that time there were 18,964,001 Americans of that age ( That is one death every thousand for the age most enlisted men fight.

            In other words, 4 times as dangerous to be in a war zone.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            Yeah you are right. But being a young black male in Philadelphia is still more dangerous than being a soldier in Iraq. It certainly takes more courage to be a young black male in Philadelphia than being a soldier in Iraq.

            “The comparison is imperfect because a much higher fraction of the American population is elderly and at high risk of death from age-related diseases. A more suitable
            comparison group is young men. The death rate for US men aged 18-39 in 2003 is 1.53 per 1000, about 40% of that of soldiers in Iraq (National Center for Health Statistics, 2006b). But it is not difficult to find conditions equivalent to combat in American cities. In Philadelphia, the death rate for black males aged 20-34 in 2002 was 4.37/1000, 11% higher than for troops in Iraq. A slight majority of the deaths were from homicide (Philadelphia Department of Public Health, n.d.)”

      • 白色纯棉小裤裤

        No you are not, you are just killing people for money.Those who hijacked planes on 911 are real people willing to fight and die for the principles that make their country what it is.
        1. They knew they would die for sure.
        2. They were not paid tens of thousands of dollars a year.

        • Probotector

          God, you’re a piece of garbage!

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            The U.S military and terrorists are the same, they both kill people for reasons which they believe is good and right.
            Terrorists are evil, but they are less evil than the U.S military because they are not doing it for money.

          • Guest22

            For some internet flogging keyboard warrior, you’re saying that as long as someone is not killing people for money, it’s okay?!? That is so wrong man…even for someone with a grudge on America, that’s just unjustifiable.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            Of course it’s not ok. I SAID ITS EVIL

          • Guest22

            Your two points stands out, that *They* as in the Taliban and Al Qaida gets a free pass because they aren’t killing for money, but David and any former or current US soldiers aren’t *Real people* because they don’t fit your standards…I know people keep going for “Bush wanted to go to war with Iraq for their Oil fields* conspiracies but come on, it’s never that simple, and the way your wrote what you said, is making it sound like your a-okay with the principals of the Taliban/Al Qaida.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            When I said “killing people for money” I was talking about individual soldiers, most of them would not go to iraq if they were not paid 50,000 dollars a year.
            My comparison was just to show that they are the lowest scum of the earth – even worse than terrorists.
            By doing this comparison, I already implied that I think terrorists are evil.

          • Thor

            What a load of shit. Terrorists all dip more than a toe into crime. They’re just another sort of mafia. How do you think they finance themselves ? Everytime there’s a traffic to be made, they will get involved. A few years ago, italian police found, in a market in Vintimiglia, near the french border, Arabian guys selling fake car parts. The inquiry revealed that they were working for Al Qaeda and making also a lot of money for themselves eventually. If you think that your terrorist friends are not interested in money… Well maybe your average manipulated bomb maker, but their bosses certainly are. That’s why many of them own madrasas (after making sure that the public school system died prior to them getting into the market) for instance, and that’s why the rise of islamic middle class raise in Turkey and other mid eastern countries is at least questionable.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            I was not talking about terrorist bosses either.
            Its individual U.S soldiers VS individual suicide bombers/plane hijackers.

          • DC Musicfreak

            Dumbass shit, even for a Chinese board.

        • lasolitaria

          “real people willing to fight”

          Of course, that’s why they hijacked a civilian airplane: because they wanted a good fight!

          Damn, you’re a little piece of shit.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            They hijacked a civilian airplane but they were going to die for sure. They certainly have more courage than the American soldiers who were playing live shooting games against defenseless people in iraq.

          • lasolitaria

            You have no way to be sure that it’s a “live shooting game” unless you were an American soldier on duty in Irak.

            You know who’s truly defenseless? The victims of a suicide hijacker and a suicide bomber.

            A suicide terrorist is a guy who wants to die for a cause that nobody agrees upon, chooses the worst way to do it (the one that accomplishes the least) and is willing to take as much innocent people as he can with him. He is crazy, a moron, a sociopath and a coward. Never courageous.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            The victims of terrorist activities are defenseless, So the are poor people get killed by American soldiers.
            And you think iraq and afghanistan people agree that American soldiers come to their country to kill their people for whatever cause?
            What you accused terrorists for can also be applied to American soldiers, except that the death rate for terrorists is much higher than the death rate of American soldiers.

          • lasolitaria

            Say not a word more. Let’s just let your post sit there for years to come, as a testimony to what a dipshit you are and what a despicable mindset you stand for.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            A dipshit is someone who defends the American murderers who kill people for money.

          • 白色纯棉小裤裤

            for the shooting game part, just watch this video


    • TheSOP

      You haven’t been on this planet very long have you noob?

      • MrC

        In relative terms i think not.
        Is “noob” like a long nob?

    • chichachachi

      No. Everywhere else “gives a fuck” and that seems to be the problem. It’s actually really easy to get populations to think that they are the most amazing, special, and “real” people on the planet. From there you play upon their own natural arrogance to imply that other people are a little less than human and worse, are a slight threat, and you turn your people into little weapons that you can use for your own interests.

    • lasolitaria

      Yeah, because only the Americans have ever “died for their country”. WTF???!!!!

  • Nick in Beijing


    I suspect this student was more being a smartass than trying to provide thought provoking and slightly dissenting views.

    Also his comment about living ones own life well shows a hell of a lot of selfishness. This, however, seems to be the way that the majority of people in China think. Care for yourself, and pay little attention to others, unless they are infringing on you.

  • Cameroon

    China has and will reach superpower status in most areas by virtue of their mass competitive advantages in a whole range of areas. However, the stifling of creative thought by the CCP means it almost certainly won’t stay there long… It’s easy to follow the pace setter, much harder to lead and innovate oneself from the front, and nigh on impossible with the structure of Chinas political system and other institutions.

  • Matt

    He is now an unperson.

  • Ravex23

    Smart Move!

  • Gus Wang

    they asked the guy: what’s a patriot? his answer clearly shows the effect that call of duty, battlefield 4 and some other games has on kid’s head.

    if they asked him: what are the patriots? he would answer: the villains of metal gear solid 4.

    I laughed my ass out with this guy, but I also have to agree that while his answers look stupid, they are actually pretty smart. well done dude!

  • MeCampbell30

    Patriots? Garbage team.

  • samuk1000

    Aren’t you supposed to say, “Xi Jinping” or “Chairman Mao” and launch into a spiel about what wonders and miracles they do and how the Party can do nothing wrong. I much prefer that spirit to this 1st class effort – it is more true to life – unpredictable and not what the surface seems to tell you.