Even as China appears to be making concessions to the world order and shelving its revisionist ambitions—see Walter Russell Mead’s big essay on the subject today—Xi Jinping is still keeping the homegrown xenophobia and and nationalism warm and simmering. The New York Times had this story up yesterday:
In one widely circulated essay published by state news outlets titled “Nine Knockout Blows in America’s Cold War Against China,” the blogger, Zhou Xiaoping, argued that American culture was “eroding the moral foundation and self-confidence of the Chinese people.” He compared unfavorable American news coverage of China to Hitler’s treatment of the Jews. In another essay, he said the West had “slaughtered and robbed” China and other civilizations since the 17th century, and was now “brainwashing” it.
Mr. Xi, at a forum last month aimed at tightening political control of the arts, said the blogger exhibited “positive energy.”
The fact that Xi is stoking these sentiments rather than trying to subdue them suggest despite all the real diplomatic breakthroughs on display this week, China hasn’t in fact bought into the system like we would ultimately like it to. The breakthroughs represent Xi’s realization that China has little choice but to play ball for the time being. But this does not mean that Asia’s Game of Thrones is over—by a long shot.