What you need to know
China’s rising patriotic youth movement threatens to further sour its relations with Taiwan and Hong Kong.
A well known Taiwanese columnist wrote in a July 20 op-ed in the Chinese-language edition of Financial Times that rising nationalism among China's youth will drive China further from Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Taiwanese writer and columnist Chang Tieh-chih (張鐵志) observed that the number of "little pinks" (小粉紅) in China — the younger generation that worships the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and President Xi Jinping (習近平) — is growing. The group attacks people whose ideas do not comply with their concept of patriotism or do not have a "heart for China," he said.
Besides blindly supporting the CCP and Xi, Chang wrote, the "little pinks" do not know other ways to demonstrate love for their country. They do not express their opposition against the government, speak for minorities, ask for justice or work for change to create a better society.
The "little pinks" view Taiwan's Sunflower Movement and Hong Kong's Occupy Central as moves toward independence instead of seeing these protests as people fighting for rights and democracy, he wrote.
Chang said that patriotic acts that may have previously been the domain of the CCP — like sanctioning artists who show support for Taiwan independence — are now often carried out by the "little pinks" via their influence on social media.
Chang warned that if this narrow form of nationalism, which smothers diversity in China, keeps growing it will gradually widen the gap between China and Hong Kong and Taiwan.
First Editor: Olivia Yang
Second Editor: Edward White