If you see a group of your fellow countrymen hoisting the national flag and singing the National Anthem on foreign soil, will you feel touched or embarrassed?
Going by the reactions from netizens in the mainland to a boisterous performance by a huge Chinese tour group in the United States, it looks more likely the latter.
Online forums have been abuzz after an unbridled show of patriotism by a group of 7,000 Chinese during a commercial-cum-tourism trip to the US.
Soon after their arrival in Los Angeles Tuesday, the group is said to have been taken to a seminar where they unfurled the Chinese flag and gave a full-throated rendition of the National Anthem.
Apple Daily noted that the patriotic show soon became a hot topic in Chinese online forums. Some said it was a show planned by the tour organizer — Perfect (China) Co., a direct marketing company from Guangdong — to derive propaganda and publicity mileage.
Others were more scathing, saying the people were “fake patriots” and “brain-damaged”. Questions were raised whether the group was really serving China’s interests as it was spending a huge amount of money in a foreign country.
It is said that each member of the group had spent at least US$10,000, four times the average amount spent by a normal Chinese tourist in California.
Meanwhile, a commentary by an official from the propaganda department of the Liaoning provincial government has also criticized the group’s act as shallow patriotism.
The reactions and criticisms back home would have no doubt dismayed the tour group members, but they can at least take solace from the warm welcome they received from their US hosts.
The reason for the Americans’ welcome?: the tour group is said to be contributing as much as US$85 million to the US economy.
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