After describing China’s “100 years of national humiliation”—the Chinese feel shamed by foreign invasions at the end of the Qing dynasty—as well as other tragic events in the country’s recent history, Schell gives us general advice on how to deal with today’s angry populace and their touchy rulers. “While honest criticisms should not be muted just because Chinese leaders find them grating, we foreigners should be mindful of this complex psychological landscape,” he writes, channeling Kissinger. “Despite the fact that
Yet the Chinese government, especially after Mao’s death, has taught the nation’s young a history of half-truths, distortions, and outright lies. And that is why anti-foreigner sentiment is far stronger among China’s Chinese than among Chinese growing up elsewhere—and why it is stronger among China’s youth than its older generations, who have greater justification for nursing grievance.
The solution, therefore, is not for foreigners to cower in the presence of angry Chinese. On the contrary, we should tell them to get over it. There is no point to legitimizing