Why China's Burning Mad

A virulent nationalism is ignited by foreign media, pro-Tibet protests, even France — just in time for the Olympics


Protesters set the Tricolor alight in Qingdao. Anti-French feelings have run high since the Olympic-torch relay in Paris was interrupted by pro-Tibet activists.

Like all other foreign journalists in China, I get my share of criticism from Chinese readers, mostly about my stories on TIME's website or my posts on our China Blog. Some of the criticism can be pretty sharp--that comes with the territory. But the opprobrium has taken on a distinctly unpleasant edge in recent weeks as a wave of nationalist anger has roiled China. "Simon, you will be hated by 1.3 billion Chinese," someone wrote in response to my blog post about the chaotic progress of the Olympic torch through London. "Hope someday someone will spit on your face. Your name...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!