With the swarm of anti-France/boycott-Carrefour messages still plaguing the wireless networks, IM chats and BBSes, it was a pleasant surprise to run across Jason’s post at Over and Out sharing a QQ forward he received that – shockingly – doesn’t rise up and call to arms the seething masses of ultra-nationalists.

For this laowai, I couldn’t be happier to see that there are young Chinese standing firm and illustrating that China HAS actually changed – and that the Red Guard-like mentality that has coursed through the country as if it were some common-sense killing virus is not necessarily representative of the population – but rather just more vocal.

From Over and Out ‘a breath of fresh air‘:

most of the crap flying around on the Chinese internet right now is doing nothing but fanning the flames of fervent nationalism. However, I recently stumbled across a QQ forward that was of a different tune.

韩寒, or Han Han, is a young Chinese author in his early twenties. From what I can gather, he’s popular because he writes in a voice that most young people feel they can relate to. He’s been speaking out online about cooling down and considering the issues before getting carried away. For doing so he’s received a lot of questions and criticisms from his peers. He’s brave for going against the grain at a time like this and I think there’s a lot wisdom in his words. More importantly, he carries a lot of respect with the younger generation and I think they’re listening…

The QQ message is a Q&A format (translated by Jason):

Han Han/韩寒问题1:外国人过来抽你一个耳光,你也无动于衷,不还手,来显示自己很大度?

Q 1: If a foreigner came up to you and slapped you across the face would you be nonchalant, not slap back and show yourself as the bigger person?
A: A foreigner has never came up to me and slapped me in the face.


Q 2: Han han, if your mother was raped by a foreigner, would you not protest?
A: My mother hasn’t been raped by foreigners.


Q 3: But your homeland is just that, your mother…
A: Homelands are homelands, mothers are mothers


Q 4: How can you even feel worthy of standing on your own land…
A: I don’t have ‘my own land’ and neither do you.


Q 5: You’re no Chinese. To be Chinese is to boycott Carrefour.
A 5: That stipulation is not in the constitution. This is you forcing your fanatically patriotic view.


Q 6: A patriot is someone who embodies, in their entirety, outstanding qualities and tradition.
Let you be born one more time. If you choose to to be born in this country again, that is truly loving your country and embodying outstanding qualities.


Q 7: If you don’t love your mother, are you still human?
A: My mom’s name is Zhou Qiao Rong. I really love her. I use my own efforts, let the basic life-needs of everyone be met. If you want to safeguard your country, first you must safeguard your family.


Q 8: You say the Carrefour shareholder may not have sponsored the Dalai Lama and that we don’t have any evidence of him doing so, but what harm is there is in boycotting French products in general? Carrefour is just a dash to the head. Actually, we want to boycott anything that has any relation to France. We’ll boycott LV, Peugeot and Citroen…all to support the Olympics. The power of the united Chinese people will make the world tremble!
A: The modern Olympics were established by the French man, Peirre de Coubertin. Boycott the Olympics then.


Q 9: We firmly boycott Carrefour but you tolerate the foreign power’s insults against our great nation. If everyone was as weak as you, our country would have already been extinguished.
A: You are valiant, brave, unafraid of death and a martyr…because you don’t shop at a supermarket. Moreover, you ‘dare’ to put Carrefour’s frozen items in your cart and not pay for them. You ‘dare’ to stand at the door cursing people who exit; calling them race traitors. Finally, you ‘dare’ to burn the Dutch flag in protest of the French.


Q 10: The Hefei Carrefour flew the Chinese flag at half-mast, how can you not be furious?
A: I don’t believe this was Carrefour’s doing and that they would even dare to do such a thing. The flag was located outside the door in the square. Pulling the flag down is likely due to the behavior of some of the hooligans outside. Shouting and yelling all over the place in order to incite chaos and fear. This is even more immoral. This kind of behavior is all too familiar.


Q 11: During this divisive time you pretend to be clear-headed and speak calmly as a gentleman and patriot, yet speak out against public opinion. If words such as yours are able to be published, apparently China is far too free. You should be banned.
A: Our people are on the one hand unleashing their political opinions, and on the other wishing the country be closed off? Our country is in the midst of progress and you force it’s degeneration. Be careful of what comes back around. Harm other and you harm yourself.


Fantastic stuff. Thanks to Jason for the translation, and thanks to Han Han for being so damn cool. If anyone has the original context in which this was written, please let us know.


  1. It is indeed refreshing to see someone not acting like a lemming and remaining objective and cool headed in the context of the current China / Tibet / France “agitation”. Thanks for spotting this exchange, and for translating it.

  2. Pingback: China: a breath of fresh air « PPM’s Blog

  3. Thanks for this one…

    Even the taxi drivers are lecturing me when I head in the direction of Carrefour about the evil French.

    Perfect comebacks by a very bold and very wise Han Han.

  4. gorgeous stuff… Ryan, I think you’re dead right, the BBS et al hordes shout the loudest but I think it’s a mistake to suppose them the voice of a nation.

  5. If anyone has the original context in which this was written, please let us know.

    Looks like it’s from his blog:

    Here is his intro to the questions with my quick translation:


    I’ve seen a lot of comments from patriots in the comments section–let me reply. I don’t know why, but patriots always speak dirty and act violently, so what I’ve done here is filter out a lot of stuff, so I can better make it appear like it’s just a conversation expressing different opinions. Although each question below is made up of a dozen or so words, the fact is that I selected them out from hundreds. I deleted a large number exclamations.

    And it is probably a reaction to responses he got to this essay:

    If I have time I’ll translate the essay and put it up on my site.

Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲