The culture war between China and the western world started in 2009. The world was surprised at our outspoken attitude in expressing our anger at the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Melbourne International Film Festival. In the battlefield of culture we have to work out strategies that are able to hit a nerve of our opponents.
Language is a tool of thinking and communication. It is a central element of culture. People will be inevitably influenced by a country's culture when learning its language and can gradually take a fancy to the country. Therefore, the United States makes every effort to spread the influence of American English and American culture via media, websites and various educational systems. Most of the politicians who push for the reform of China's educational system have studied in America. If so many Chinese citizens love America, how can we safeguard our own interests when in a dispute with the U.S.?
We have to accept that China is less competitive in terms of military power than the U.S. And the gap is even larger when the two countries are compared in soft power. Lots of Chinese citizens favor America blindly; this cultural trend is detrimental to China's long term security and strategic development
Our response to the offense caused by the U.S. should start with curbing the learning of American English. Our countrymen's crazy indulgence in American English has boosted the American government's arrogance and disrespectful attitude.
If we don't want to anger America diplomatically, our foreign ministry could persuade the ministry of education to declare that the second language in our country is English, pronounced in International Phonetic Symbols, not American English. Generally speaking, the move would be made to dampen the Chinese learners' enthusiasm in American English. That is not a sanction but would show the American politicians the price they have to pay for their arrogance.
We need to fight against America's offensive behavior not only in words but also with actions. The country which harms the interests of China has to pay. Only in that way, we can prove our country is developing with self-respect and self-value.
Mr. Chunyu Jinzhang, president of a well-known stationary company in China, has been working as an amateur teacher of English for over 30 years and is the first man in China to promote the Queen's English. For more information please visit his blog at http://blog.china.com.cn/queenglish