China’s Little Pink Nationalists
A group of the website users, some of them overseas students, strongly criticised people who published posts on negative news about China or comments deemed to glorify Western countries. They were called the Jinjiang Girl Group Concerned for the Country, or the Little Pink, a reference to the main colour on the front page of the website. The use of the term spread as social media expanded in China.
How did the Little Pink rise to prominence?
The name became widely attached to young nationalists in China through a series of mass campaigns on overseas social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, which are all officially blocked on the mainland. A key event came in January last year when Chou Tzu-yu, a 17-year-old Taiwanese pop singer, waved the island’s national flag on a television show.
Mainland internet users flooded Chou’s Instagram account and accused her of supporting Taiwan independence. Days later, they flooded the Facebook page of the newly-elected Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who heads the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party. Some Taiwanese media outlets were also targeted.
The larger origin is two-fold. One, China’s nationalist education since the 1990s. Second, rising nationalism around the world.
In 20 years, the nationalists will be in charge all over the world.