(Minghui.org) Patriotism in ancient China conveyed a profound moral connotation. From emperors to ordinary citizens, they emphasized self-cultivation and contributed to the courses of the people and country, which together drew the outline of Chinese traditional belief of patriotism. 

The ancients said, “A ruler should exist for the existence of the people.” The famous thinker, Mencius noted, “The people are the most valuable, then the country, and the ruler comes last.” 

The Traditional Chinese Belief of Patriotism

For hundreds of years, Yue Fei (March 24, 1103 – January 28, 1142), a military general, calligrapher, and poet in the Southern Song Dynasty, has been eulogized to be the incarnation of the word “loyalty.”

Legend has it that Yue Fei's mother pricked the words “Serving the Country with the Utmost Loyalty” on his back when he was young to remind him to always remain faithful to his country. After becoming the country's general, he led his troops to fight bravely to defend the country, but in the meanwhile, he never forgot to be filial to his mother, caring for his soldiers, and empathizing with the civilians. He held firmly to what was right, and would not bend his principles for personal gains, even when it meant to go against the emperor's will.

Among all of his merits, practicing benevolence and justice are exemplified by Yue Fei as the two signature virtues imprinted in the essence of patriotism in traditional Chinese culture. 

Benevolent with Everyone

When asked about his military strategies, Yue Fei replied, “Benevolence, faith, wisdom, courage, and strictness are all indispensable virtues.”

Yue Fei was ordered to repel the rebels and restore orders in Qianzhou and Jizhou. He sent a death squad to quickly occupy the mountain top and captured all the rebels there. The rebels cried out and begged for mercy, so Yue Fei ordered not to kill them, and ended the battle peacefully. 

The emperor, Gao Zong, ordered Yue Fei to slaughter everyone in the city after capturing Qianzhou. However, Yue Fei pleaded with the emperor to execute only the perpetrators, but pardon the accomplices and civilians. He did not give up until after Gao Zong granted his plea. Grateful for his saving their lives, the civilians hung Yue Fei's portrait in their houses and worshiped him as their Buddha.

Empathizing with the Common People

When Luzhou was occupied by invaders from the Jin Dynasty, Yue Fei was sent to conquer the invaders. Following his flags with the words, “Yue” and “Loyalty,” his troops fought courageously and defeated the Jin invaders. 

While battling the Jin armies in Luzhou, Yue Fei found out that most civilians there lacked food to eat, and cattle to farm. He proposed to Gao Zong to give loans to the civilians, and pardon their debts to entice those in exile to come back, and return to their original trades. He also proposed to count the number of people returning as a new measuring tool to evaluate the performance of the local officials.

Yue Fei ensured that the livelihood of civilians went unhurt while battling enemies, and he distributed the awards he received evenly among his commanders and soldiers every time he won a battle. 

To secure sufficient food for his troops, Yue Fei dispatched soldiers to reclaim wasteland and recruited local farmers to farm on the land. By doing that, they were able to save half of the country's annual grain reserves. 

A Scholarly General 

Yue Fei befriended many scholars and had a passion for elegant songs and poems. Being an army general, he was a man with a courteous and polite demeanor, like those of a scholar. He once commented, “If civil servants don't love money, and generals are fearless of death, the world would be in peace.”

The Modern-Day “Patriotism” Under the Communist Party

Contrary to the traditional beliefs, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) promotes “fighting against the heavens, the earth, and the people,” and “demolishing old ideas, ancient culture and traditions, and old habits” to instigate “struggle philosophy” in Chinese society. 

The CCP manipulates Chinese traditions to promote its agenda, maintain its political power, and stabilize its control. Under its rule, “patriotism” has become a spiritual opium that instills hatred in Chinese. Instead of encouraging Chinese to cultivate one's own character, and contributing to the well-being of the society, the CCP deliberately connotes “patriotism” as “nationalism,” and thus propagates the former as being faithful to the CCP itself. Therefore, elementary schools begin to teach students to hate other countries, as well as anyone who criticizes the CCP. It wants Chinese to believe that the CCP is China, and thus anti-CCP is equivalent to anti-China.

The CCP's scheme is to make all Chinese its accomplices to stand by its side and guard the Communist regime. It lies to the world, poisons people's hearts, and undermines traditional beliefs. Its accumulated vices and vicious nature are antagonistic to the fundamental principles of the universe.