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UPDATED: March 30, 2009
Book Rallying for Social Change Fails to Inspire the Masses
The release of Unhappy China has caused a stir among experts and scholars, but has failed to strike a chord among average Chinese

Unhappy China, a book released this month asserting China's power to lead the world and calling for a radical change in its foreign policies, has caused a stir among experts and scholars, but has failed to strike a chord among average Chinese.

Unhappy China - The Great Time, Grand Vision and Our Challenges, intends to "spur, stimulate and wake up" the intellectuals, according to Song Qiang and Huang Jisu, two of a group of five authors, dubbed by analysts as "grassroots intellectuals." The other three are Song Xiaojun, Wang Xiaodong and Liu Yang.

The book argues that "with Chinese national strength growing at an unprecedented rate, China should stop self-debasing and come to recognize the fact that it has the power to lead the world, and the necessity to break away from western influence."

The book says "the current financial crisis reflects an overall corruption of the American society.

The book advocates more stern foreign policies.

"We should incorporate retribution and punishment into our diplomatic strategies, especially when dealing with Sino-French relations," referring to the meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the secessionist Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in December last year.

The authors believe ordinary citizens should not be deprived of national development benefits, and that China should have the ambition to reestablish the world order, assume a leadership role among nations and achieve industry upgrading amid the current global financial crisis.

The book comes at a time when a series of events seemingly stirred the nationalistic sentiments among Chinese, such as the public sale of two Chinese cultural relics in France by the global auctioneer Christie's, the dispute of sovereignty over the Nansha Islands with the Philippines, and western countries' tolerance for the Dalai Lama.

Earlier this month, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo signed a bill that defines the Philippines' territorial waters, including the Huangyan and Nansha islands as Philippines' territorial waters.

China's Foreign Ministry expressed "strong opposition and solemn protest" about the legislation. Last week, China's dispatch of a vessel for routine fishery administration mission to patrol waters of China's exclusive economic zones including the Nansha, Xisha and Zhongsha islands also sparked concern from the Philippine side.

During his recent visit to Europe, the Dalai Lama has garnered quite a number of honors, including honorary citizenship in Rome and a honorary citizen of Venice the next day before arriving in Germany to receive the German Media Prize.

Last year also marked a transition for China to step upon the world's center stage after it hosted a successful Olympic Games, sent the country's first space-walking astronaut and surpassed Germany to become the third-largest economy behind the United States and Japan, it said.

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