"For more than 100 years since the mid-19th century, we Chinese learned from quite a few industrialised countries who we treated like our teachers," read a signed opinion in the official China Daily on April 14. "Those 'lessons' came at a price so high that China almost lost its sovereignty and had to let the 'teachers' slice off its territory piece by piece as concessions."
Reviving the memory of China's humiliations at the hands of foreign powers in the 19th century, editorials and articles in the state media have recently pointed fingers at colonial Britain's invasions of Tibet, in 1903-1904, as the "root cause" of separatist sentiments that have brought about modern-day uprisings there. They have also blamed the current attempts to sabotage the Olympic torch relay and tarnish China's international coming-out party on the undying "Cold War mentality" of the West. The fear of a China in the ascendant, bound on its course to eclipse western powers, has been presented as the driving force of human rights protesters' attempts to grab and extinguish the torch in Paris and London.