One of the things I lament living in China is the lack of time to comment on everything I see around me. But it’s not only time which restricts: the old adage runs, ‘if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all’.

In my young, obnoxious, and—I suspect—extremely judgmental Western way, I find it very easy to be critical of China. This fact alone has, to date, kept me quiet. Certainly, the last thing China needs right now is yet another dis-enchanted foreigner letting loose on Chinese foreign policy, human rights and other issues. There exist far better educated and informed people to do this…

I do, however, find the Chinese approach to flying flags quite disturbing. In my understanding, one flies the flags of other countries alongside one’s own to show strong international relations, unity and understanding. Not so in China where the national flag is invariably flown above those of other nations.

There is no doubt that China is going somewhere. However, I’m not sure that the sort of extreme nationalism this suggests is really a necessary part of the process. One can but hope this is a lost-in-translation moment.