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“If the China of the 21st century cannot become world No. 1, cannot become the most powerful country in the world, then it will be a country that has been left behind and eliminated,” Col. Liu wrote, adding that the fight for resources and influence will become ever more acute.

Even moderates such as Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai heed nationalistic media. Last week he singled out the Global Times editorial page as praiseworthy precisely because it published such hard-line views.