An online “Proud of China” campaign has been launched by students and graduates of the University of Maryland, after the commencement speech by a student representative from China was slammed for bolstering negative Chinese stereotypes.
The speech, given by Yang Shuping on May 21 (local time), began with Yang’s claim that “fresh air” was what drove her to pursue an education in the U.S. This claim quickly triggered outrage among netizens and other Chinese students at the university.
On May 22 (local time), a Chinese student surnamed Guo held up a T-shirt reading “#Proud of China” at the commencement ceremony for the Department of Economics, publicly kicking off the spontaneous campaign. Several Chinese students rallied that afternoon wearing similar hand-drawn T-shirts and shouting their slogan: “We are from the University of Maryland! We are proud of China!”
According to a statement from the organizers of the campaign, the “Proud of China” campaign was launched as an inclusive effort for people to show pride in China, regardless of age or occupation.