• First Lady Michelle Obama (L) is greeted before a presentation on free speech at Peking University.

First Lady Michelle Obama (L) is greeted before a presentation on free speech at Peking University. (Photo : Reuters)

It seems the morale of Xinhua, the official press agency of the People's Republic of China, has been bolstered by the praise received by Premier Li Keqiang at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland, last week.

Xinhua writer Deng Yushan started the working week on Monday with an op-ed seeking to put those who "vilify" or "demonize" the "rising Asian giant" that is China back in their place.

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According to Deng, the nation's critics primarily consist of "doomsayers" and "bashers," who are merely "frustrated Westerners" unable to move on from an "outdated illusion" that the West is "the optimal fabric of human civilization."

Deng, who does not make any attempt to soften any of his blows, adds that such individuals are "ill-prepared for the game-changing reality" that China's growth represents.

While mentioning the more gradual growth of China's "new normal" economy, issues in the South China sea and human rights allegations, Deng places a spotlight on the matter of free speech in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris, France. The writer states that finger-pointing in the direction of China, which has gained a reputation for its governmental censorship activities, has unjustly surfaced after the attack.

Deng refutes any accusatory comments against China by asserting that the "responsible" Chinese media have not only condemned the incident outright, but also "deeply sympathized" with France, and engaged in reflection to prevent such a tragedy taking place in the future. Deng firmly establishes that "free speech is also held dear in China."

However, the Xinhua writer concludes his piece in a civil manner, affirming to China's detractors that China "has rightly become less sensitive to Western defamation and derision."

Only time will tell if Deng's effort silences critics, or just adds fuel to what feels like a scorching-hot fire.