China’s New Nationalism Essay

China’s New Nationalism Essay

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No one can deny from recent news that there has been a strong surge of Chinese nationalism, and that this nationalism has turned heads in the international community. The nationalism that the CCP has affected is taking on a life of its own. In its strategy of pragmatic nationalism, the CCP tried to blur the lines between love of country with love of the state and governing body. What has resulted is a whole new breed of nationalism that is very much independent of the Chinese Communist Party and in fact has caused the CCP great concern. This new form of nationalism is much more vibrant, passionate, virulent and uncontrollable than the government had intended with its post 1989 strategy of obtaining legitimacy through nationalism. This is becoming a problem for the government as it tries to balance social stability with improving international relations.
Since the CCP squashed the demonstrations that liberal nationalists put on at Tiananmen in June of 1989 it has been struggling to find and maintain legitimacy among the Chinese people. Without the purist Maoist ideologies as high and transcendent values to unify the people, the CCP was in desperate need of something to act as the glue that would keep the Chinese people cohesively unified and in support of the government. The CCP thus looked to patriotism as the answer, which is synonymous with nationalism but with the added ingredient that it viewed the state and the nation as inseparable. The government began a state sponsored campaign to educate the country in patriotism, focusing on China’s territorial integrity and also reintroduced Chinese traditional systems of thought such as Confucius and brought Chinese history and culture back into the schools after almost fou...


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...sts itself most strongly when it feels threatened by outside forces such as by Japan in 2005 and by the west during the Tibet issue.
Though the patriotic education project the CCP wanted to make love for country and love for state synonymous, that is far from the case today. Since the CCP used nationalism as the moral base on which it claimed legitimacy for ruling China, it has become in one way or another subject to the demands of nationalism. As a result, the CCP has been placed in an awkward position of trying to balance foreign relations with domestic demands of harder lined policy towards foreign perceived enemies of the Chinese people. What was once a pragmatic tool for keeping the country cohesive and granting the party legitimacy for ruling the country has become a potential source of social instability and dissatisfaction with the government.



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