China: The Pessoptimist Nation by William A. Callahan

By William A. Callahan

The increase of China offers a long term problem to the area not just economically, yet politically and culturally. Callahan meets this problem in China: The Pessoptimist Nation through the use of new chinese language assets and leading edge research to work out how chinese language humans comprehend their new position on the planet. the guts of chinese language overseas coverage isn't really a safety trouble, yet an identification issue. chinese language identification emerges throughout the interaction of confident and unfavourable emotions: China therefore is the pessoptimist country. This positive/negative dynamic intertwines China's family and foreign politics simply because nationwide safeguard is heavily associated with nationalist insecurities.

To chart the trajectory of its upward push, the ebook shifts from reading China's nationwide pursuits to exploring its nationwide aesthetic. instead of answering the traditional social technology query "what is China?" with records of monetary and army energy, this ebook asks "when, the place, and who's China?" to discover the gentle strength dynamics of China's id politics.

China: The Pessoptimist Nation examines Beijing's propaganda method and its patriotic schooling coverage to work out how chinese language identification is shaped via a party of historic civilization and a commemoration of humiliation suffered in glossy historical past. It exhibits how China's courting with itself and the area takes form within the pessoptimist dynamics of patriotic schooling coverage and the nationwide humiliation curriculum, nationwide days and nationwide humiliation days, nationwide maps and nationwide humiliation maps, overseas brothers and household strangers, and chinese language patriots and overseas devils. jointly the chapters display how the identification politics of chinese language nationalism produce the protection politics of chinese language overseas coverage. They express how the pessoptimist hyperlink among China's dream of civilization and its nightmare of humiliation isn't fading away. It presents the template of China's international kinfolk that inflames well known emotions for destiny demonstrations, and primes the offended formative years for explosive protests.

Callahan concludes that chinese language id grows out of a dynamic of reciprocal impression that integrates reputable coverage and pop culture. This interactive view of China's pessoptimist id implies that we have to reconsider the position of the kingdom and public opinion in Beijing's international policy-making.

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Extra resources for China: The Pessoptimist Nation

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Chinese critics are seen as counterrevolutionary liberal elites who wanted “total Westernization,” while foreign critics – especially from the United States – are simply the latest generation of reactionary hostile foreign imperialist invaders. The preface by China’s vice-minister of education to a history textbook edited by the National Education Committee thus explains how patriotic education can protect the Chinese nation from threats, both foreign and domestic: “Today we are confronted with foreign and domestic enemies who are plotting to force ‘peaceful evolution’ on our country.

Since the division between civilization and barbarism was contingent, political power in China has always involved making clear distinctions between these unstable concepts. While the idealized view of Chinese civilization stresses how Han Chinese embraced their neighbors, classical Chinese texts are also full of passages that stress violent conflict: “honor the king by expelling the barbarians” [zunwang rangyi] was a popular classical idiom. A passage from the Spring and Autumn Annals (656 BC) elaborates how leadership in China is measured in this negative way: “The Yi and Di barbarians repeatedly harm China, and when the Yi in the South cooperate with the Di in the North, then China is left hanging by a thread.

The table of contents of a slick illustrated history textbook, A Record of National Humiliation (1998), gives a good idea of the nature of national humiliation historiography:29 1. The beginning of national humiliation and the forfeit sovereignty: the First Opium War 2. The expedition of the next generation of pirates: the Second Opium War 3. A disgrace beyond redemption: Franco-British forces burn the Garden of Perfect Brilliance 4. Nation conquered, country smashed: the Sino-Japanese War [1894–5] 38 When Is China?

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