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Chinese Nationalism: Is There More Than One Kind?

Apologies to anyone who was looking for a post and found nothing new here for some time. Like the activity of blogging itself, I found taking a break to be rather addictive! Took a few days off, and then a few more. Felt so good, didn’t want to stop (or, rather, I didn’t want to start).

Here’s an article worth a look, from the Herald Tribune

Which of the competing Chinese nationalisms will show up at the Olympics in August? An aggrieved, defensive nationalism, or a confident and proud nationalism?

Chinese society embodies both types, reflecting a deeper dualistic set of identities: one xenophobic type rooted in past indignities experienced by the Chinese people, the other more cosmopolitan version taking shape along with globalization and China’s integration into the international community.

In recent weeks, as the Olympic torch has wound its troubled way around the globe to Beijing, the world has been shown the virulent form of Chinese nationalism. While Chinese audiences were genuinely shocked and hurt by the pro-Tibet and anti-China demonstrations on three continents, the resulting anti-Western invective and demonstrations inside China and by Chinese abroad have surprised many around the world.

While it is not becoming to Chinese culture, heritage or dignity - and not representative of all Chinese nationalist feelings - the world should brace itself for more such xenophobic outbursts in the run-up to - and possibly during - the Olympics.

Don’t know about you, but “xenophobic” is not a word I would use to describe the Chinese.

Also, not sure about this idea of “two kinds of nationalism”. Seems that there is only one kind - the prickly, antagonistic sort. It bubbles up to the surface then slips back into the undercurrent.

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