State Market and Society
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Centennial college2015/2016 Semester OneState, Market and Society in Contemporary ChinaReflective Essay Three”In reality, nationalism remains a double-edged sword, which does at times buttress the regime but can also develop in ways that threaten the political status quo” (Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom). Discuss.Prepared by Lau Wai LimStudent ID: 18130147Submission date: 12/12/2015Word count: 1685I agree with Mr. Wasserstrom, nationalism is a double-edged sword to the Chinese communist party (CCP). First, I would like to talk about the nationalism and the Chinese nationalism. Secondly, the essay will discuss the territorial disputes China faced in recent years and the relationship with the Chinese nationalism. Then, I will focus on the newly-typed nationalism.I think nationalism is an important ideology and cultural identity of the state, it merged the society and the public with a common identity. The shared identity lays the foundation of the nation-state identity building. In short, nationalism prompts the unity of people who live within a particular territory to have a common identity. I believe the Chinese nationalism contains the same definition on above, CCP also added the party ideology into it, such as loving the state equal to patriotism (aiguojishiaiguozhuyi) and loyal to the state and be proud of socialist modernization achievements. On the other hand, “Patriotism requires us to love the socialist system and the road chosen by all nationalities in China under the leadership of the Communist Party” (Zhao 2004), the Chinese nationalism is mainly shaped by the state to create a sense of a singular, unified national identity. The successive territory disputes are the opportunity and the risk of the state, if the state can control the hatred from the masses, she will gain the reliance and countenance. If not, it will harm the society and the state stability. To summarize the manifestations of popular nationalism since the 1990s, I found that some of the rallies are closely related to the continuous territory disputes with neighbors of the state, for instance, the Taiwan independence movement, the Sino-Indian border dispute with India and the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands in the East China Sea with Japan. When the problem comes to incite division of the country and harm national unification, the Chinese nationalism unites the Chinese citizen. At this moment, I think nationalism makes the CCP easier to publicize the ideology of safeguard national unity and ethnic solidarity to the Chinese people, as the Chinese need to be “stoic law-abiding citizens” (Baculinao 2012) and the CCP can more effectively govern the public and country to against foreign aggression. Good use of the hostility draws the Chinese together, it is also a great chance for the central government to reveal the tough stand, leadership and crisis management skill to the public even the world, which supports the legitimacy of the Chinese regime. Many of us will have a clear image of the Anti-Japan riots in 2012, the angry protesters smashed the Japanese stores and companies with acquiescence from the Peoples Armed Police. To show the work hard done by CCP, the state will adopt a strong attitude towards the territory disputes as the Chinese are highly sensitive to the territory argues. One of the reasons is to appease the concerns of nationalist, if CCP allows her neighbors to advocate and claim the right of control over any of the disputed areas, she will have a very hard time to maintain the faith of nationalist towards the state. In addition, the TVB news video clip reported that the protesters also surround the local police station and support the protesters who have been under arrested, it is dangerous for the state if they cannot handle the case properly, demonstrators do not well-recognized the target of the protest and will shift the anger from Japan to the government as the state hindered them from giving vent to “Japanese”, this is the common reason that the Chinese police had turned a blind eye to the protesters.
The other point has to be highlighted from the Anti-Japan riots in 2012 is the online demonstration invitation, the news mentioned that the Chinese citizens called out the next convocation on the social media next Sunday. The thought of Guobin Yang, “to the extent that neo-nationalism helps to fill the ideological vacuum in China, the state supports its expression” (Baculinao 2012) indicates the appearance of new type protest is the rise of a neo-nationalism which means online nationalism.Chinese nationalism is at the center of a struggle between state and non-state actors. Just as online nationalism is a reaction to structural transformations of Chinese society caused by the state, the state must also adjust its position to respond to nationalist activism (Baculinao 2012). The main shareholders of online nationalism will be China’s youth, they who generally have a critical and cynical worldview are empowered by the Internet. Besides, they are “patriotic” and generally have the same stand with the state for the common ambition which is regaining the China’s greatness, China’s youth have evolved in Chinese neo-nationalism with their role, which is the anger youth (fenqing). According to Lee Kai-Fu, “fenqing means who have access to information, who have a sense of social responsibility, who have their sense of right and wrong – they are not always right – but they have a sense of right and wrong” (Baculinao 2012). Likewise, the state allowed the expansion of online nationalism because of its spontaneous nature, the online “public opinion” become the oxymoron which means it has both positive and negative aspects to serve its political needs and sustain stability of the regime, I believe neo-nationalism has become the driving force in significant transformative events in contemporary China.One of the merits of online nationalism is that helped the state to show the soft power of China. Since the mid-2000s, U.S.A. has declared a new Asia-Pacific strategy and seeks to rebuild America’s geopolitical power in the Asia region, America is plotting to contain China’s rise (Baculinao 2012). Apart from the military actions, the overseas media also concern about the demonstrations happened in china, they will make some news reports to criticize the improper action taken by CCP to the social movements. For example, Tibet riots, it aims at promoting Tibetan independence in 2008, it eventually becomes the violent street protests and suppressed by the Chinese army, some of the overseas media captures and reports a part of the truth. To against the potent force of western public opinion, the Chinese netizens made YouTube videos, such as 2008 china stand up and what do you want from us, and established “anti-CNN” websites to protest. These online resources are uploaded by fenqing and target the foreign as the description were written in English which shows that they are well educated and not blind obedience to the state. The orientation of the fenqing helped the CCP to stabilize the domestic public opinion