Away from socialism, towards Chinese characteristics: Confucianism and the futures of Chinese nationalism

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Abstract

Following the success of China’s economic reform in the past few decades, Chinese nationalism has entered a new stage. The sentiment born of ‘the century of national humiliation’ is insufficient to explain the phenomenon of Chinese new nationalism. In this new era, China no longer regards the West as the benchmark against which it defines its success, but is becoming more assertive about its own values and perspectives. This emphasis on a Chinese perspective is related to the cultural shift in China’s post-socialist transition, where the source of legitimacy in China’s development has moved from an ideological dimension of socialism to a cultural dimension of ‘Chinese characteristics’. Following this transition, growing importance is being placed on an indigenous voice in many aspects of China’s development, including the recent efforts to reinvent traditional Chinese culture as a source of China’s soft power. In particular, with strong state sponsorship, Confucianism is being revived as a new nationalist discourse, which not only provides new discursive resources for continuing authoritarianism in mainland China, but also redefines governance and nation-building with respect to Hong Kong and Taiwan. Copyright © 2012 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-218
JournalChina Information
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

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Confucianism
socialism
nationalism
China
sponsorship
authoritarianism
state formation
Nationalism
Socialism
Chinese Nationalism
economic reform
Hong Kong
Taiwan
legitimacy
governance
discourse
resources

Citation

Cheung, K. C.-K. (2012). Away from socialism, towards Chinese characteristics: Confucianism and the futures of Chinese nationalism. China Information, 26(2), 205-218.

Keywords

  • Chinese characteristics
  • Chinese nationalism
  • Confucianism
  • Socialism
  • Soft power