The Rise of Anti-China Sentiment and Its Implications for Chinese Nationalism

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Much attention has been paid to the causes of anti-China sentiments. However, few have questioned what influences will such sentiments have on the mass Chinese people. Nationalism has been identified as a nation-unifying tool and a source of regime legitimacy in non-democratic regimes. Yet, the relationship between external hostilities and Chinese nationalist sentiment is not well understood. This study adopted a mixed method approach by employing descriptive statistics, comparative case studies, and content analysis to identify the relationship between external negative perceptions and Chinese nationalist sentiments under the theoretical framework of social constructivism, social identity theory, and psychological reactance theory. The descriptive statistics show a general trend of growing negative attitudes towards China in the past decade on the global level. The result of comparative case studies confirms the relationship between external hostilities and Chinese nationalist sentiments. The result of content analysis shows that nativist nationalism is on the rise and there is a dangerous tendency to become ultranationalism. This paper contributes to the existing literature on nationalism and public support as a bridge to connect foreign and domestic opinions.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen