The Issue of Chinese Nationalism until the Establishment of the People’s Republic of China
The text on the Chinese nationalism provides a systematic insight into Chinese concepts, tradition and practice related a nation intertwined with statehood throughout the history as well as their implications for the present and the future. It allows the reader to comprehend a complex weave of interdependence between China’s unique past as a major regional power considering itself to be the center of the universe with all other entities conceptually reduced to a status of vassals or subordinates. It explains the dramatic confrontation between that self-confidence of the Chinese empire and the harsh reality of foreign powers’ intrusion and intervention for more than 100 years from 1840 onwards.
The first part of this text deals with China’s philosophy of the state and governance, its perception of the world, its treatment of other nations and nationalities within its realm, both close and distant, throughout recorded history, and the shocking experience of consecutive defeats at the hands of foreigners resulting in conception of nationalistic and even xenophobic tendencies and views at the turn of the 19th and the 20th century.
The ideas of modern nationalism based mainly on foreign concepts put into the framework of China’s own conditions played a major role as a nail in the coffin of the Qing Empire, being the ideological premises of the Xinhai Revolution. Those ideas also greatly contributed to formation of more radical concepts of a nationalist state later envisioned and implemented by Mao Zedong and his communist government. The second part of the text – to be published in the 2012 issue of „Asia-Pacific” – will dwell extensively on the latter topic.