Neoliberalism and the Effects on Modern China

Quote – “The Chinese state has actively mobilized the ideology of nationalism and defines itself as carrying out a national project to make China strong and powerful… [but] the Chinese state knows well that excessive nationalism might not only undercut the Communist Party’s ability to rule but also disrupt China’s paramount foreign policy objective.” [1. So, Alvin Y. “Rethinking the Chinese Developmental Miracle.” China and the Transformation of Global Capitalism, 58.]

It was interesting to see someone so clearly state that China can no longer simply legitimize itself by claiming to follow Marxist theory. It is something that is clear to most (if not all), but it something few rarely say so openly. Moreover, the discussion of China’s re-evaluation of itself (promote nationalism!) and the drawbacks of this are fascinating. The control inherent to the Maoist state is used to redefine China in a modern age, to manipulate the media in an attempt to sway public opinion. The issues of too much nationalistic ferver, though, are not really delved into here, but are something we have discussed in depth in class. Issues of supporting the country over the party, epitimized in the Tiananmen Square Incident, seem to be a fairly common issue in modern day China.  The economically driven foreign policy is also interesting from the perspective of the evolution of the Chinese nation – to characterize those who in Mao’s time were  so derided as good friends, to the point of trying to tone down attacks made against the county is a dramatic change indeed.

One of the things discussed in this section was about anti-Japanese sentiment in China. They referred to one specific incident, but I was unfamiliar with it.  What is the ‘incident of the shrine’ that the essay refers to on page 58? Clearly, it had a significant effect on the Chinese perception on Japan, enough so that the Chinese government felt compelled to try and negate the effects for fear of damaging China’s political relations with Japan.

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