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China’s New Nationalism: Pride, Politics, and Diplomacy [Paperback]

Peter Hays Gries
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 32.90 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

July 5 2005 Philip E. Lilienthal Books
Three American missiles hit the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, and what Americans view as an appalling and tragic mistake, many Chinese see as a "barbaric" and intentional "criminal act," the latest in a long series of Western aggressions against China. In this book, Peter Hays Gries explores the roles of perception and sentiment in the growth of popular nationalism in China. At a time when the direction of China's foreign and domestic policies have profound ramifications worldwide, Gries offers a rare, in-depth look at the nature of China's new nationalism, particularly as it involves Sino-American and Sino-Japanese relations—two bilateral relations that carry extraordinary implications for peace and stability in the twenty-first century.

Through recent Chinese books and magazines, movies, television shows, posters, and cartoons, Gries traces the emergence of this new nationalism. Anti-Western sentiment, once created and encouraged by China's ruling PRC, has been taken up independently by a new generation of Chinese. Deeply rooted in narratives about past "humiliations" at the hands of the West and impassioned notions of Chinese identity, popular nationalism is now undermining the Communist Party's monopoly on political discourse, threatening the regime's stability. As readable as it is closely researched and reasoned, this timely book analyzes the impact that popular nationalism will have on twenty-first century China and the world.

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"This book admirably fills a glaring gap in our understanding of how to think intelligently about China. Grounding his insights in an extensive survey of recent American and Chinese portrayals of the other country, the author demonstrates convincingly how even specialists can feed the 'fears and fantasies' that shape and distort our respective perceptions and reinforce the stereotypes that complicate the formulation of sound policy. Remarkably, the lessons are as valuable for Chinese readers as for American, for the general public as for the foreign policy expert." - J. Stapleton Roy, former U.S. ambassador to the People's Republic of China"

From the Inside Flap

"This book admirably fills a glaring gap in our understanding of how to think intelligently about China. Grounding his insights in an extensive survey of recent American and Chinese portrayals of the other country, the author demonstrates convincingly how even specialists can feed the 'fears and fantasies' that shape and distort our respective perceptions and reinforce the stereotypes that complicate the formulation of sound policy. Remarkably, the lessons are as valuable for Chinese readers as for American, for the general public as for the foreign policy expert."—J. Stapleton Roy, former U.S. Ambassador to the People's Republic of China

"At the heart of the volatile Sino-American relationship is the interaction of perceptions, identities, and mass nationalism. Exploring multiple media, Peter Gries captures the caricatures, stereotypes, and mutual portrayals that demonize the 'other.' This book uncovers troubling implications about the 'inner structure' of U.S.-China relations and should be read by scholars, analysts, and policymakers alike."—David Shambaugh, George Washington University & The Brookings Institution, author of Modernizing China's Military

"Gries, in full command of the Chinese media, has given us a lively and lucid interdisciplinary study of Chinese self-perception, bringing forward images of the US that have mostly worked to complicate communications in Sino-American relations. An excellent contribution to Chinese foreign-relations studies."—Allen Whiting, University of Arizona, author of The Chinese Calculus of Deterrence

"Provides an indispensable psychological dimension to the analysis of China's relations with America-especially important today when demonizing the other side has become commonplace on both sides of the Pacific Ocean."—Peter Van Ness, editor of Debating Human Rights: Critical Essays from the United States and Asia

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First Sentence
8 May 1999. Midnight. In the skies over Belgrade, an American B-2 bomber dropped five two-thousand-pound guided missiles. Read the first page
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3.0 out of 5 stars China's Government June 21 2004
Format:Hardcover
The book gives a good review of how China perceives the western power. The book goes further to show the relationships between Japan and the United States and how the economies pushed out China of world trade and future growth.
The book gives lots of detail and facts but is a slow read, and is written with a harsh slant against the United States, blaming the US for numerous problems in China.
Overall, there are lots of good facts but you have to read it with a grain of salt.
Matthew Hull
Columbus, Ohio
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Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Better Approach, An Excellent Work, a Little Outdated Nov. 16 2005
By Robert Hyneman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A Better Approach, An Excellent Work, a Little Outdated

After reading this book I will be looking for future works by its author (Peter Gries).

There are dozens of books I could have chosen on this topic. I chose China's new nationalism by peter Gries because his approach is superior to the approach used by most books, because his approach is less subject to bias or misinterpretation, than that used by the others.

Most books calculate the rise or fall of Chinese nationalism according to such things as

The number of Chinese spies caught in the US and the rise or fall in the careers of outspoken Chinese Nationalists such as Gen. Zhu Chenghu and Gen. Peng Guangqian. But more (or fewer) spies being caught is a reflection of the FBI's efficacy, not the rise or fall in tide of Chinese Nationalism, and careers of those like Zhu and Peng can rise or fall for many reasons. (their careers might even rise if they "swear off" nationalism and join the Chinese mainstream.

Authors who rely on the above evidence can bend it to say whatever they want.

For that reason, Gries' approach, which looks more at phenomena such as student demonstrations, Chinese Wall Posters, editorials and movies allowed in the Chinese media,

is a better gauge of whether nationalism in China is part of the mainstream or a small non-threatening wing such as exists in every country.

The only downside to the book is that the material is a little bit dated. Published in 2003 it contains little or no material more current than 2000 or 2001 and nearly all of it focuses on 1997-1999.

If you area serious student of Chinese politics you MUST own Gries' book. But to be truly relevant to today, his book should be updated.
3.0 out of 5 stars A good reference book on China's new nationalism Feb. 16 2013
By Xuecheng Liu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is one of the reference books on studying China's new nationalism surging with China's rise.
The auther analyzes its background and expressions and its reflections in China's new diplomacy.
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful Text Illustrates Multifaceted Nature of Chinese Nationalism Nov. 22 2011
By John Pavliga - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Prof. Gries has provided a useful text for illustrating his main point -- that Chinese nationalism is not a strictly top-down, Communist Party driven phenomenon, but rather that there is interplay between Party elites, intellectuals, populist writers, and even foreigners that together shape Chinese identity, and thus Chinese nationalism.

Repeatedly discussing the NATO bombing of China's embassy in Belgrade and the 2001 mid-air collision between an American spy plane and a Chinese fighter jet, Gries shows how Chinese and American observers see the same handful of major events in completely different terms, and how this leads to misunderstanding and mistrust. And he relies on theories from psychology and the concept of "face" to explain why this may be -- some of which are quite compelling.

The book is well researched and well written, and Gries' knowledge of the Chinese language certainly provides insights that would be missed by China scholars and journalists confined to English language sources.

People concerned with Sino-American relations will benefit from reading this book even if only to become aware of the contrast in Chinese and American perceptions. Since reading the book, I've found myself considering how policy makers and leaders would be most effective in dealing with China. Based on what Gries suggests drives destructive nationalism, it's tempting to think perhaps convenient fictions and flattery might go a long way in facilitating dialogue between our countries.
11 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Chinese nationalism Aug. 3 2004
By Sino-US relations watcher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If one wants to understand Chinese nationalism, this book is a must read. While I noticed that one reviewer thought the book had an anti-US bias, it's very difficult to explain the reasons behind Chinese nationalism without taking on that tone.
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Narrative, Yet Misleading July 29 2007
By CA Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Professor Gries's China's New Nationalism may be more appropriately titled Nationalist Narratives in Contemporary China: A Literary Critique. The author draws his primary resources from a variety of Chinese- and English-language newspapers, popular magazines, movies, tv shows, pamphlets, posters, etc. The book, though well-intended, is written more like a literary criticism than a serious discussion of China's political, economic, or social problems. Students of Chinese studies or policy makers who are seriously interested in Sino-American relations will not gain substantive knowledge from reading this book.
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