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Реферат Chinese Nationalism

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Тип работы: Реферат. Предмет: Политология. Добавлен: 07.12.2017. Сдан: 2016. Страниц: 10. Уникальность по antiplagiat.ru: < 30%

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School of Applied International and Area Studies

Chinese Nationalism
Nationalism in China – is very popular and interesting topic, which importance can’t be underestimated. Researches from all over the world payed attention to this issue in many different stages of Chinese history and have spoken about nationalism in many ways and from many tangles. But this topic seems endless. In this essay I will try to look at the Chinese Nationalism through the prism of history, my own background and specific of Chinese mentality. In my opinion it’s not fair to talk about nationalism exactly in China separately from its basis and people’s ideology. I would like to think about special assessment for Chinese nationalism.
First of all, let’s never forget that Chinese nation has one of the longest history on the Earth. Impact of history should be seen as answer for many parts of nationalism here. And looking through history could give many answers to researcher. So let’s have a brief look back and try to realize what in history made this feeling of special nation that strong. For the beginning I would like to stress the well-known fact that Chinese nationalism contains many different ideologies which sometimes are contradictory to each other: here we have a mixture of Chinese traditional thinking, Marxism, American progressivism and Russian ethnological thought on top. Interesting that ideologies of Chinese nationalism presents itself separately from each other, in symbiosis and as single manifestations. Significant is that most of the time these manifestations both support and disagree one another. Just imagine Three Principles of the People, ideology of the Communist Party of China, the anti-government views of students in the Tiananmen protests of 1989, Fascist blueshirts, and Japanese collaborationism under Wang Jingwei. But to be impersonal, let’s agree on a fact that main idea of it is quite transparent and simple: to centralize Chinese state. The biggest problem among nationalists is to make a right choice in seeking the way of doing it, what kind of actions can lead to centralization of the state. Among other question of Chinese nationalism is also one that was important in all times: should Chine resist West or try to learn from it? Among those questions there are some other, like: how should be relations between China and other foreign world; how should be relations between majority (han) and minorities; how should mainland Chinese look at overseas Chinese and Chinese from Hong Kong and Taiwan? These questions bringing us to the idea of national consciousness. First of all let’s think what is national consciousness? It is kind of a feeling that makes every person a part of a national union, psychologically very important feeling as every human being must feel an attachment to the group, and as group gets bigger, the stronger this consciousness can be.
But for understanding better Chinese consciousness let’s highlight its specific points:
1. First of all, Chinese national consciousness can’t be seen apart from its history. Centuries before, when China was on top of the Asian world, it was seen as a prosperous country with high level of knowledge and progress, as civilized world surrounded by barbarians, who’s level of culture was obviously behind. But it’s important to know that China never wanted those barbarians to be forcibly part of a Middle Kingdom, even if this idea sounded inviting, China had super soft and friendly politics about converting barbarians into part of the country, there comes the “soft-power” concept. And in my opinion this is much more of democracy than any contemporary democratic country claims. This was a conception of the “nation state”, generous and soft. But times changed and history put its own pressure to the nation, and after all the “nation state” concept also has been changed. Important to remember that Chinese nationalism has “soft-power” history roots, but nowadays on the surface we meet only its blooms, which can be seen as anti-democratic and aggressive.
2. As China is a communist country, it’s important to remember that apart of personal national consciousness, there is a party national consciousness, and party represents a concentration of power at a central point of authority. This means controlling media, press and internet. And somehow can control national behavior, like preparing anti-Japanese riots of students or anti-American riots after bombing of Chinese embassy in Belgrade. But maybe government can help with organization of such kind of riots, but can’t make people feel this way, what I mean is of course hand of party is obvious, but national consciousness is something that was grown by itself.
3. The third point comes out of the second. It’s about maintaining the loyalty among citizens in same time maintaining distinctive identity. This can be controlled by centralized power, but also coming out of history. China has 56 ethnic groups. Meanwhile hanzu (??) represents its majority (92%). But other minorities are still a part of national idea and whole country, so majority respects its presence and its traditions, they have own customs, dialects and even confessions. As well they have same rights and possibilities. So there is a presence of loyalty. But how is it possible to maintain distinctive identity when there are 56 identities? To do this, there must be kind of identity above nationality, I would call it “ultra-identity”. And to create such kind of identity takes a lot of efforts from every minority and from majority as well.
4. Important to every national consciousness is to wake up in the moment when it’s needed. To help nation maintain this smart edge of not being extremely nationalistic, but still preserve and advance Chinese civilization. Because in every sense losing it, would mean to loose identity.
These four points of national consciousness is just kind of an ideal way to stay strong for such a big population as China has. Talking about Chinese nationalism is very important to remember about how many people can have this consciousness. It’s easy to control a national proud of a country as, for example, Finland, when population has around 5 million people, and just imagine what kind of strength is needed to gather 1,3 billion people. Especially when there are so many national minorities. And Chinese nation as an organism has this fear of being absorbed by barbarians through its history. That’s why particularly Sun Yat-sen was talking about revolutions reasons to change Qin dynasty to new rulers as a chance to restore national independence. It should be noted that methods of restoring it can’t be purely soft.
Next historical aspect I would like to touch is PRC’s connection to USSR. Sino-Soviet relation never were easy or smooth, but still in my opinion it’s one of the most notable it contemporary history country’s connection, and national connection. Russia by itself has very complicated history, full of revolutions, civil and world wars. Which is somehow reminds Chinese experience (not in the war aspect, as China mostly used its defensive position). During Soviet period Russians were reunited after losing the status of Empire. And this new reunification had a strong national basis. Every Russia was proud to be from USSR, not only because of a history, but also because of achievements country had: the greatest scientists, many nations united under one country’s name, many cultures, first astronaut and space explorations, military. And China in that period was leaded by USSR under the standard of communist countries. I believe that moment China needed a big brother as Russia to orient not only ideologically against capitalistic world, but also in the way of loving country and feeling proud of it. So when in 1990 Soviet Union was spited and there was no longer an orienteer for China, contrary there was an example how not to do, it was a hard time for Chinese to realize that the way they followed could be wrong. National feeling fed by communist could be thrown apart. But 1990 became a point of resurgence of Chinese nationalism, because of lack of any other ideology that could help country to stay on its rails.
Next point that is needed to be mentioned leads back to the question of national minorities, particularly Muslims and Tibetans. These two groups has uncertain mood about being part of China and time to time country faces it’s strong resistance in it. How to keep situation under control – is a question for another paper, but I would like to mention that Chinese government is constantly working on it. Briefly talking about Muslims, interesting to know that many distinguished Muslim reformers, warlords and generals played a big role in Chinese nationalism. Even though Muslims and Islam was brought to China from abroad and represents a mixture of Arabs and Persians (who had its own strong and even aggressive way to protect national feeling), Chinese Muslims (known as Hui) mixed with Hanzu and assimilated all over the country and even converted some of han people to Islam. Ma Qixi, Ma Fuxiang, Ma Zhongying all those people did a lot towards making Muslims a part of ancient Chinese civilization, they were seeking the way to speak Chinese and respecting Confucianism, they preached unity of all Chinese and even non-Chinese as Mongols and, Tibetans. As one of greatest examples, Ma Fuxiang believed that modern education would help Hui Chinese build a better society and help China resist foreign imperialism and help build the nation. He was praised for his national consciousness (“guojia yizhi”) by other Chinese. And when it’s needed the anti-Soviet and anti-Japanese mood was maintained in Xinjiang region. But the question of Uighurs separatist mood and also Islam as a wide-use confession are very sensitive topics. Because Islamic culture is very dependent on its confession, Muslim must have an Islamic leader who can ensure them of doing things right. Luckily so far Xingjian had its Chinese heroes who managed to control this sentiments.
Getting back to the main idea of nationalism, centralized China, I would like to highlight its main challenge for today: it is PRC vs. Taiwan. Also one of the sensitive topics for Chinese on both sides: Mainland and Taiwan Island. Getting in the current state of being separated ideologically was a big problem for government and every citizen of Mainland China. Even now this topic can cause many hot argues among every category of people. Nationalistic sentiments of Chinese from Mainland and Taiwan somehow is very familiar and strong, even the direction of it may be different. Why it is the same? Because people living on both sides are still Chinese, and even though issues of past separated them, they still have same past. And once the gap of ideologies may be overcome. I also believe that the difference between Mainland and islanders is fake and has no chance to be continued in the long future. But of course this is a very optimistic point of view. For no and foreseeable future situation may be just like it is. Nevertheless, in my opinion, in the moment when Chine got stronger, Taiwan would have another reason to reunify with Mainland. And even Sunflower protestor demonstrated against Taiwan closer ties with China, it may have a strong economic aspect. Even now Mainland and Taiwan have many economic ties and projects, and despite any ideology, many Taiwan companies use “China” as a part of its name. For Russia and Russians it is seen as “One China” that struggles through some political and ideological differences, but still one country...


References
1. Jean-Pierre Cabestan, “The Many Facets of Chinese Nationalism”, Chinese Perspectives, No. 59, 2005/5.
2. Wang Gungwu, “The Revival of Chinese Nationalism”, Leiden: International Institute for Asian Studies, 1996
3. Rebecca Karl, “Staging the World - Chinese Nationalism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century”, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2002
4. Susan L. Shirk, “China: Fragile Superpower”, 2008
5. John Richard Cookson, “The Real Threat of Chinese Nationalism”, The National Interest, 2008




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