Peter Gries

Peter Gries
The University of Manchester · Manchester China Institute

PhD

About

92
Publications
39,646
Reads
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1,644
Citations
Citations since 2017
26 Research Items
787 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
Introduction
Peter Hays Gries is the Lee Kai Hung Chair and founding Director of the Manchester China Institute at the University of Manchester, where he is also Professor of Chinese politics. He studies the political psychology of international affairs, with a focus on China and the United States.
Additional affiliations
August 2017 - present
The University of Manchester
Position
  • Chair
Description
  • Lee Kai Hung Chair and founding Director, Manchester China Institute
August 2006 - August 2017
University of Oklahoma
Position
  • Managing Director
August 2006 - August 2017
University of Oklahoma
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • Harold J. & Ruth Newman Chair & Director of the Institute for US-China Issues, and Professor of International Studies, The University of Oklahoma
Education
September 1993 - May 1999

Publications

Publications (92)
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During the past decade, China has rapidly emerged as a major player in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Will it divide Europe? Might these formerly communist countries align themselves again with a communist superpower to their east? Or does their past experience of Russia and communism generate suspicions of China? This article explores what publ...
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Do history wars shape international affairs? If so, how and for whom? Taking the historical dispute between China and South Korea over the ancient Gaogouli/Goguryeo Kingdom as a case study, this article explores the individual-level psychological micro-foundations of history wars. A 2020 survey experiment in South Korea pit “ours” vs “theirs” Gogur...
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The Chinese government’s cover-up of the origins of the new coronavirus, and its more openly prideful and aggressive foreign and human rights policies, triggered a dramatic deterioration of foreign views of China in 2020. That year also witnessed a significant increase in anti-Chinese/Asian prejudice around the world. Could the former have shaped t...
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A growing literature demonstrates that ideology shapes international relations. But just how does ideology have its effect? This article develops an integrated model of mediators and moderators of the impact of ideology on foreign policy. Specifically, it hypothesizes that ideologically motivated perceptions of threat and national power sequentiall...
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How did Britons view China in 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic? This paper presents new, detailed evidence of the negative and worsening perceptions of China in the UK across three domains: public opinion (based on survey data collected in autumn 2020), political elites in parliament, and the media. The worsening of perceptions of China...
Cover Page
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Research
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This report is a result of a large-scale online survey1 of public opinion in Mainland China, conducted between 9-23 March 2022,3 with a research sample (N=3039) representative of the Chinese population with respect to gender, age (18-65 years), and country region. This survey is part of a broader research project ‘Sinophone Borderlands – Interactio...
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Do we like or dislike members of outgroups who seem similar to our ingroup? The psychological literature has offered two opposing answers. Research on distinctiveness threat suggests that we are more likely to perceive members of similar outgroups as threatening: outgroup members sharing high similarity with the ingroup may blur group boundaries, e...
Research
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This report is a result of a wide-scale study of public opinion in 13 European countries on China conducted in September and October 2020, on a research sample (n = 19 673) representative with respect to gender, age, level of education, country region, and settlement density.
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In spring 2018 China, indignant popular nationalists demanded that the “spiritually Japanese” activities of a fringe group of young Chinese who figure themselves as Japanese be proscribed. The National People's Congress quickly complied, passing legislation that made it illegal to “beautify the war of invasion.” Exploring how and why the Chinese Co...
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What is the relationship between ideology and international relations (IR)? The extant literature focuses on how the former shapes the latter. Confrontation between Liberalism and Fascism, Communism, and Authoritarianism have sequentially structured IR over the past Century. While such all-encompassing Ideologies may unify the people of different n...
Chapter
This chapter assesses the domestic sources of contemporary China’s foreign policy. In particular, it examines the importance of national identities, China’s worldviews, the socialization of Chinese, and particularly the role of nationalism. The chapter begins by arguing that social influences matter: the CCP has inextricably linked itself, society,...
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The Taiwan Strait is heating up, as Mainland Chinese netizens, generals, and politicians increasingly talk about ‘forceful’ rather than ‘peaceful’ reunification. While Xi Jinping and Chinese nationalists desperately desire Taiwan’s reunification, Trump’s isolationist “America First” rhetoric has only encouraged reckless Chinese thinking about forci...
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While the existence of a ‘Democratic Peace’ (DP) is widely accepted, the various DP theories that seek to explain why democracies rarely fight one another are highly contested. A ‘commercial/capitalist peace’ counterargument maintains that the relationship between democratic politics and peace is spurious: the actual driver is greater trade among d...
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Are the United States (US) and China destined to fall into a 'Thucydides trap' of power transitions leading to great power conflict? This study explores how the intersubjective perception of media-disseminated narratives of US-China interdependence may shape the likelihood of war. In two randomized online experiments, we manipulated ordinary Americ...
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“We do not forsake the use of force,” Chinese president Xi Jinping warned on January 2, 2019. “China must be, and will be reunified.” While Xi also spoke of the “peaceful reunification” of Taiwan, the tone and context of his speech suggested a final warning shot. Seen as a double “window of opportunity,” 2019 is shaping up to be a dangerous year in...
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Contesting Cyberspace in China: Online Expression and Authoritarian Resilience. By Rongbin Han. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018. 336p. $90.00 cloth, $30.00 paper. - Volume 16 Issue 4 - Peter Gries
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Research demonstrates the multi-dimensional nature of American identity arguing that the normative content of American identity relates to political ideologies in the United States, but the sense of belonging to the nation does not. This paper replicates that analysis and extends it to the German and British cases. Exploratory structural equation m...
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Why do great powers with benign intentions end up fighting each other in wars they do not seek? We utilize an incentivized, two-person “Preemptive Strike Game” (PSG) to explore how the subjective perception of great power interdependence shapes defensive aggression against persons from rival great powers. In Study 1, college students from the US (N...
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Objectives: This study investigated the interaction of parental socialization about discrimination and social dominance orientation (SDO) in predicting the cultural identity and intergroup attitudes of the Minnanese, an ethnic group in Taiwan that faced systematic discrimination during the early decades of Chinese Nationalist rule. Because high SD...
Article
The decline in religious identification and corresponding increase in the unaffiliated has been one of the most important religious changes in the United Kingdom (UK). The emergence of the “religious nones” is the most obvious sign of continuing secularization and the declining social and cultural relevance of religion. Yet while the religiously-un...
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When objective group membership and subjective ethnic identification don’t align, which has a greater impact on how people feel towards the groups they affiliate with, and why? Deprived of many distinctiveness markers typically found in intergroup relations (e.g., physical features, obvious status differences), Taiwanese society provides a perfect...
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Objective. This study revisits the idea that the American public is moderate or nonideological. In this longstanding view, only informed elites maintain consistent ideologies that constrain their political attitudes and behaviors; the mass public is driven instead by partisan identities that they are socialized into. The study explores whether the...
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Urban Chinese today do not appear to trust foreign countries. Why are they so suspicious? Over the past quarter century, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has utilized its educational and propaganda systems to produce historical narratives of imperial China's beneficence towards its East Asian neighbors, and of an early modern ‘Century of Humiliati...
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Based on an original US survey, this article argues that, on average, US conservatives today feel substantially cooler toward Latin American countries than liberals do. They also desire massively tougher Mexico border policies and much less foreign aid than liberals do. Averages can hide substantial differences within groups, however. Not all liber...
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2012–2013 witnessed a renewed flare-up of anti-Japanese sentiment in Mainland China, followed by a toughening of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) Diaoyu Islands policy. Did popular nationalism influence the PRC’s military escalation? A lack of transparency in elite Chinese decision-making puts a definitive answer to this question beyond our r...
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While most mainland Chinese today have extremely few direct contacts with either America or Americans, their indirect contacts with both, via globalized American popular culture, are increasing rapidly. Do daily parasocial contacts with American celebrities shape Chinese views of America? Based on two experimental studies, this paper argues that ev...
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Peter Hays Gries examines the impact of ideology on the American public’s attitudes towards Israel. He finds that social and cultural conservatives feel much more warmly towards Israel—and coolly towards Palestinians and Muslims—than their liberal counterparts. - See more at: http://www.psqonline.org/article.cfm?IDArticle=19351#sthash.OzrM2foL.dpuf
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International Image Theory (IIT) suggests that individuals maintain holistic images of other countries that are akin to schemas, or stereotypes, and that these national images shape both attitudes and foreign policy preferences. Previous research has manipulated national images via explicit descriptions of fictitious countries and found initial evi...
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Based on a 2011 national survey, I argue that while US conservatives feel somewhat cooler toward the East Asian democracies than US liberals do, they feel much cooler toward China. Greater average conservative than liberal prejudice lingers, cooling attitudes toward the “Yellow Peril” of all Asian countries, but communism is a larger source of ideo...
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This article presents results from a nationally representative survey conducted in Taiwan in November 2011 that explores Taiwanese attitudes toward China and the world. It demonstrates that while ‘blue’ (KMT) and ‘green’ (DPP) supporters maintained different attitudes towards China, few Taiwanese supported reunification. Taiwanese attitudes towards...
Data
This article argues that zero-sum, forced-choice approaches to measuring religious belief do not work well outside of the Abrahamic world. Positive-sum approaches to measuring religious beliefs (in the plural) are better suited to the study of polytheistic societies. Using results from a nationally representative survey conducted in 2011 Taiwan, we...
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The deterioration of Sino–South Korean relations following the attacks on the Cheonan and on Yonpyong Island in 2010 has again raised the question of Chinese intentions in the Korean peninsula. In this article, I explore Chinese netizen views of the two Koreas. Qualitative and quantitative evidence (in the form of a large-scale national Internet su...
Chapter
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What are the fundamental determinants of security and insecurity in international affairs? International relations (IR) theorists are remarkably divided on this basic issue. Neorealists such as Ken Waltz have argued that threat is perceived solely as a function of material factors such as the balance of military power.1 Many liberal and constructiv...
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What impact does ideology have on American attitudes and policy preferences toward China? Based on two large N surveys, we first utilize exploratory factor analysis to uncover six distinct American ideological dimensions and two distinct dimensions of attitudes toward China that distinguish between its government and its people. We then utilize str...
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Globalization affords greater opportunities to learn about foreign peoples than in the past. What impacts do interpersonal contact, media exposure to and knowledge about China have on the American people's China policy preferences? Two large surveys of U.S. citizens were conducted in the summers of 2008 and 2009 to explore whether knowledge about C...
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In most parts of the world, globalization has become an unstoppable and potent force that impacts everyday life and international relations. The articles in this issue draw on theoretical insights from diverse perspectives (clinical psychology, consumer research, organizational behavior, political psychology, and cultural psychology) to offer nuanc...
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What is the nature of Chinese patriotism and nationalism, how does it differ from American patriotism and nationalism, and what impact do they have on Chinese foreign policy attitudes? To explore the structure and consequences of Chinese national identity, three surveys were conducted in China and the US in the spring and summer of 2009. While patr...
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Recent survey research suggests that, on average, Americans of all political stripes hold more positive attitudes towards the Chinese people than they do towards the Chinese government. This tendency appears more pronounced, however, among Republicans and conservatives, who are significantly more negative about the Chinese government than Democrats...
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Little is known about how the political orientations and party affiliations of ordinary Americans impact their perceptions of China. Based on our surveys, we find that partisanship does indeed impact American views of China. Self-reported “conservatives” perceive significantly greater threat in China’s rise, hold more negative views of the Chinese...
Chapter
Do concerns over “face” play a greater role in Chinese than American foreign policy? What is the nature of Chinese national identity? Can it be empirically measured and compared to other national identities, and is it consequential for foreign policy outcomes? For instance, how do Chinese patriotism and nationalism compare with, say, American patri...
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China: The Pessoptimist Nation. CallahanWilliam A.. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. xiv + 266 pp. $45.00. ISBN 978-0-19-954995-5 - Volume 202 - Peter Hays Gries
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RESUMEN Este artículo trata el tema de por qué algunos americanos tienen actitudes ne-gativas hacia el pueblo y el gobierno de China, y el impacto que dichas actitudes producen en sus políticas chinas prefe-ridas. Partimos del supuesto de que los efectos de autoritarismo de derechas (RWA) y la orientación de la dominación social (SDO) en el apoyo d...
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This paper explores the impact that increased exposure to China during the two and a half weeks of the Beijing Olympics had on American attitudes towards China. A large N longitudinal survey revealed a significant increase in negative attitudes towards China from the beginning to the end of August 2008. Statistical analysis revealed no dominant exp...
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China's relations with the West deteriorated dramatically following the Tibet and Olympic torch relay controversies in the spring of 2008. Because of its focus on the balance of material power, realist International Relations theory can do little to help us understand such developments. Instead, it is the political psychology of international relat...
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Chinese and Korean protests over "revisionist" Japanese histories of World War II are well known. The impact of contested Chinese and US histories of the Korean War on US-China relations today has received less attention. More broadly, there has been little research seeking to systematically explore just how history textbook controversies matter fo...
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Historical controversies continue to plague northeast Asian politics today, with Chinese and Koreans protesting Japanese history textbooks and Japanese politicians' visits to Yasukuni Shrine, and Koreans protesting Chinese claims that the ancient Kingdom of Goguryo was Chinese, not Korean. Yet, there is little empirical research exploring what, if...
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Given the polarized nature of the current American debate over China's rise, the 2007 publication of three excellent books on the subject is both timely and welcome. Bates Gill, Iain Johnston, and Susan Shirk are three of the most respected American experts on Chinese foreign policy, and they arrive at a common, cautiously optimistic conclusion: Ch...
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Rejecting the certainty of prediction in favor of a probabilistic approach to forecasting , this paper develops an eight-step forecasting methodology, addressing 1) structural drivers, 2) predetermined elements, 3) critical uncertainties, 4) chance, 5) scenarios, 6) probabilities, 7) signposts, and 8) policy implications, and applies it to the medi...
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Following the publication of Ma Licheng's provocative article “New thinking on relations with Japan,” 2003 China witnessed a remarkable public debate on Japan policy. Academics tangled with internet nationalists, and heavy pressure was put on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take a tough line on Japan. The crushing defeat of the “new thinking” an...
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In July 2004, a Chinese claim that the ancient Kingdom of Koguryo (37 BC-AD 668) was China's vassal state ignited a firestorm of protest in South Korea. The decade-long South Korean love affair with China appears to have ended, as increasing numbers of South Koreans have begun to view their colossal neighbor with new suspicion. What were the causes...
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Following the publication of Ma Licheng's provocative article "New thinking on relations with Japan," 2003 China witnessed a remarkable public debate on Japan policy. Academics tangled with internet nationalists, and heavy pressure was put on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take a tough line on Japan. The crushing defeat of the "new thinking" an...
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It would be a mistake to attribute to the Communist Party complete control over Chinese nationalism today. With the emergence of the Internet, cell phones, and text messaging, popular nationalists in China are increasingly able to act independently of the state.
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Are the relations among nations inevitably conflictual? Neorealism and neoliberalism share the rationalist assumption that states are self-regarding, but debate over whether states pursue relative or absolute gains. Scholars focusing on identity have recently joined the controversy. Wendt (1992) has argued against the realists that conflict is not...
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The recent upsurge of anti-Japanese sentiment in China should not be reduced to elite instrumentality, the Chinese Communist Party merely fomenting nationalism to legitimize its rule. Anti-Japanese sentiment in China today has deeper popular roots in evolving narratives about China's national past and in debates over the very meaning of being "Chin...
Chapter
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 pop...
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This chapter focuses on the reaction of Chinese nationalists to the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, in May 1999 by an American B-2 bomber. It explains that most Chinese people considered the bombing as having had hostile intent, and they launched demonstrations and protests in various parts of the world. Back in China, nationali...
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This introductory chapter explains the theme of this book, which is about the stand of Chinese nationalists about Western aggression. The book investigates whether China is out to settle old scores with the West or is seeking to incorporate itself peacefully into the world system. It describes the so-called fourth generation of Chinese nationalists...
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This chapter focuses on China's century-long national humiliation. It describes Xia Ziyi's 1996 painting The Awakened Lion with calligraphy which states that “the sleeping lion has awoken, erasing the national humiliation.” Xia explained that China's past national humiliation at the hands of Western imperialism can be erased with an “angry roar.” T...
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This chapter focuses on Chinese identity and Chinese nationalists' view of the West. It discusses Westerners' observation that the Chinese threat to both America and Japan is real and that it is the same as that from all dictatorships. The chapter comments on China's anti-American 1997 diatribe The Plot to Demonize China and highlights the repeated...
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This chapter focuses on China's so-called Kissinger complex. It discusses former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's “China complex” and Chinese nationalists' Kissinger complex, which causes them to praise high-status foreigners who trumpet China's rise while downplaying its flaws. The chapter shows how narratives of Sino-American relations f...
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This chapter examines Chinese narratives about China's wars with Japan. It explains that stories about the Sino-Japanese Jiawu War of 1894–1895 and World War 2 continue to drive the Chinese's views of Japan and of themselves. The chapter observes that a self-image of “China as victim” is increasingly vying with “China as victor” in the stories Chin...
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This chapter examines the relevance of Chinese nationalism in U.S.–China relations in the twenty-first century. It attempts to answer the pressing question of what China policy America should pursue at the onset of the twenty-first century. The chapter highlights the existence of conflicts of material interests in U.S.–China relations today, and ar...
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In an international relations context, the mutual images held by actors affect their mutual expectations about the Other's behavior and guide the interpretation of the Other's actions. Here it is argued that the effect of these images is moderated by the degree of entitativity of the Other—that is, the extent to which it is perceived as a real enti...
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Following the 1 April 2001 plane collision over the South China Seas, China and the United States engaged in two weeks of intensive 'apology diplomacy'. What role did culture play in these events? Drawing on experimental findings in social and cross-cultural psychology, we argue against the pundits that essentialized cultural difference--and agains...
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International Security 26.2 (2001) 155-165 In "Posing Problems without Catching Up," Thomas Christensen criticizes balance-of-power arguments that highlight the United States' relative military superiority and proclaim that China is not a military threat. Instead, he argues that asymmetric strategies (waiting until the U.S. military is bogged down...
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Rather than sit on the sidelines and wager on whether Chinese nationalism is benign or malevolent, Westerners must recognize that they have more than just a stake in the outcome. Nationalism is about the identity of nations, and identity does not develop in isolation. Chinese nationalism will evolve in dynamic relationship with the West. If the Wes...

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