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China's New Nationalism: Pride, Politics, and Diplomacy Paperback – July 5, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0520244825 ISBN-10: 0520244826 Edition: New Ed
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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"

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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

"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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; New Ed edition (July 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520244826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520244825
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #733,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Gries was born in Singapore, and grew up in Hong Kong, Japan, and Beijing, where he attended a Chinese public elementary school and learned to throw (dud) hand grenades in sports class. He later earned a BA in Asian Studies at Middlebury College, a MA in Asian Studies at the University of Michigan, and a PhD in political science at the University of California, Berkeley.

Peter is currently the Harold J. & Ruth Newman Chair & Director of the Institute for US-China Issues and Professor of International & Area Studies a the University of Oklahoma. He studies the political psychology of international affairs, with a focus on Chinese and American foreign policy. Peter lives in Norman, Oklahoma with his wife Monica and daughter Julia.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert Hyneman on November 16, 2005
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.
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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.
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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.
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11 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Sino-US relations watcher on August 3, 2004
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.
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