The modern face of China’s ancient “Chinese vs barbarian” worldview

The ancient Chinese perspective that divides the word into Chinese/civilized/victim/moral and foreigner/barbarian/aggressor/immoral is alive and well today, according to the author of China: The Pessoptimist Nation, which “shows how the heart of Chinese foreign policy is not a security dilemma, but an identity dilemma. Through a careful analysis of how Chinese people understand their new place in the world, the book charts how Chinese identity emerges through the interplay of positive and negative feelings in a dynamic that intertwines China’s domestic and international politics. China thus is the pessoptimist nation where national security is closely linked to nationalist insecurities.”

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