NEWS + ANALYSIS
STEPHEN HASLEY, PH.D.

NEWS + ANALYSIS

DREAMING OF POLITICAL LEGITIMACY IN CONTEMPORARY CHINA

April 30, 2015 | by Stephen Hasley, Ph.D.

“Even if China is covered with graves, we must kill all Japanese.” In 2012 a protester emblazoned these words on a sign contesting Tokyo’s claims to the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyutai islands in the East China Sea. Angry demonstrations roiled a number of major Chinese cities in the months that followed. Mobs destroyed Japanese businesses and restaurants, burned Japanese cars, and attempted to bar Japanese patients from receiving treatment at local hospitals. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) fostered this nationalist agitation not only to strengthen its diplomatic position, but also to promote domestic cohesion during a sensitive political moment.

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