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  1. kashby
    kashby April 11, 2009 at 11:49 pm |

    Very interesting view toward the Chinese idea of identity. I find the Chinese to be have a strange mix of an inferiority complex and a simultaneous feeling of superiority. I do think this began far before the Opium wars. Remember that China had been ruled by an essentially foreign power – the Manchu since 1644. The Manchu had gone to great lengths to keep themselves essentially separate in culture from the majority Han. And before that China had been subjected to rule by other more militarily capable powers including the Mongols during the Yuan dynasty. The roots of Chinese feeling of inferiority go deep into it’s long history and unfortunately were not excised during the Communist Revolution. What is dangerous is that these feelings are easily manipulated into a radical ultra-nationalism that often threatens to dominate China’s diplomacy toward the West.

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