Nationalism or Nationalist Foreign Policy? Contemporary Chinese Nationalism and its Role in Shaping Chinese Foreign Policy in Response to the Belgrade Embassy Bombing

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Abstract

Focusing on the Chinese response towards the Belgrade Embassy Bombing in 1999 as a case study, this article will address the role of contemporary Chinese nationalism in the Chinese foreign policymaking process. By dividing the meaning of Chinese nationalism into several layers, the author will explore the potential of nationalism in replacing communism as the new frame for Chinese foreign policy after the death of Mao. Then the article will examine four possible explanations in an attempt to account for a primarily nationalist Chinese foreign policy in response to the Belgrade Embassy bombing. Underlying the analysis of these arguments is the suggestion that contemporary Chinese nationalism exists more vividly in official rhetoric than actuality, and that it is unlikely to become the new Chinese foreign policy framer in the future.

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