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Never Forget National Humiliation


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Tables Preface Acknowledgments Introduction: From Tank Man to China's New Patriots 1. Historical Memory, Identity, and Politics 2. Chosen Glory, Chosen Trauma 3. From All-Under-Heaven to a Nation-State: Humiliation and Nation-Building 4. From Victor to Victim: The Patriotic Education Campaign 5. From Vanguard to Patriot: Reconstructing the Chinese Communist Party 6. From Earthquake to Olympics: New Trauma, New Glory 7. Memory, Crises, and Foreign Relations 8. Memory, Textbooks, and Sino-Japanese Reconciliation 9. Memory, Nationalism, and China's Rise Notes Bibliography Index

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How did the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regain the support of Chinese citizens after the Tiananmen Square crackdown of 1989? Why has popular sentiment turned toward anti-Western nationalism despite the anti-dictatorship democratic movements of the 1980s? And why has China become more assertive toward the United States and Japan in foreign policy? Zheng Wang offers an explanation for these trends as he follows and analyzes the CCP's ideological reeducation of the public, which relentlessly portrays China as the victim of "one hundred years of humiliation" and foreign imperialist bullying in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Wang uses historical memory to decode China's political transition, popular sentiment, and international behavior in the post-Tiananmen and post-Cold War era. He also explores the role that historical memory has played in China's rise, its manipulation by political elites, its resonance in the popular imagination, and its ability to constrain and shape China's foreign relations with major powers.

About the Author

Zheng Wang is an associate professor in the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University and a global fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.


A valuable, and often lively, account of a crucial aspect of modern China. -- Gideon Rachman Financial Times A future world where the Chinese are at peace with their own past seems a long way away. But that is the place, as this useful study of such a difficult area, where we need to get to. -- Kerry Brown Asian Review of Books This work is highly recommended for general readers as well as Asia scholars. It is a must for any serious library collection on Asia. Essential. Choice A must-read for anyone interested in post-Tiananmen Chinese nationalism. -- Robert Weatherley e-IR Wang gives us a critically important book that provides a solid blueprint for understanding contemporary China. -- Daniel Metraux Virginia Review of Asian Studies A timely addition to the fast-expanding literature on Chinese nationalism. -- Xiangfeng Yang Pacific Affairs a vivid and well-informed study of post-Mao nationalism and Chinese foreign policy... -- Edward Friedman China Quarterly A timely and well-researched book, Never Forget National Humiliation qualifies as a landmark in the study of Chinese nationalism. H-Diplo

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