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Grant number like: FT-264843-19

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Yinan He, PhD
Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA 18015-3027)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2019 – 7/31/2019

Domestic Enemies, National Identity Mobilization, and China's Attitudes toward Foreign Others

Writing a book about Chinese approaches to the “foreign other” in domestic and foreign policy in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

To stoke fear and hatred of foreigners for internal needs is a recurring pattern in modern Chinese nationalism. Anchored in interpretive analysis of elites’ political rhetoric, party documents, and propaganda materials, the book is a macro-historical study of Chinese national identity discourse from the 1890s till the 2010s. Rather than being constantly antagonistic toward foreign imperialism, China has undergone cycles of seeking cooperation with foreigners and demonizing them. When facing severe political challenges, Chinese elites often tried to exclude domestic enemies in national identity mobilization. However, if targeting domestic others alone was politically inconvenient or unappealing, they would promote antiforeign identity to reinforce internal battles. By linking China’s domestic politics with attitudes toward perceived foreign adversaries, this study revises dominant views that emphasize historical grievances or external threat in explaining modern China’s antiforeignism.