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Assess the view that Nationalism is more a bane than a boon for Chinas

development as a global power.


After Chinas opening up in 1978, what has been driving China forward to become
an economic power house is not communism or any other ideology but nationalism
and a desire to make China a great nationwhat Xi Jin Ping today will call the China
Dream. While nationalism is a boon for Chinas development as a global power as it
spurs her forward in her desire to restore her glorious past as a great nation, Chinas
brand of nationalism incorporates a tinge of vengefulness which may sometimes
make it a bane for her development as it generates opposition and resistance to her
growth. Nevertheless, this essay seeks to argue that nationalism is more of a boon
than a bane for Chinas development as a global power as the impetus for her to
grow as provided by nationalism is very strong and the desirable effects of it are
only peripheral and temporal.
Nationalism is more of a boon than a bane for Chinas development as a global
power because the desire to recover her lost status as a powerful and glorious
nation is the past gives China a very strong and determined attitude which makes
her resilient and steady in her development. Though no exactly the same way
things were, the desire to regain is prestige to the level of the past is about there.
Traditionally, China has seen itself as taking the center stage of the world where the
worlds happenings revolve around it. Around this centre, other countries or
dominions pay deference to China. Vast in territory and rich in resources, China was
very confident and secured in self-sustenance. The building of the Great Wall to
block out barbarians without much attempts to trade with other countries is a sign
of this. The Four Great Inventions of papermaking, the compass, gunpowder, and
printing show that China at one point in time used to be the most advanced country.
Used to and still does, in numerical terms, China has the largest army in the world.
However, Chinas brand of nationalism may be a bane for her development as a
global power because the vengefulness it bears may in turn generate oppositions to
try to impede its growth. The Chinese sees the 100-plus years beginning in the mid19th century where the country was sliced up by Western power and Japan as the
worst humiliation they nation has ever had and it still has not forgotten that and
probably never will. It was also the time when China realized, for the first time in its
5000-year history, that it was no longer a glorious nation. This has repercussions on
Chinas foreign after 1978 in making her more aggressive to assert her stand to
negate that past image of a pushover.
Nationalism has made China realistic in stating her priorities and formulating a wellcalculated diplomatic doctrine that can direct her to global greatness while stirring
the least opposition. To attain great power status, China needs to maintain peaceful
international conditions that enable it to focus on domestic development. Chinese
leaders from Deng to Xi have repeated stressed Beijing commitment to Peaceful
Development that China would not become a hegemonic power even as it turns
stronger. China focus on aggressive economic reforms has result its adoption of
peace and development as central themes of diplomacy. Peace and stability
facilitate progress in economic diplomacy by opening up markets and attracting
investments. China continues to concentrate on improving relations, engaging in
constructive dialogue, normalizing and managing of historical issues with other

countries. The Chinese leaders want to improve Chinas image in the international
community such that it can become a great power.
However, nationalism may sometime go a little out of hand and inevitably force
China to take a more assertive than necessary diplomatic stance in asserting their
claims over disputed territories. China is not always able to abide by their peaceful
diplomatic doctrine. China has demonstrated her assertiveness in the global search
for natural resources and energy needs by fiercely contesting for territories rich in
energy around her periphery to the extent that China is willing to go to war even
though they have always and for a long time not been part of Chinas domestic
concern. From the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea with Vietnam, Taiwan,
Malaysia, and Philippines to the Senkaku Islands or Diaoyutai with Japan in the East
China Sea, China has involved itself in a range of conflicts over territories with its
neighbor to acquire energy. For fear that Taiwan may declare independence with the
support of the US, Beijing has issued war threat to Taiwan.
Nevertheless, a shrewd CCP government that is far-sighted enough to adhere to the
peaceful diplomatic doctrine when necessary has allowed China to gain more
strategically as it chooses to conduct peaceful negotiations over armed conflicts in
its dealings with other countries. China is aware that handling of territorial claims
will affect is international credibility. Hence, Chinas conduct of foreign policy
alternates between heavy and soft approaches. China has consistently rejected
armed intervention in the affairs of other states. Beijing has repeated affirmed its
no-first use pledge on nuclear weapons. Except battles against Vietnamese up till
1988, which to the Chinese are for self defense, Beijing advocated negotiations
over military confrontation in all in territorial disputes. Beijing has diffused potential
armed tensions with Southeast Asia through the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation
with ASEAN.
However, nationalism expands so far that it is inevitable for the interest of China to
not clash with those of other countries. Given the need to strengthen legitimacy via
sustaining economic growth, in search for energy, China inadvertently would have
to compete with major powers over energy resources, which is also vital for their
economic development. As such, Chinas entrance into the crude oil market in the
Middle East which was traditionally US dominated had also incurred the irritation of
the West. Due to the vested-interest, PLA has repeatedly incurred the borders of
India over the Himalayas. China has a nine-dotted claim over South China Sea.
China persistently refused to resolve its dispute over territories in the East and
South China Seas through arbitration at the International Court of Justice.
In conclusion, nationalism is a boon for Chinas development as a global power as it
spurs her forward in her desires to restore her glorious past as a great nation.
However, Chinas brand of nationalism incorporates a tinge of vengefulness which
may sometimes make it a bane for her development as it generates opposition and
resistance to her growth. Nonetheless, nationalism is more of a boon than a bane
for Chinas development as a global power as the impetus for her to grow as
provided by nationalism is very strong and the desirable effects of it are only
peripheral and temporal.