Nationalism in China: A Double-Edged Sword

In a bizarre turn of events, a Chinese ultranationalist vlogger sparked controversy over red circular stickers in Nanjing, claiming they bore resemblance to Japan's national flag. This incident sheds light on the delicate balance between patriotism and extremism in China.


In a bizarre turn of events, a Chinese ultranationalist vlogger sparked controversy over red circular stickers in Nanjing, claiming they bore resemblance to Japan's national flag. This incident sheds light on the delicate balance between patriotism and extremism in China.

The vlogger's outrage at the seemingly innocent New Year decorations led to local police intervention, prompting a debate on the boundaries of nationalism in the country. The crackdown on red circular objects raised questions about the extent to which patriotism should be regulated.

Nationalism Under Xi Jinping's Regime


President Xi Jinping has championed patriotic sentiment in China, emphasizing loyalty to the country, the Communist Party, and socialism. The recent enforcement of a "patriotic education law" underscores the government's efforts to cultivate a unified national identity.

Amidst China's assertive foreign policy stance, nationalist fervor has been instrumentalized by the state to project power internationally. However, the government also exercises control over nationalist narratives to prevent extremism and maintain social stability.

The Reader's Guide

The Dark Side of Nationalism


The Nanjing incident serves as a stark reminder of the dangers of unchecked nationalism, particularly in relation to Japan. Historical grievances from the Second Sino-Japanese War continue to fuel anti-Japanese sentiment in China, leading to instances of violence and discrimination.

The 2012 anti-Japan riots, sparked by territorial disputes, resulted in widespread vandalism and strained China-Japan relations. Such outbreaks of nationalist fervor highlight the potential risks of allowing patriotism to escalate into xenophobia and social unrest.

The Business of Patriotism


While patriotism can be a profitable venture for social media influencers in China, the boundaries of acceptable nationalist discourse are constantly shifting. Content creators who cross these red lines risk facing swift repercussions from the government, as seen in recent cases of censorship and bans.

The Chinese authorities walk a fine line between promoting national pride and preventing extremist ideologies from taking hold. The fluid nature of China's red lines underscores the complexity of managing nationalist sentiments in a rapidly changing geopolitical landscape.

In conclusion, while nationalism can serve as a unifying force, it also poses significant risks if allowed to veer into extremism. The Chinese government's delicate dance with patriotism reflects its dual objectives of fostering national identity while safeguarding social harmony and political stability. As China navigates the complexities of modern nationalism, striking the right balance will be crucial to its future trajectory on the global stage.

Fateh Muhammad

Hey, I'm Fateh Muhammad, a Lahore local with a passion for arts and politics. My journey led me through the halls of the National College of Arts, where I delved into the intricacies of both disciplines. Now calling Lahore home, I'm here to share my insights and perspectives on the dynamic intersection of art and politics. Let's embark on this enlightening journey together! Connect With Me .