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Chinese popular nationalism and PRC policy in the South China Sea

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2017
Awarding Institution
  • University of Western Australia
  • University of Western Australia
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This study details an important evolution in the relationship between Chinese popular nationalism and PRC foreign policy on the South China Sea issue. China's shift to a more assertive policy from 2007 was demonstrably unrelated to public opinion, but the resultant international tensions soon attracted domestic attention. The subsequent rise of South China Sea nationalism was primarily a function of the state's assertive policy shift, but until mid-2011 authorities made no concerted effort to use it strategically. Since 2012, by carefully managing the genuine risks that it poses, the party-state has integrated popular nationalism into its assertive, but pragmatic, foreign policy.