¶ … Forget National Humiliation by Zheng Wang
This central chapter looks at how the CMT manifests in China's central consciousness and how this myth can have a massive impact on the national identity at large. Chapter two works hard to explore the nuances of the CMT and the moments in history which still wreak havoc on the consciousness of China today. The chapter deftly avoids regurgitating history, but has a strong focus on the specific manner in which the Chinese recount history. One of the strengths of this chapter is how it asserts that the very sense of chosenness is something that is such an entrenched belief in China, it even manifests in the collective language.
Another strength of the chapter is that it focuses on how strongly humiliation figures into the national psyche of China. "For example, William Callahan believes that humiliation is a key component of modern Chinese subjectivity. He also argues that the discourse of the century of humiliation is the 'master narrative' of modern Chinese history (Wang, 2013). The utmost illuminating pillars present in this chapter are when the author makes points that can be readily illustrated by looking at the present. The sense of chosenness and humiliation remain...
Instead Wang delves into a great deal of background regarding how simply embracing the idea of a nation state is a stretch for the Chinese at large and in their own entirety. This chapter is wise in that it explains the tendency of China to engage in a certain amount of isolationism as a result of the impact that history has played upon it, and in part because of its specific place in the world. Consider the following: "The Chinese believed that they lived in the central kingdom of tianxia. There are several major differences between the Chinese tianxia concept and the Western concept of world system. First, tianxia is a culturally defined community, which is different from the ethnically defined or politically defined world of nation-states" (Wang, 1994). This was so influential because it meant that the civilization was the basic unit of importance, rather than the nation state. Another major benefit that this chapter provides is…
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