How Hawkish Is the Chinese Public? Another Look at ‘Rising Nationalism’ and Chinese Foreign Policy
Journal of Contemporary China, https://doi.org/10.1080/10670564.2019.1580427
24 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2018 Last revised: 15 Mar 2019
Date Written: March 7, 2019
Chinese leaders often invoke the feelings of the Chinese people in international disputes. But most survey research on Chinese public opinion on international affairs has looked at measures of nationalist identity rather than beliefs about foreign policy and evaluations of the government’s performance. Five surveys of Chinese citizens, netizens, and elites help illuminate the public attitudes that the Chinese government grapples with in managing international security policy. The results suggest that Chinese attitudes are more hawkish than dovish and that younger Chinese, while perhaps not more nationalist in identity, may be more hawkish in their foreign policy beliefs than older generations. Netizens and elites are even more inclined to call on the Chinese government to invest in and rely more on military strength.
Keywords: China, Public Opinion, Foreign Policy, Attitudes, Surveys, Nationalism
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