Powerful Patriots: Nationalist Protest in China's Foreign Relations

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 2014 - Political Science - 341 pages
Why has the Chinese government sometimes allowed and sometimes repressed nationalist, anti-foreign protests? What have been the international consequences of these choices? Anti-American demonstrations were permitted in 1999 but repressed in 2001 during two crises in US-China relations.Anti-Japanese protests were tolerated in 1985, 2005, and 2012 but banned in 1990 and 1996. Protests over Taiwan, the issue of greatest concern to Chinese nationalists, have never been allowed.To explain this variation in China's response to nationalist mobilization, Powerful Patriots argues that Chinese and other authoritarian leaders weigh both diplomatic and domestic incentives to allow and repress nationalist protests. Autocrats may not face electoral constraints, but anti-foreignprotests provide an alternative mechanism by which authoritarian leaders can reveal their vulnerability to public pressure. Because nationalist protests are costly to repress and may turn against the government, allowing protests demonstrates resolve and increases the domestic cost of diplomaticconcessions. Repressing protests, by contrast, sends a credible signal of reassurance, facilitating diplomatic flexibility and signaling a willingness to spend domestic political capital for the sake of international cooperation. To illustrate the logic, the book traces the effect of domestic anddiplomatic factors in China's management of nationalist protest in the post-Mao era (1978-2012) and the consequences for China's foreign relations.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


1 Introduction
2 Nationalist Protest and Authoritarian Diplomacy
3 AntiAmerican Protest and USChina Crisis Diplomacy
4 The 1985 AntiJapan Protests and SinoJapanese Relations in the 1980s
 SinoJapanese Relations in the 1990s
6 The 2005 AntiJapan Protests and SinoJapanese Relations in the 2000s
Repairing SinoJapanese Relations 20062010 and the 2010 Trawler Collision
8 The 2012 AntiJapan Protests and the DiaoyuSenkaku Islands Crisis
9 Conclusion

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2014)

Jessica Chen Weiss is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University and Research Fellow at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. Her research interests include Chinese politics and international relations, nationalism, and social protest. Her research hasappeared in International Organization and has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Princeton-Harvard China and The World Program, Bradley Foundation, Fulbright-Hays program, and the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. The dissertation on which thisbook is based won the 2009 APSA Helen Dwight Reid Award. Before joining the Yale faculty, she founded FACES, the Forum for American/Chinese Exchange at Stanford, while an undergraduate at Stanford. She teaches courses on China's foreign relations, state-society relations in post-Mao China, andanti-Americanism in world politics.

Bibliographic information