Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Online Nationalism in China

Online Nationalism in China

  • March 27, 2017
Jacques deLisle


Director - Asia Program

Jackson Woods

Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for the Study of Contemporary China, UPenn

Guobin Yang

Professor of Communication and Professor of Sociology, UPenn

Popular opinion in Chinese cyberspace—the postings of China’s “netizens”—are often ardently nationalist.  Are nationalist voices online representative of broader public opinion in China?  How much does such popular nationalism, in cyberspace or on the streets, influential in China’s foreign policy—which is itself widely seen as become more assertively nationalistic?  What are the foci and triggers of nationalism in Chinese social media such as weibo (a Twitter-like platform) and weixin (WeChat)?  What other politically significant issues draw the attention, and ire, of Chinese netizens?  How much does online activism reflect patterns that predate widespread use of the Internet?  And what are the prospects for political expression and activism in China’s still highly-restricted cyberspace?

In this FPRI Asia Program podcast. Guobin Yang, Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School and Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, and author of The Power of the Internet in China and  The Red Guard Generation and Political Activism in China, and Jackson Woods, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of Contemporary China at the University of Pennsylvania, and author of a forthcoming study, Netizens and Nationalism in China join FPRI Asia Program Director Jacques deLisle to discuss these issues.

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Asia Program