The Impact of Chinese National Identity on Sino-U.S. Relations

 

The Chinese Party-state’s warnings about the danger of Western ideas appear with increasing frequency. Whether the target is “constitutional democracy,” the “rule of law,” “universal values,” “judicial independence,” or “color revolutions,” the refrain is becoming familiar. These are “erroneous” notions in the public discourse of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which not only threaten CCP rule, their advocacy by Chinese is evidence of traitorous conduct, and their support by U.S. officials or on the Western-led internet must be resisted for bilateral relations to proceed successfully. Such admonishments are consistent with the CCP’s official ideology and reflect the national identity currently espoused by CCP leaders and propagated in the increasingly tightly controlled media and academia. They have had a negative impact on the Sino-U.S. relationship, and are likely to continue to do so even as President Donald Trump remains largely silent on China’s human rights record and concentrates on “America First” economically and on tough talk about pressuring China regarding issues such as Taiwan, the South China Sea, and North Korea.

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