Chinese Cyber Nationalism: How China's Online Public Sphere Affected Its Social and Political Transitions

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Chinese Cyber Nationalism: How China's Online Public Sphere Affected Its Social and Political Transitions
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Copyright 2005 by Xu Wu


To my beloved homeland—China


iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Over the past five years my thinking on the topics related to Chinese cyber nationalism has benefited greatly from the in sight and wisdom of my committee members and professors in the College of Jour nalism and Communications. Among them, Dr. Spiro Kiousis offered me from time to time th e invaluable and indispensable suggestions on the design and analysis of this researc h. Our discussions and cooperation have been pleasant, inspiring, and fruitf ul. Dr. Dennis Jett, in spite of his busy work schedule, spared no time and effort in leading me through the most difficult conceptualization process. His course on American foreign polic y has been one of the most important and memorable experiences in my graduate study. Dr . Lynda L. Kaid has been my role model and major motivational sour ce throughout the whole pr oject. Her comments and criticisms brought my understand ing of social science research to a high level that will benefit me in my future academic career. Dr . Mary A. Ferguson was my first mentor who directed and supported my first voyages in the realm of mass communication research. Her generous assistance, both financially and spiritually, help ed me overcome the obstacles in the earlier stage of my gra duate study. Professor Mindy McAdams and Dr. Kathleen Kelly also contributed to this study in their special way. I am immensely grateful to all these individua ls for their help and guidance in bringing this work into being. Dr. Marilyn Roberts, my committee chair, ha s been the person I felt most indebted to. She has been my mentor, editor, inspira tion, and friend in my e xploratory journey in


v the past five years. When I felt lost, she was always there to give me the guidance. When I needed support, she was always available to provide the much needed encouragement and assistance. When I was sick, she was as concerned as if I were a family member. When I had success, she was the first person I want to share the news with. There is no better way to express my gratitude to Dr. R oberts other than to make this work more meaningful and my future acad emic career more fruitful. I would also like to thank tw o Chinese coders in my college for their assistance in coding the online contents, and a dozen or so anonymous Chinese online users, Web masters, and foreign policy officials who gr anted me the opportunitie s to interview them on their online media use and political opinions. My parents, though thousands of miles aw ay, provided the su pport that I can not properly write it out here on paper. They have not seen their son for five years, though they never lost for a second the faith in their child. My wife, Xingyu Liu, accompanied me through all the ups and downs in a foreign country where she had never planned to be. To them, I owe so much.


vi TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES...............................................................................................................x LIST OF FIGURES...........................................................................................................xi ABSTRACT......................................................................................................................x ii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Theoretical Structure....................................................................................................2 Chinese Cyber Nationalism and ChinaÂ’s Ideological Structure............................2 Chinese Cyber Nationalism and ChinaÂ’s Modernization Process.........................3 Chinese Cyber Nationalism and ChinaÂ’s Taiwan Policy......................................4 Conceptual Structure....................................................................................................5 Chineseness...........................................................................................................5 Cyber-Sphere.........................................................................................................5 Nationalism............................................................................................................6 Operational Structure....................................................................................................7 2 LITERATURE REVIEW...........................................................................................10 Chineseness.................................................................................................................10 Victors and Victims.............................................................................................11 Confucianism and Communism..........................................................................15 Writing Is Believing............................................................................................20 Implications of Chineseness................................................................................22 Cyber Public Sphere...................................................................................................24 The Origin and Disintegrati on of the Public Sphere...........................................25 Public Sphere, Printing T echnology, and Print Media........................................28 Cyber Sphere as a Real Public Sphere................................................................33 The Normative Features of the Public Sphere.....................................................35 A Vertical Comparison of Four Types of Public Sphere....................................37 Conclusions and Discussions on Public Sphere..................................................44 Nationalism.................................................................................................................46 Origin of Nationalism..........................................................................................49


vii Nationalism: A historical/economic consequence.......................................49 Nationalism: A cultural/ethnical consequence.............................................52 Nationalism: A military/political consequence............................................55 Nationalism: An ideological consequence...................................................57 Characteristics of nationalism......................................................................60 Reflections on Nationalism.................................................................................62 Nationalism vs. patriotism............................................................................62 Nationalism vs. ethnocentrism.....................................................................63 Nationalism vs. racism.................................................................................64 Chinese Nationalism...................................................................................................65 Chinese Nationalism and Ch inese Communist Party..........................................68 Nationalism: The CCP’s survival strategy?.................................................69 Nationalism: the CCP’s ideological identity................................................73 Chinese Nationalism and Chinese People...........................................................75 China’s grassroots nationalism.....................................................................76 China’s elite nationalism..............................................................................80 Chinese Nationalism and Taiwan Independence.................................................82 Chinese Nationalism and World Order...............................................................87 Chinese Cyber Sphere.................................................................................................92 Three Developing Stages.....................................................................................94 Stage I: “Spring & Autumn Period” (April 1994 – November 1997)........95 Stage II: “Warring States Period” (November 1997—September 2000)...97 Stage III: “Great Unification Pe riod” (September 2000—present)..........100 China’s New Online Media Order.....................................................................102 Study on China’s Internet development.....................................................104 China’s new Online media order................................................................108 China’s Online Public Sphere...........................................................................120 To Conflict or to Compromise..........................................................................124 Cyber Nationalism....................................................................................................127 Cyber-technology as the McLuhanite Medium.................................................130 Nationalism as a McLuhanite Message.............................................................134 Information center for nationalism information.........................................136 Operational platform for nationalism organization....................................138 Execution channel for nationalism activity................................................140 Cyber-Nationalism and Some Reflections........................................................142 Chinese Cyber Nationalism......................................................................................145 Conceptual Definition.......................................................................................145 Operational Definition and Research Questions...............................................150 Research question 1: How did Chinese cyber nationalism evolve from 1994 to 2005?.........................................................................................151 Research question 2: What are the major characteristics of Chinese cyber nationalism?............................................................................................151 Research question 3: What are the political implications of Chinese cyber nationalism?..................................................................................152


viii 3 METHODS...............................................................................................................155 Historical Analysis and Case Study (Research Question 1).....................................155 Online Survey and Online Content Analysis (Research Question 2).......................158 Strengths and Weaknesses of Online Survey....................................................158 Online Survey Design (Sample, Time, and Pretest)..........................................162 Survey Questions and Major Variables.............................................................164 Online Content Analysis....................................................................................167 Online Content Analysis Sample.......................................................................169 Coding Categories & Variable s in Online Discussion......................................171 Coder Training and Pretest................................................................................172 Telephone & Online In-depth Inte rview (Research Question 3)..............................173 Validity, Reliability & Triangulation.......................................................................176 4 FINDINGS................................................................................................................178 RQ1: Evolution of Chinese Cyber Nationalism.......................................................178 Period I: “Enlightenment in the Ivory Tower” (1994.4—1996.12)..................180 Case Study I: China Cay Say No .......................................................................188 Period II: “Say No to Indonesia’s Anti-Chinese Riot” (1997.1—1999.3)........191 Case Study II: Cyber Nationalists and Indonesia’s Anti-Chinese Riot.............198 Period III: Sino-U.S. Cyber Wars (1999.3-2001.9)...........................................201 Case Study III: Embassy Bombing and Online Bombing.................................212 Period IX: Post 9/11 Transition of Priority (2001.9—2003.6)..........................214 Case Study IX: Ma Licheng and Wang Xiaodong............................................223 Period X: Direct Confrontati ons with Japan (2003.6 -2005.5).........................229 Case Study V: Anti-Japanese Protest and Petition in 2005...............................242 RQ2: Characteristics of Chinese Cyber Nationalism...............................................248 Online Survey and Analysis..............................................................................248 Respondents’ profile and sample validation..............................................249 Nationalism Sentiment Index (NSI) and Leadership Evaluation Index (LEI).......................................................................................................252 Correlations between online media usage and political sentiment............255 Predictors of nationalism and political sentiment......................................257 Path analysis...............................................................................................260 Online Content Analysis and Character istics of Chinese Online Sphere..........262 RQ3: Consequences of Chinese Cyber Nationalism................................................266 The Cognitive Consequences: The Issue Agendas............................................266 The Political Consequences: The In-depth Interviews......................................268 Consequence: from the perspective of policy maker.................................269 Consequences: from the perspective of opinion leaders............................272 Consequences: from the perspectives of online users................................276 5 DISCUSSION...........................................................................................................278 Theoretical Implications...........................................................................................278 Chineseness (Chinese Cyber Sphe re and Chinese Nationalism):......................279


ix Cyber Sphere (Chinese Cyber S phere and Cyber Nationalism)........................280 Nationalism (Chinese Nationalism and Cyber Nationalism)............................282 Agenda Setting (Agenda Se nding or Agenda Selling)......................................283 Practical Implications (China Policy, Media Research, and Public Opinion)..........285 Pedagogical Implications..........................................................................................288 Limitations and Future Research..............................................................................290 The Structural Limitations.................................................................................290 The Methodological Limitations.......................................................................292 Final Thoughts..........................................................................................................293 APPENDIX A ONLINE SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE.................................................................296 B ONLINE DISCUSSI ON CODE SHEET..................................................................306 C DEPTH INTERVIEW IN TRODUCTORY LETTER..............................................308 LIST OF REFERENCES.................................................................................................311 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................326


x LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 A Comparison of four types of public sphere..........................................................43 2-2 Three types of online media in China....................................................................115 4-1 Five evolution periods of Chinese cyber nationalism............................................180 4-2 Profile of respondents and national survey results from CNNIC report................250 4-3 Summary of responses toward seven nationalism statements................................253 4-4 Summary of the thermometer scores fo r the evaluation of Chinese leadership.....254 4-5 Correlations between online medi a usage and political sentiment........................255 4-6 Correlations between Nationalism Se ntiment Index (NS I) and Leadership Evaluation Index (LEI)...........................................................................................257 4-7 Summary of hierarchical regression anal ysis for variables predicting nationalism sentiment (NSI)......................................................................................................258 4-8 Summary of hierarchical regression anal ysis for variables predicting leadership evaluation (LEI).....................................................................................................259 4-9 Online news distribution and issue agenda on ChinaÂ’s four online media............262 4-10 Summary of online discu ssions in terms of topic, rationality, and political attitude....................................................................................................................264 4-11 Summary of the online mediaÂ’s issue rank order, online pub licÂ’s issue agenda, and online discussion agenda.................................................................................267


xi LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1-1 Conceptual structure of Chinese cyber nationalism...................................................7 4-1 Path analysis of nationalism sentiment and its effects...........................................262


xii Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy CHINESE CYBER NATIONALISM: HOW CHINA’S ONLINE PUBLIC SPHERE AFFE CTED ITS SOCIAL AND POLITICAL TRANSITIONS By Xu Wu August 2005 Chair: Marilyn S. Roberts Major Department: Journalism and Communications Based on the rich literature on “Chineseness,” “public sphere,” and “nationalism,” the researcher developed the concept of “C hinese cyber-nationalism” and examined the theoretical significance and practical impli cations of this new phenomenon on China’s online sphere. Multiple methods, including a two-wave national online survey, a twomonth online content analysis of four popular Chinese onlin e forums, and dozens of indepth telephone interviews with Chinese fo reign policy decision makers, online opinion leaders, and common online forum discussants, were conducted to e xplore the evolution, characteristics, and implications of Chin ese cyber nationalism. According to this research, Chinese cyber nationalism is a non-government sponsored ideology or movement that has originated, existed, and developed on China’s online sphere in the past decade (1994-2005). It is a natural extension from Chin a’s century-long nationalism movement, but it is different from the CCP’s official version of patriotism. Taking advantages of the online technology, Chines e cyber nationalism has been utilizing the


xiii Internet as a communication cen ter, organizational platform , and execution channel to promote the nationalistic causes among Chines e nationalists around the world. It aims primarily on those internati onal issues involving China a nd strives to retain ChinaÂ’s historical position as a respect able power in Asia and in the world. The combination of ChinaÂ’s distinctive culture and traditi on, online technologyÂ’s reach and power, and nationalismÂ’s broad appeal made it a powerful and unpredictable factor in ChinaÂ’s policy decision-making process. In brief, if the medium is the message, as claimed by Marshall McLuhan, then the message that has been br ought about to China by the cyber medium might have been the Chinese cyber nationalism.


1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In the coming decades, issues involving Ch ina will be shaped and determined not only by how well China integrates into the existing world system, but also by how well the world understands China and copes w ith China’s rise. Among those fundamental knowledge-gaps, perceived or real, lying be tween the East and the West, the emerging trend of Chinese cyber nationalism in the pa st decade has been a salient issue and an under-researched topic. This topic is significant and important fo r several reasons. Fi rst, Chinese cybernationalism is an ideological rival of the Chinese Communi st Party’s state-sponsored patriotism and the outmoded Communist appeal. Unlike the government-sponsored patriotism, which was borrowed by the Commun ist Party as a convenient substitution for the waning Communist ideology, the emerging cyber-nationalism established itself as a grassroots oriented, outward-directed, and culturalism-driven movement. The competition among these ideologies will la rgely shape China’s future. Second, its evolution has been nurtured and facilitated by online tec hnology. Within a politically Communist and culturally C onfucian country, online media in China revived and magnified German philosopher Jürgen Habe rmas’s “public sphere” model (1962/1989). How the newest network technology will rein tegrate and renovate one of the oldest civilizations is a theoretically significant and practically meaningful topic. Third, Chinese cyber-nationalism was ignited and reinforced by a series of international events (1996 Taiwan Strait crisis, 1998 I ndonesia anti-Chinese riot, 1999 U.S. bombing of Chinese


2 Embassy, 2000 Taiwan Presidential election, and 2001 U.S.-China spy-plane collision). Most importantly, it will impact China’s fu ture foreign policy in general and the SinoU.S. relationship in particular. Finally, the role of China as a rising economic powerhouse in the world and the cultural center in Asia , combined with the lingering issue of Taiwan independence, makes the study on China’s new version of nationalism not only necessary, but also urgent. Theoretical Structure In order to trace the cultural, political and historical origins of this online ideological movement in China and highlight some of its characteristics and political implications, three broad areas will be explor ed through literature review and empirical research. Chinese Cyber Nationalism and China’s Ideological Structure With some notable exceptions, most Wester n experts on China tend to believe that the recent resurgence of nationalism in rhetor ic and sentiment, prevailing both in its official documents and in public opinion, was the outcome of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) calculated maneuver to shif t its legitimacy basis from the waning Communism doctrine to a nationalistic app eal. Such an argument would be more convincing had the CCP possessed all the means and capability to control this groundswell of “nationalism.” However, just as the advent of online media—especially those privately owned commercial online po rtals—has shaken and challenged the old media order in China, the increasingly unc ontrollable cyber-na tionalism movements on China’s online sphere have also shaken and challenged China’s ideological order. On the one hand, the once effective print-media Co mmunism or patriotism education campaign has lost its mobilizing appeal against the zeal ous nationalist rhetoric online. On the other


3 hand, none of the Western ideological thoughts seems to attract, at least philosophically or psychologically, China’s new generation of online citizens. Even the idea of a Confucianism renaissance might be viewed as part of the overall nationalism movement. Put against this grand background, the CCP’s reactions to the nationalism tendency are more like a drowned person who desperately holds a rescuing boat, rather than a confident captain who guides th e direction behind the helm. Therefore, my general research questions are: Will the online public sphere bring about another stage of the ancient “Spri ng and Autumn Era,” in which hundreds of different schools of thought c ontend for the dominant status? And if the answer is yes, then which ideology will dominate? W ill it be Chinese cyber-nationalism? Chinese Cyber Nationalism and China’s Modernization Process Nationalism has never been a status quo id eology. As opposed to patriotism, which emphasizes citizens’ love of their country as what it is, nationalism embodies the unsatisfied national demand and unrealized impulse of national self-identification. Nationalism, either as an ideology or as a so cial movement, is not evil by its nature. However, if misguided, it can become a destructive force or an aggressive belief. As a rising and, most impor tantly, a returning worl d power, China has been experiencing two-fold transitional pains dur ing the past two decades. On the economic front, it is struggling to slough off the comma nd and agrarian economic structure, racing toward a modern, urbanized and industriali zed market economy. On the societal front, thousands of years of authoritarian politic al heritage, Confucian philosophy and Sinocentric cultural tradition have inevitably clas hed with foreign ideas, value systems, and various political philosophies. The globalizat ion trend and borderless online technology both facilitate and complicate this interacti ng process. How China as an old civilization


4 and Chinese cyber-nationalists as an influent ial social group react to these social and economic challenges deserves further study and exploration. For example, what are the major character istics of Chinese cyber-nationalism? Is it still affirmative, defensive, and aggrieved, lik e the old version of Ch inese nationalism; or is it more aggressive, self-righteous, and hence more dangerous? Jürgen Habermas established the “public sphere” model as th e ideal type of communicative environment for rational and critical discussions in a democratic society. Will the online sphere constitute a virtual public sphere for the fo rmation of China’s public opinion? Moreover, will rationality and the power of reasoning be possible on the virtual public sphere? Can rational discussions counterbalance nationalis ts’ irrational appeal? How will the cybernationalism impact China’s modernizati on and the democratization process? Chinese Cyber Nationalism and China’s Taiwan Policy If not for the Taiwan issue, research on Chinese cyber-nationalism may be of only academic significance. Similarly, if not for the Taiwan problem, Chinese cybernationalism may not materialize at such a fast pace, solidify in such a coherent manner, and erupt in such a formidable magnitude. For every Chinese nationalist, Taiwan stands as the climax symbol of the centurylong national humiliation and the last thorn in the national collective memory. The interventions of foreign powers in China’s unification process ha ve been viewed as adding salt to old wounds. On the other side of the strait, however, Taiwan’s democratic developments in recent years cultivate Taiw anese’s self-esteem, confidence, and their version of “nationalism.” As a result, the CCP’s legitimacy battle is caught up by the dilemma between the economic miracle without a quick reunification and the military operation at the expense of economic prosperity. Neither seems to be a good option.


5 However, facing the mounting pressure from nationalist groups, both online and offline, the current Chinese leaders have to decide and react quickly. The current research attempted to clarify and assess the influen ce of Chinese cyber-nationalism on China’s foreign policy decision making in general, and China’s Taiwan policy making in particular in the past decade. Conceptual Structure Three major concepts constitute the conceptu al structure of this research. They are “China” (or “Chineseness”), “Cyber” (or the vi rtual “public sphere”) , and “Nationalism.” Chineseness What is Chineseness? In the eyes of John K. Fairbank (1992), Chinese civilization is “the most successful of all systems of conservatism” (p. 53). Samuel Huntington (1996) used one word “assertiveness” to summ arize the characteristic of “Chineseness.” Lucian Pye (1996) described China as “a civi lization pretending to be a nation-state” (p. 109). According to Geert Hofstede (2003), one of the leading scholars on cross-cultural comparative study, Chinese culture is the repr esentative of a colle ctivist civilization which has a strong sense of “Long-Term Orient ation.” Henry Harding (1993) preferred to view current China with a “Greater China” theme, which has been formed economically, culturally, and politically around China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Overall, most researchers agreed that the characteristic of “Chineseness” is its “culturalism.” A comprehensive literature review was conducted to further examine these understandings. Cyber-Sphere Forty years ago, Jürgen Habermas (1962/1989) first raised the concept of “public sphere” as a necessary means for democratic communications . He spoke about an ideal type of social interaction pa ttern developed alongside the ri se and transformation of the


6 European modern nation-state during the 17thand 18th-centuries (Habermas, 1989). With the spread of online technology globa lly by the end of last century, it arguably revived his theoretical construct (Ferdi nand, 2001; Negroponte, 1995; Wilhelm, 2000). As a nation that claims two principal communi cation inventions (paper and printing) in human civilization history, China has conti nued its tradition by enthusiastically embracing the emerging digital age (Hachigia n, 2001; Harwit & Clar k, 2001; Tan, 1999). The emerging online “public sphere” in Chin a not only changes people’s social selfidentification (Leung, 1998), lifestyle (Lee & Zhu, 2002), and civi l activities (Yang, 2003a), but also influences China’s medi a order (Wu, 2005a), public opinion (Gries, 2001), and policy decision making (Chase & Mulvenon, 2002; Hachigian, 2001). The government no longer has a monopoly over people’s mouth, mind, and behavior, due largely to the borderless, boundariless, a nd timeless online sphe re. Therefore, how China’s online sphere changed China socia lly and politically was reexamined in accordance with Habermas’s “public sphere” theory. Nationalism Most political scholars agr ee that nationalism is a re latively recent historical phenomenon (Gellner, 1983; Hobsbawm, 1990; Kohn, 1939). It appeared with the emergence of the modern nation-state system after the French Revolution in Europe, and hence spread to the rest of the world as a result of frequent interactions and intercommunications among different groups of pe ople. Citizens’ cons ciousness of national identity drove them to associate with the particular features of one nation over other universal principles. Chinese nationalism can be distinguished from other forms of nationalism in terms of its or igin, attitudinal feature, behavior pattern, and policy preference (Wu, 2005b). For example, it is wounded and humiliation-driven (Zhao,


7 2000). It is described as “defensive nationalis m,” which is “assertive in form, but reactive in essence” (Shambaugh, 1996, p. 205). It is “about face” nationalism, which has never tolerated pressure imposed externally (Gries, 1999; Mann, 1999). The origin and characteristics of Chinese nationali sm were explored and summarized. By blending these three conceptual el ements (Chineseness, cyber sphere, and nationalism) through a series of thorough liter ature reviews, it results in a powerful ideology – Chinese cyber-nationalism, which ha s the potential to reshape China’s future (see Figure 1-1). Figure 1-1. Conceptual structure of Chinese cyber nationalism Operational Structure To answer the above mentioned three gr oups of questions, no single research method will be sufficient. Based on the data collected in 2004 and 2005 through a twowave national online survey, a two-month online content analys is of four popular Chinese online forums, and dozens of telephon e interviews with online users, online Chineseness Cyber-Sphere Nationalism Chinese Cyber-Sphere Chinese Nationalism Cyber Nationalism Chinese Cyber Nationalism


8 opinion leaders, and Chinese foreign policy decision makers, the researcher further clarified the concept of “Chinese cyber-na tionalism” and examined the theoretical and practical implications of this new phenome non on China’s online sphere. In addition to the existing data and literatur e, the secondary data, such as China Internet Network Information Center’s (CNNIC) semi-annual re ports, the historical archives, and the research method of online unobtrusive observatio n, were also applied to supplement this study. All this work had been centered on and in tended to answer the overriding research question: If the medium is the message, as declared by Marshall McLuhan (1964/1997), and if the public sphere is the necessary pa th toward social modernization and political democratization, as suggested by Habermas, th en what is the message brought about by the online public sphere to China? Is it a ne w form of Chinese Cyber-nationalism? If the answer is yes, then what are the characteri stics and political implications of this new ideology and social phenomenon? In the following chapters, chapter 2 focu ses on the theoretical construction and literature review of Chinese cyber nationalism. It mainly contains seven interrelated sections, namely, Chineseness, cyber public sphere, nationalism, Chinese nationalism, Chinese cyber sphere, cyber nationalism a nd Chinese cyber nati onalism, respectively. Chapter 3 introduces the research methods used in this study, including historical analysis, case study, online survey, online conten t analysis, and in-depth interview. The strengths and weaknesses of each method, the actual research design, and the reason for adopting such a triangulation approach are also discussed. Chapter 4 reports the practical findings and statistical results in this research. Chapter 5 discusses the further


9 implications of this research, its contri bution to theory build ing and communication study, and its limitations.


10 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW To construct the concept of “Chinese cybe r-nationalism,” the literature review was divided into six separate subconcepts. They are Chineseness, cyber sphere, nationalism, Chinese nationalism, Chinese cyber-sphere, a nd cyber-nationalism. Af ter reviewing each of these major conceptual co mponents, the researcher summ arized the origin and major characteristics of Chinese cyber-nationalism. Chineseness Of all the civilizations of premodern times, none appeared more advanced, none felt more superior, than that of China. Paul Kennedy, 1987, p. 4 “Chineseness,” a concept frequently used by anthropologists, historians, sociologists, and political sc ientists while studying China, illustrates the uniqueness of Chinese as a people, as a culture, as a society, and as a political entity. Meanwhile, such an all-encompassing concept, while conveni ent, implies the difficulties and ambiguities for scholars in their attempts to comprehend and summarize China. For different scholars, Chineseness repres ents different things . According to John K. Fairbank, one of the most prestigious e xperts on China, an equivalent concept to Chineseness might be “culturalism,” which di stinguishes Chinese civilization from other cultures as “the most successful of all sy stems of conservatism” (Fairbank, 1992, p. 53). Samuel Huntington in his provocative classic The Clash of Civilization and the Remaking of World Order used one word–“assertiveness”—to summarize the trade-mark


11 characteristic of Chinese civilization, as opposed to Western civilization’s “universalism,” and Muslim culture’s “m ilitancy” tendency (Huntington, 1996, p. 13). In the eyes of political scientist Lucian Pye, China is not, and has never been, a nation-state in conventional or normal sense, but rather “a civilization pretending to be a nation-state” (Pye, 1996, p. 109). Geert Hofstede, one of the leading scholars on cross-cultural comparative research, developed four crit eria, namely, power distance, femininity, uncertainty avoidance, and individualism, to evaluate the consequences of different culture origins in the world (1980). In his updated research, however, he added one more category “Long-Term Orientation vs. Short-Te rm Orientation” to accommodate some characteristics in Chinese culture that can not be explained by the previous four categories (Hofstede, 2003). For most foreigne rs, China, with its long history, indigenous culture, mysterious language, and huge populat ion, seems more like an abstract concept than a concrete country. Simply talking about China’s uniqueness will extend this chapter into a full book length. In the following sections , however, only three major areas will be discussed in depth from the perspectives of history, id eology, and language. These characteristics of Chinese culture bear significant and particul ar meanings on the major concepts in this research, i.e., Chinese nationalism and public sphere. Victors and Victims No matter big or small, East or West, every nation and every people in the world take pride in ancestors, history, and culture. It is meaningless to compare the prevalence or magnitude of this universal self-esteem custom. However, the le ngth and pattern of one nation’s feeling of superiority do impact people’s collective psychology and


12 behavior. As to Chinese people, the past glory is both a jubilant festival and an unbearable burden. From the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.—A.D. 220), China established an empire which rivaled its approximate contemporary, the Roman Empire (27 B.C.—A.D. 476), in its reach, wealth, power and prestige (Edwards , 2004). Since then, ethnic Chinese began to call themselves the “Han” people. Today, Chin ese people with surname “Liu,” the name of Han’s Royal family, are numbered a stunning 100 million. However, it is still not the largest surname in China. “Li,” the surname of Tang Dynasty (A.D. 617—907)—the climax of Chinese civilizati on in terms of military, econom y, technology, literature and art—ranks first, with more than 110 million pe ople in the world’s largest family. At that time, China’s prosperity and cultural influen ce radiated to Japan, Korea, Southeast Asian countries, and as far as to Middle East and Europe through the ancien t trade route of the “Silk Road.” Actually, contrary to people’s perception that Ch ina had been declining ever since, China led the world in manuf acturing power and output till around 1860. According to Bairoch’s (1982) calculati on, China accounted for 33.3 percent of overall world manufacturing output in 1800, and as late as 1860, China still led the world in terms of total manufacturing output, accoun ting for roughly 20 pe rcent of the overall production. As of 1900, this figure dramatically shrank to 6.2 percent, while in the same one-hundred-year time span, the share of the United Kingdom leaped from 4.3 percent to 18.5 percent; and the newly born United States from 0.8 to 23.6 percent. It marked one of the most dramatic power shifts in human history thanks mainly to the industrial revolution and colonizing efforts in the West.


13 To the Chinese people, this historic d ecline was anything bu t abstract. Not to mention the treaty privileges which paralyzed Chinese govern ment’s control over taxes, judicial right and territory sovereignty; the commercial penetration which destroyed China’s emerging national industry; and the frequent gunboat policies which justified the covert exploitation and the overt plunder, just take China’s humiliating defeat in the Yellow Sea as an example. In 1895, China’s empi re navy lost a decisive battle to Japan’s fleet. In that infamous Treaty of Maguan (Shimonoseki) signed on April 17, 1895, China ceded Taiwan and its surrounding islands to Japan, in addition to a package of war indemnity worth 200 million Kuping taels silver,1 equal to 20 times of then Japan’s annual revenue. To Chinese elite intellectuals, such a str ong sense of humiliation went one step deeper. Japan, long regarded by Chines e gentries as an inferior culture that mainly imitated China’s Tang Dynasty, now sat on top of its master. In Chinese social norms, the relationship between the master a nd his student is one of the most sacred social bonds. Students should respect his teacher , just like a son should obey his father’s words. Now, the master had fallen in the di rt, helplessly and miserably. The self-claimed “Kingdom in the Center” (Middle Kingdom) had been pushed to the verge of the cliff. That imaginative picture itself crashed Chinese people’s nerve and dignity. Foreign observers have been puzzled by China’s extreme sensitiveness toward issues involving national territory or national sovereignty. Some attributed this type of hyper-sensitivity either to Ch ina’s “victimization complex” or to China’s “about face” cultural habit (Gries, 1999; Ma nn, 1999). Such an interpreta tion, though it makes sense at its surface value, especially to those forei gners who lack a concrete understanding about 1 The tael was part of the Chinese system of weight s and currency. There were many different weights of tael depending on the region or type of trade. In general the silver tael weighed around 40 g.


14 China’s history, misinterpreted and oversimplified the histor ical facts. Unlike Western civilization, which in its cour se of development had paused, revived, and shifted its center numerous times, Chinese civilization has kept its pace largely uninterrupted and maintained its center unchanged for roughly four thousand years. In other words, Western civilization is horizontal and parallel, whereas Chinese ci vilization is vertical and accumulative. Like a sedimentary rock, the new layer of historical sediment rests entirely and seamlessly on the older layers. Fairbank’s (1987) metaphorical portrait demonstrated how condensed a human history had unfolded over the land: All the historic sites of four thousand y ears of Chinese history lie close together. For us it would be as though Moses had received the tablets on Mt. Washington, the Parthenon stood on Bunker Hill, Hanniba l had crossed the Alleghenies, Caesar had conquered Ohio, Charlemagne’s crowi ng in the year 800 was in Chicago, and the Vatican overlooked Central park. (p. 2) If you have 200 years of history to rememb er, history is your slave. If you have 2,000 years history to digest, you are the slav e of history. The more glorious Chinese people felt about their culture, their ancestors , and their people, the more agonized and incompetent they felt about themselves. In short, Chinese people, for 150 years, have been trapped in a bottle, filled half with burning fire and half with freezing ice. They are the prisoners of their own pride. This l ong-continued and ferven t effort for national resurgence underscored all of the major ev ents in the twentieth century, from Sun Yatsen’s 1911 republican revolution which fo rmally, if not practically, ended China’s 2,000 years of imperial system, to Chiang Kaishek and his Nationalis t Party’s reunifying campaign and the subsequent anti-Japan ese war; from Mao Zedong and Communist Party’s neo-democratic revolution to Deng Xiaoping’s “Open and Reform” policy adopted since 1978. They all originated in, ba sed on, and took benefit from the gigantic desire for national renaissance in China.


15 Confucianism and Communism Two of the most popular but inaccurate perceptions about China concern Confucianism and Communism. The first misp erception equates Confucianism with the Chinese civilization; and the second regard s Chinese Communism as the legitimate descendant from orthodox Marxism. First of all, Confucianism is not, and has never bee n, the only philosophical doctrine or value system in China. First developed by Confucius some 2,500 years ago, Confucianism was formally rati fied in the Han Dynasty as a system of national principles to regulate the daily lives of the common pe ople as well as the governance of the ruling body. It outlined and constituted a social and pol itical hierarchy base d on virtue, order, self-indoctrination, and cosmic harmony. “[T]he ‘happy’ tranquili ty of the empire and the equilibrium of the soul,” as Max Weber (1951) explained the highest Confucian ideal of tian ren he yi , “should and could be attained only if man fitted himself into the internally harmonious cosmos” (p. 153). Confucianism’s beliefs in hierarchy and social harmony resonated well with the imperial autocrats, w ho were eagerly looking for a self-sufficient and self-perpetuating system to prolong thei r ruling. The marriage between the Confucian doctrine and the imperial power ended hundred s of years of contests among dozens of major philosophical schools in ancient China. It also paved the way for a mature civilization characterized by Fairbank (1992) as, “never have so few ruled for so long over so many” (p. xvi). However, those rival philosophical thoughts, such as Mohism, which promoted thrift and respect for the working people; Daoi sm, which called for retu rning to the nature and seeking inner serenity; Legalism, whic h advocated ruthless prosecution and harsh punishment as the governing strategy, never to tally faded away. They have existed in


16 parallel with the Confucian doc trine and at times taken the leading status under certain emperors’ ruling. Therefore, in addition to Confucianism, Mohism, Daoism, Legalism, and even Buddhism have collectively molded China’s national character. For example, it has been a well-known and widely adopt ed living philosophy among Chinese intellectuals that you should apply to Conf ucianism when at the office, and you should refer to Daoism when out of the office (see Fairbank, 1992; Weber, 1952). Therefore, although Confucianism has been th e most salient and in most pa rts of China’s history, the official version of the codes of conduct, Ch inese civilization cultivates, contains and transcends Confucianism. Even within Confucianism itself, different interpretations and different times bred various branches of sub-traditions under its common umbrella. Second, Chinese Communism is not, and ha s never been the orthodox version of Communism as developed by Marx and Engels , and amended by Lenin and Stalin. What Communism had provided China in earlier 20th century was neither a systematic philosophy nor an advanced pol itical structure, but a mu ch-needed and ready-to-use organizational mechanism—a highly centrali zed, well disciplined, and revolutionary party—that could help China solidify domestic resources and resist foreign powers. Like Western democracy, Communism too is an alie n ideology to China. Marx and Engels, in their life time, had never been to Ch ina. Actually, in their classic “ Capital ,” only in one paragraph did they mention China. Ironicall y, it was in the argu ment that in those undeveloped and un-awakened countries like Chin a, true proletariat revolution could not be realized (Marx, Tucker & Engels, 1978). Such a negligence from the Communism-theory founding fathers by no means discouraged earlier Chinese revolutionaries. Communism theories, or more precisely, the


17 label of “Communism”, satisfied those ardent nationalists’ desire to catch up with, or even leap over those Western powers. If “Communism” is the most modern and most advanced design for the future society wher e everybody in the world will eventually end up with, China has to make this short-cut to shorten the racing distance. Chairman Mao’s disastrous “Great Leap Forward” movement in 1958 was telling evidence of such a “catching-up” mindset. In that event, the motiv e of radically accelera ting China’s pace of industrialization was more about regaini ng China’s dignity, a purely nationalistic sentiment, than about materializing Marx’s hypotheses. Huntingt on (1981) once pointed out that: In some communist countries, like Chin a, an ideology was superimposed on a single preexisting, well-estab lished nationality. In sim ilar but reverse fashion, it could be removed without destroying the basis of national identity: the Chinese could stop being communist and not stop being Chinese. (p. 27) He was right on the target. If China could use one imported ideology to accomplish various historical tasks, such as defea ting Japanese invasion in 1945, winning the civil war in 1949, leading the anti-Rightist cam paign in 1957, advocating Cultural Revolution in 1966, directing “Open and Reform” policy in 1978, then there is only one possible explanation. The Chinese Communist Party ( CCP) in particular and Chinese people in general has never treated this made-inGermany theory—Communism—seriously. Of course, Communism and Chinese trad itions shared some common philosophical grounds which eased the pain of this superfic ial transplantation. Fo r example, Marxism’s dialectics materialism fit well with Chin a’s Daoism philosophical construct which emphasizes the everlasting confrontation and convergence between Yin and Yang . Marx’s anti-religion stance coincides with China’ s tradition of atheism and secularism. Moreover, the calling for equality had been the recurring appeal in China’s hundreds of


18 peasant rebellions in its history. “Class str uggle,” at the first sight, seems to be a reasonable and convincing talking point to Chin ese people’s subconscious. In short, what makes Marxism and Communism look attractive to earlier Chinese nationalists was not their philosophical ends, but their operational means. If, as argued above, Confucianism and Communism could not be used as the underpinnings for us to understand China’s polic y, behavior, and mindset, then what else could be the core values of “Chineseness” from the perspectives of culture and philosophy? In terms of the ci vilization uniqueness, two charact eristics in Chinese culture stand out as the defining f eatures. They are ancestor-respect and Chinese-style pragmatism. Although most cultures in the world respec t their ancestors, unlike China, few, if any, developed such a respect into a religion. Most of Chinese people, till today, regard themselves the common offspring of two an cient clan families: “Yan” and “Huang,” which, according to the historical record and fairy tales, inhibited some 8,000 years ago in central China. Such a symbolic rhetoric has been the most appealing and most sacred group-identity among Chinese people which transcends time, space, and political belief. After carefully examining China’s culture and so-called “Confucianism and Daoism” religions, Max Weber (1951) concluded that in China, “[a]bove all, there was no independent religious forces to develop a doc trine of salvation or an autonomous ethic and education” (p. 142). Nonetheless, the one pseudo-religion that was prescribed by the state and willingly abided by the masses was “t he belief in the power of ancestral spirits and its cult” (p. 143). In contrast to the rest of the world to believe in the existence of a supernatural deity (Christian ity, Buddhism, Islam, etc.), “the early Chinese had no


19 creation myth and no creator-lawgiver out of this world, no first cause, not even a Big Bang,” as Fairbank commented (1992, p. 63) . Confucianism, which promoted the harmonious cosmic order and its natural hier archy of superior-inf erior relationships, actually developed its major rationale from the basic family relationships: youngster should respect the elder, son should respect father, wife s hould respect husband, etc. On top of this respect pyramid was the virtue and wisdom of the common ancestors who set the principles for both people’s daily lives and the criteria of governance. In this regard, Confucianism was the maximum crystallizati on of such an ancestor-worshiping culture, and eventually magnified and in stitutionalized th is tradition. The Chinese-style pragmatism was in some way also derived from the Chinese secularism and naturalism. Since there is no God, no original sin, no afterlife, Chinese people are more concerned with and interested in family harmony, self-relaxation, and present happiness. For example, the Daoism , one of China’s so-called “religions,” actually teaches people how to seek spiritual superiority and physic al longevity through dieting and meditation. Qi Gong, a popular brea thing exercise that can prevent various diseases and improve people’s strength, ha s been but one of Daoism practitioners’ discoveries. Similarly, although Buddhism wa s introduced into China sometime around the turn of the first century, it has never burge oned to a full-fledged religion as happened in other Asian areas, such as in Thailand and Burma. Instead, a Chinese-version of Buddhism—Chan Zong—was developed by Chinese followers around 600 A.D. and evolved as a cult distinct from the original Buddhism doctrine. Actually, in Chan Zong, there is no doctrine to recite , no icon to worship, even no temple for the followers. All lies in people’s self-enlighten ing, internal-revelation, and enjo yment of the present life.


20 Such Chinese-style pragmatism could also be found in CCP’s adoption, implementation, and revision of Communism theory and doctrin es. With regard to foreign policy issues, pragmatism always leads to flexibility, longterm strategies, and persistent pursuit of influence. Writing Is Believing Much has been said about the “built -in ambiguity” (Fairbank, 1987, p. 30) of Chinese language which uses ideographic ch aracters rather than phonetic alphabets to convey meanings. Some argued that such a la nguage system prohibits logical reasoning and technical innovations, whereas others sugg ested that ideographi c writings actually help people develop their poten tials. Good or bad, language is a central element of any culture or civilization. Language is always th e first thing we have direct impression about another culture. However, it is also proved to be the last portion of culture for foreigners to fully grasp. Chinese language happens to be one of the most difficult languages in the current world language family. Chinese is not a single language, but a langua ge family that contains several major sub-languages and dozens of dialects. Like th e Romance language family which includes French, Spanish, Italian and Romanian, Chinese language family has Cantonese (Guangdong Province & Hong Kong), Shanghai Hua (Shanghai and surrounding areas), Fukienese (Fujian Province), and Dongbei Hua (Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning Provinces). Speakers of these Chinese sub-la nguages can not understand each other. The only way they can orally communicate with each other is to speak Mandarin, the official Chinese language built on Beijinger’s pronunc iation and northern China’s vocabulary system. It is as if a Frenchman uses English to talk with an Italian. In addition to these major sub-languages, almost every province has its own distinct dial ect. The differences


21 among dialects are not as dramatic as that of sub-languages, but sti ll sufficient enough for an experienced traveler to distinguish the orig in of the speaker. However, in writing form, the whole picture is much clea rer. Because Chinese is not al phabetic, its writing does not reflect differences and changes in speech. Two speakers of different sub-languages may not understand what they hear, but they almo st certainly will unders tand what each other writes. Moreover, until the earlier twentieth centu ry, spoken Chinese and written Chinese had used two totally different vocabulary syst ems. The written Chinese used by all of the intellectuals and officials in early twentieth century had largely remained the same as the language used by Confucius some 2,500 years ag o. Unlike scriptures written in ancient Egyptian, Hebrew, Babylonian, or Sanskrit, which usually require a well-trained professional to interpret the meaning, a sc hool-age Chinese boy can read and understand, though vaguely, what Confucius had written two and half millenniums ago. Not until the New Culture Movement started in 1919, di d the Chinese written language and spoken language begin to merge together. However, in China, the written communication has been, and is still more important, respectful, and influential than spoken communication. Among all the civilizations in human hist ory, Chinese civilization is the only one that has uninterruptedly chroni cled its every step in a thre e-thousand-year long journey. From an astronomical mystery happened in Zhou Dynasty (1500 B.C) to an empire-wide census conducted in Qin Dynasty (221 B.C. – 206 B.C.); from a misconduct of a Jin emperor to a heroic protest staged by a Tang prime minister; from the annual harvest, to every year’s government revenue; from the biography of every major official, to the funeral eulogy of a great poet, China’s official historians recorded in great detail the rise


22 and fall of every kingdom, month by month, year by year, and dynasty by dynasty. They literally turned the ancestor-respect fashi on into a record-taking habit. Moreover, to facilitate the recording and disseminating of official documents, Chinese scientists accomplished two of the greatest inventions in human communicat ion history—paper and printing (see, for example, Castells, 1996; Gunaratne, 2001; Needham, 2003). These two inventions were so crucial in changing peopl e’s thinking pattern a nd the evolution of a civilization. For example, some scholars argued that the abundance and well-preservation of historical records and ph ilosophical thoughts in written form actually hindered future Chinese intellectuals’ development of logical reasoning and innovative spirit. In contrast, medieval Europe’s lack of paper and pr inted books forced intellectuals to expound, challenge, and redefine those political and philo sophical issues in speech, instead of mere reciting what the old masters had to say (Fairbank, 1987). In China, in terms of both practical conveni ence and historical trad ition, it is fair to say that writing is believing. The common cultu re and common history in written Chinese melted away the barriers insta lled due to the different pronunc iations in spoken Chinese. Moreover, communicating in writ ten form is considered more formal, hence more serious than just talking with each other, especially regarding political or common-concerned issues. Implications of Chineseness The above discussions on China’s “victo r vs. victim” complex, the origin of Confucianism and Communism, and the charact eristics of Chinese language shed light on the following broad understandings. First, unless China has risen to a posi tion premium enough for Chinese people both to erase the humiliating memory and to face proudly up to their ancestors, nationalism


23 will be the overwhelming central theme in Chinese people’s rhetorical appeal, psychological mindset, and political reacti ons. The government, be it Communist or Capitalist, might utilize this underground fl ame from time to time, but it can never extinguish it. Second, although Chinese-style pragmatism implies rationalism, it never endorses nor leads to rationalism, at least by the Western definition or standard. Both Chinesestyle pragmatism and Western rationalism call for the calculated decision-making based on facts and power structure. However, Chin ese pragmatism focuses more on the result of the decision-making, whereas Western rationalism more on th e process of the decision-making. The irrational nature of nati onalism has posted particular challenges to this pragmatic thinking pattern, which al ways resulted in conflicting messages and ambivalent responses.2 Third, the ancestor-respect tradition, Ch ina’s long history and common culture, combined with Confucianism’s emphasis on family values provide the foundation, expectation and motivation for people to comm unicate among larger and broader Chinese groups. Specifically, the communication-viawriting cultural b ackground makes a big craze in China of any new communication t echnology which increases the speed of writing, expands the reach of written docum ents, and facilitates the communication among different sub-language groups. From the invention of paper, printing, to the fast adoption of Internet technology, China has followed the same “writing is believing” momentum. 2 see for example, Gries’s (2004) discussion on the coexistence of xenophobia and xenophile sentiments in modern China, especially among Chinese young generation and intellectual groups.


24 These features of Chineseness will unders core and guide many of the discussions on Chinese nationalism and Chinese c yber-sphere in the coming sections. Cyber Public Sphere What makes Jürgen Habermas’s construct of “public sphere” so persistently attractive, yet controversial, among hist orians, sociologists , philosophers and communication scholars lies in the simplicity of the concept and the complexity of the context (Eley, 1992; Garnham, 1992; Haberm as, 1989; Habermas, 1992; Kramer, 1992; Pinter, 2004). By using a single concept, Habermas intended, rather ambitiously and metaphorically, to summarize and explain the grand social and political changes taking place in the 18thand 19th century Europe, a period so im portant that it literally shaped subsequent human history. A lthough he built up the theore tical construct of bourgeois public sphere mainly on the basis of capitalism development in Western Europe, his major envisions about politics, communicati on, and the role of civil society have resonated worldwide and triggered comprehensive debates among varying academic disciplines (Bernstein, 1985; Cooke, 1994; Calhoun, 1992a; Halasz, 1997; Kevin, 2004). Much has been discussed on the merits and weaknesses of Habermas’s philosophical abstraction (see for exampl e, Calhoun, 1992a; Snedeker, 2000). In the following section, two specific research que stions centering on the mass communication perspective will be explored. First, what is the role of print t echnology and the printing press in the overall formation and “structu ral transformation” of the public sphere? Second, is the current online virtual sphere a rebirth of the old-version public sphere some three-hundred years ago, or is it the onl y true “Habermasian-model” public sphere that ever existed? To answ er the first question, a brief review of the formation and transformation of bourgeois public sphere will be conducted. Special attention will be


25 given to the interaction and interrelations hip between the communi cative public sphere and the print media. As to the question re garding the online public sphere and its implications, Habermas’s abstract model of publ ic sphere will be reevaluated in the wake of the new information revolution. The Origin and Disintegration of the Public Sphere By the end of the seventeenth century, West Europe was on the eve of a series of gigantic social and political revolutions . Ever since Sir Fran cis Bacon (1561-1627) declared that knowledge is power and it can be mastered by human beings, the European class of merchants, lawyers, professionals, scientists and artisans challenged existing doctrines from nearly every possible angle. Galileo’s (1564-1642) telescope discovered motions of the planets and proved the inadequ acy of traditional ideas about the universe. In 1687, Isaac Newton (1642-1727) published his Principia setting forth the basic, simple, general principles of all motion. Such scientific discoveries and the proliferation of this scientific knowledge accelerated th e religious reformation movements which eventually ended the Christian unity in the We st and bred the advent of modern nationstates. Meanwhile, the navigational expedi tions yielded unprecedented discoveries, wealth, and expectations for the host c ountries. The colonial expansion brought considerable Western dominance over a variet y of peoples and cultures. It opened up a global market which paved the way for Western merchants and their manufactured goods to control those new found lands. The agri cultural changes, commercialism, and increased manufacturing productivity not onl y produced a rapidly growing population in the West, but also created an increasingly prosperous a nd ambitious middle class—the bourgeoisies (Stearns, Adas & Schwartz, 1992) .


26 The feudal monarchy and the aristocracy that had defi ned Western politics for hundreds of years eclipsed in the face of grow ing economic and ethical challenges raised by middle-class revolutionaries. Thomas H obbes (1588-1679), in his realistic political survey Leviathan , presented a highly materialistic a nd mechanistic view of humanity and political reality. Hobbes, in c ontrast to the dominant religious indoctrinations, argued that human beings are rational machines livi ng in a competitive market jungle. Each individual is like a se lf-directed and self-interested at om trying to maximize its power, wealth, and influence through a rational bargaining process. John Locke (1632-1704), instead, painted a rosier pictur e about human nature, market society, and political ethics. His emphasis on those inalienable rights of life, liberty, and possession of property (Thomas Jefferson replaced “property” with “the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence for the United States) justified th e emerging middle-class’s pursuit of political power. His political principles of c onstitutionalism, majority rule, individualism, and representative government provided bourge ois class the much-need ed rhetoric and a series of systematic democratic theories. T hus, the rule of the few or the rule of the nobles had been changed to the rule of th e people and the rule of law (Reilly, 1980). It was against these social and political backdrops that Jürgen Habermas’s “ideal” and “stylized” model of bourgeois public sphere came into being (Habermas, 1992, p. 422). The public sphere, according to Habermas (1989), is the sphere of private people come together as a public; they soon claimed the public sphere regulated from above against the public authorities themselves, to engage them in a debate over the general rule s governing relations in the basically privatized but publicly relevant sphere of commodity exchange and social labor. The medium of this political confronta tion was peculiar and without historical precedent: people’s public use of their reason. (p. 27)


27 Such a social and political transition, howev er, did not happen over night, nor did it occur in a vacuum. According to Haberm as, those numerous debates, persuasions, bargaining, compromises, and trade-offs t ook place in London’s coffee houses, France’s salons , and Germany’s table societies in the early eighteenth century. Several shared crucial features of these gathering places and their communicative activities illustrated the major characters of a genuinely democratic public sphere. First of all, the focus of the discussion in the public sphere is on issues of common concern to the public; second, such a place or sphere is equally accessible to all those who may be interested in those issues or may be influenced by those issues; as clarified by Habermas (1989), “The issues discussed became ‘general’ not merely in their significance, but also in their accessibility: everyone had to be able to participate” (p. 37, italic in original); third, the proceeding of this communicative action is based on rationa l-critical deliberati on; and fourth, the deliberation itself is subject to normative sta ndard of evaluation. In other words, the merit of argument will be solely judged on the va lidity and rationality of the communication, rather than on the identity of the speaker or the decision from an arbiter (Calhoun, 1992b; Habermas, 1984). The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere was originally published in German in 1962. Habermas’s motivation to present such “a historical-sociological account of the emergence, transformation, and disintegration of the bourgeois public sphere” (McCarthy, 1989, p. xi) de rived not so much from the desire to rebuild a perfect past as from the disenchantment with German ’s liberal welfare soci ety in the 1950s. As a social and political phenome non, bourgeois public sphere took shape in the particular historical circumstances of a developi ng market economy in which emerging middle-


28 class existed as a revolutiona ry power rather than a stat us quo power. However, such preconditions had diminished by the end of ni neteenth century when the state and civil society began to merge and intermingle with each other. The disappearance of the private sphere and the penetration of highly commerc ialized mass media had eroded and diluted both the means and the ends of politi cal discussion. In Habermas’s words, The sounding board of an educated stratum tutored in the public use of reason has been shattered; the pubic is split apart in to minorities of specialists who put their reason to use nonpublicly and the great mass of consumers whose receptiveness is public but uncritical. Consequently, it co mpletely lacks the form of communication specific to a public. (1989, p. 175). According to Habermas’s argument, one sa lient yet disappointing result of this degradation of public discussion is the lo ss of the real “publ ic opinion.” As the constitutional basis for a representative democracy, public opinion should be formed upon the critical-rational public discussions on widely concer ned issues. In contrast, in a manipulated and commercialized public sphere, public opinion is no longer the identifiable result of the public itself. It ha s been substituted by the concepts such as “public opinion research,” “publicity,” or “public relations practice.” Meanwhile, “the press and broadcast media serve less as organs of public information and debate than as technologies for managing consensus and promoting consumer culture” (McCarthy, 1989, p. xii). Stripped of the major feature as “public” opinion, it turn s into a form of “mass opinion”—“a product of a communicatio n process among masses that is neither bound by the principles of public discussion nor concerned with political domination” (Habermas, 1989, p. 240). As a result, th e public sphere disintegrated. Public Sphere, Printing Technology, and Print Media No public sphere would ever be possible without the invention of printing. The decisive mark of the public sphere, accord ing to Habermas (1989), was “the published


29 word” (p. 16). In his documentation of the evolution of the public sphere, Habermas actually went over in great details the de velopment of early print media and its implications on the formation of the educated elite community. From merely the private exchange of correspondence among family member s, to printed news as a commodity, to periodicals containing pedagogica l instructions, criticism and review, to critical journals, to the first political newspaper, finally to a well-established political institution, the printing technology and print me dia literally cultivated, f acilitated, and bolstered the formation of bourgeois public sphere. Th e indispensable contribution of printing technology and print media to the bourgeois pub lic sphere can be summarized into four dimensions. First, the printing techno logy as the midwife of th e Enlightenment movement. Since a German Johannes Gutenberg first intr oduced the printing technology that entailed the use of movable metal type, oil-ba sed ink, and wooden hand press around 1450s,3 every scientific discovery, new political though t, or innovative religious belief seemed to be instantly magnified or revolutionalized. T hough it is difficult for current researchers to estimate a reliable number of books printed in the first 50 years of the industrial printing, some set this figure as high as “more than nine million books” (Willmore, 2002, p. 90). The mass copies of printed books helped disseminated the soci al and scientific discoveries, as well as the ancient Greek philosophies that had been intentionally disguised by the medieval theocracies. Mo reover, “to consult different books it was no 3 Though no explicit record showing that Gutenberg’s movable type printing technique was based on the Chinese similar invention developed some 400 years ago, most science historians believed that considering the increasing interconnections between the East and West in the previous times, Gutenberg could have borrowed some of the principal elements of the Chin ese model and modified it to a much advanced type (Gunaratne, 2001; Needham, 2003).


30 longer so essential to be a wandering schol ar” (Eisenstein, 1983, p. 42), a fact directly engendered an invisible college of scientists . The wide circulation of printed books also increased the literacy rate in Europe. For example, “In the town of Durham, England, around 1570 only 20 percent of all people we re literate, but by 1630 the figure had climbed to 47 percent” (Stearns, Adas, & Schwartz, 1992, p. 503). Th e proliferation of knowledge, a large group of literate people, a nd a fast industrializing society drew the curtain for the Enlightenment move ment in the eighteenth century. Second, the print media as the messenge r for the market economy. Printing’s contribution to cultural reorie ntation, religious reformation, and societal modernization is relatively easy to comprehend. However, printi ng technology’s indisp ensable role in the overall process of commercialization is less salient, though by no means less significant. As indicated by Habermas (1989), “For the traffic in news developed not only in connection with the needs of commerce; the news itself became a commodity. Commercial news reporting was therefore subj ect to the laws of the same market to whose rise it owed its existence in the fi rst place” (p. 21). The expansion of the market economy and the geographical expl orations required the fast , massive, and reliable way of collecting and disseminating information. The commercial printed journals took up this role. Meanwhile, the growing printed book trade transformed itself from a smallfamily retail trade to a larg e-scale wholesale industry whic h consisted of many different branches and hundreds of experienced workers. Some early cities in West Europe in the sixteenth to seventeenth century thrived initially as major printing centers (Eisenstein, 1983).


31 Third, the print media as the conveyer of political discussion. In contrast to many people’s impression, the Habermasian-style pol itical discussions proceeded more in the form of written letters than in the form of face-to-face c onversations. Although Habermas located those early public sphere s in London’s coffee house, France’s salons , and German’s table societies, the magnet of these locations rested on their printed editorials. “The periodical articles were not only made the object of di scussions by the public of the coffee houses but were viewed as integral parts of this discussion” (Habermas, 1989, p. 42). Eisenstein in her research on prin ting technology in early modern Europe particularly pointed to the in trusive effect of those printe d materials that caused the “sullen silence” among editorial readers in seventeenth century coffee houses (1983, p. 93). New group identity was also formed base d on the different editorial approaches among salons , coffee houses, which laid the orga nizational foundation for the later development of political parties. Fourth, the print media as an independent political institution. Not until the midseventeenth century did the press established its elf as an institutionalized public organ for critical political debate. Though still facing various re strictions from th e state, the press and its growing readership became fully aw are of their political power and their formidable weapon: the “public opinion.” Ca lling itself the “Fourth Estate,” the press began mounting its political request to the established authority. “From now on, the degree of the public sphere’s development was measured by the state of the confrontation between government and press, as it drew out over the entire cen tury” (Habermas, 1989, p. 60). Till then, the printing technology ha d accomplished its transformation from a technological invention to a political instrument.


32 As to the first question about the historic al role of printing technology and printing press on the formation of the publ ic sphere, it is fair to sa y that the advent of printing technology prepared for the subsequent revolu tion almost all the necessary premises, including the software (printed books and new scientific knowledge), hardware (political and news publications), trained participants (educated, wealthy bourgeoisie), and political institutions (the so-called Fourth Estate). The emancipation of lett ers brought about the emancipation of knowledge, the emancipation of human creativity, and eventually, the emancipation of human beings themselves. No wonder Ha bermas (1989) repeatedly denoted his theoretical abstraction as “the public sphere in the world of letters ” (italic added). However, the commercialization of ma ss media and the penetration of popular culture in twentieth century ruined mass media’ s role as the platform for rational-critical discussions. Media became a selling machine. Instead of providing a platform for the formation of public opinion, they promot ed the manufactured goods as well as the manufactured ideas. The very existence of mass media became rooted more in the economic profitability than in the political necessity. The pub lic sphere in the world of letters therefore transf ormed to the commercial sphere in the world of advertisements. The disintegration of the bourgeois public sphere, based on Habermas’s (1989, 1992) arguments, embodied on the one hand the succe ss of bourgeoisie as th e reigning class, on the other hand, the failure of the commercialized welfare st ate as a truly democratic society. Ironically, the very communicati on technology that help ed cultivated and facilitated the formation of the public sphere contributed to the demise of its own creation, literally with the same kind of power and efficiency.


33 Cyber Sphere as a Real Public Sphere The advent of another round of communi cation technology revolution in the late twentieth century has not only rekindled Habermas’s ideal model of public sphere, but also extended its domain to a virtual online public sphe re. Just like the printing technology triggered the nuclear fission of knowledge in Europe some 500 years ago, online technology elevated people’s co mmunication capability to a timeless, boundariless, and almost limitless realm. Neve r before can so many people communicate with each other in such fast time, across such far distance, and at such cheap cost. Inevitably, the interactive nature of online communication, the decentr alized structure of cyberspace, and the growing accessibility of online technology have prompted scholars from various disciplines to proclaim the arrival of a new era of political communication (Hague, & Loader, 1999; Negroponte, 1995; Toulouse & Luke, 1998; Wilhelm, 2000). However, some communication researchers cauti oned that the increasi ng control of cyber sphere by state and corporate interests, a lack of rationa l and critical communication environment, and the digital gap among differe nt strata of social groups hindered online sphere to become a genuine public sphe re (Dahlberg, 2001; Heng & de Moor, 2003; Papacharissi, 2002). Many of the contentions and confusions surrounding the concept of public sphere could be traced back to the orientation and methodology of Habermas’s theoretical approach. In the preface of th e first German edition of his Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere , Habermas (1962) stated that his model of the bourgeois public sphere “represents a stylized picture of the libe ral elements” abstracted from “the unique developmental history of that ‘civil societ y’ originating in the European High Middle Ages” (p. xvii). However, Habermas is not a historian. Much of his attention has been


34 given to the generalizable patt ern rather than to the histog raphic facts unfolding twoto three-hundred years ago in West Europe. Less in terested in the theo retical abstractions, some historians argued that no substantiv e historical record s existed to support Habermas’s largely normative scholarship (K ramer, 1992; Pinter, 2004). For example, Eley (1992) believed that the Habermasian public sphere is “an ideal of critical liberalism that remains historica lly unattained” (p. 289). Normative or descriptive, if the questi on raised by Habermas really touched upon the crucial value for democratic theory, it becomes “an inquiry at once into normative ideals and actual history” (Calhoun, 1992b, p. 1) . Having said that, it remains a dilemma for scholars who want to apply Habermas’s publ ic sphere theory. If the bourgeois public sphere is regarded as a purely normative sta ndard, then no human society has ever met or will meet such an abstract perfection. O bviously, that is not Habermas’s initial orientation. Nor will such an understanding benefit human knowledge or political practice. On the other hand, if it is treated as a valid reflect ion of the past history, is history being repeated? Since all the nece ssary historical cond itions have already disappeared, it is impossible and simply mean ingless to try that. Not to mention the suspicions raised by historians with regard to the validity of some of Habermas’s descriptions. In other words, even the protot ype itself can not satis fy the requirements of a genuine public sphere model. Such ambivale nce not only hurts the in terpretation of this theory, but also influences a pplication of this theory. To solve this ambivalence, two continge nt whereas interrelated steps might be taken. First, while interpreti ng the bourgeois public sphere, one should always separate Habermas’s normative model from the eighteen th century reality. The essence of this


35 theory lies more in Habermas’s grand generaliz ation and abstraction th an in the historical archives. Second, while applying Habermas’s theory to the present reality, one should always keep side by side the abstract theo ry and the historical stage from which the theory has been drawn. By doing so, one will ne ver lose the beauty of the tree, nor lose sight of the forest. In the following sections, the major feat ures of Habermas’s normative model of public sphere will be summarized and categor ized, mainly based on his own theoretical arguments. Then, a comparison will be made among four public sphere “models”: namely, the normative model, the eighteenth century West Europe bourgeois sphere, the welfare state commercialized sphe re (mainly refers to the model of the United States and West European countries in the twentieth cen tury), and the genera l online public sphere emerging since late twentieth century. The Normative Features of the Public Sphere Simply put, the public sphere is a space, a process, an institution, and a mandate. A genuine public sphere is a space accessible to all the public in a society but independent from both state control and economic power. With in this sphere, participants engage in public, rational, and critical di scussions that help form pub lic opinion. The results of the discourses will be judged by the merit or th e validity of the argument rather than by manipulation, coercion, or social status. The success of a public sphere will be evaluated by both the quantity and the qua lity of the discussions. Although Habermas has revised some of his arguments after the first publication of Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere in 1962, the core features of this theoretical model of the bourge ois public sphere can be summarized into the following nine characteristics. They are:


36 Inclusiveness . People in the public sphere “prese rved a kind of social intercourse that, far from presupposing the equality of st atus, disregarded status altogether. The tendency replaced the celebration of rank with a tact befitting equals” (p. 36).4 Accessibility . “The public sphere of civil society stood or fell with the principle of universal access. A public sphere fr om which specific groups would be eo ipso excluded was less than merely incomplete, it was not a public sphe re at all” (p. 85); “The issues discussed became ‘general’ not me rely in their significance, but also in their accessibility: everyone had to be able to participate” (p. 37, italic in original); Autonomy . In the public sphere, “economic de pendencies also in principle had no influence. Laws of the market were suspe nded as were laws of the state” (p. 36). Rationality . “The medium of this political conf rontation was peculiar and without historical precedent: people’s public use of their reason” (p. 28). Interactivity . “The degree to which an opinion is a public opinion is measured by the following standard: the degree to which it merges from the intraorganizational public sphere constituted by the public of the organization’s members and how much the intraorganizational public sphe re communicates with the external one formed in the publicist interchange, vi a the mass media, between societal organizations and state institutions” (p. 248). Criticalness . The public sphere “was established as a sphere of criticism of public authority” (p. 51) and “the degree of the public sphere’s development was measured by the state of the confrontati on between government and press” (p. 60). Commonness . In the public sphere, “discussi on within such a public presupposed the problematization of areas that until th en had not been questioned. The domain of ‘common concern’ which was the object of public critical attention….became in principle generally accessible” (p. 36). Privacy . In the public sphere, “private pe ople interpreted their new form of existence which was indeed based on th e liberal relationshi p between public and private spheres. The experience of privacy made possible literary experimentation with the psychology of the humanity common to all, with the abst ract individuality of the natural person” (p. 171). Social Integration . The public sphere offers “speci fic institutional power that had ensured the interconnectedness of sociable contacts as the substratum of public communication” (p. 163). “The importance of the public sphere lies in its potential as a mode of social integration” (Calhoun, 1992b, p. 6). 4 Except in one occasion, all citations in this section are from Habermas’s (1989) Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere .


37 This list of nine features has been ba sically drawn from Habermas’s original conceptualization of the public sphere. It is not a universal summary, nor is it an exhaustive one. However, it provides a much more applicable check-list for communication scholars to compare and eval uate different political realities under different cultural or historical backgrounds. A Vertical Comparison of Four Types of Public Sphere The four types of public spheres include fi rst, the normative model that abstracted by Habermas as the genuine public sphere; s econd, the eighteenth century West Europe bourgeois sphere from which Habermas constr ucted his theory; thir d, the welfare state commercialized sphere represented mainly by the model of the United States and West European countries in the twentieth century; and fourth, the genera l online public sphere emerging at the end of the twentieth cent ury. Through comparing these four types of public spheres, one can assess, with much mo re certainty, the rela tive genuineness of the current online public sphere. Furthermore, such a vertical and trans-dimensional review will place the understanding of the cyber-spa ce communicative activities back into the historical context, an angle that is highl y critical to the comprehension of the public sphere theory. Below is a brief comparison of the four types of models based on nine public sphere characteristics. Inclusiveness : The ideal public sphere calls for the inclusiveness of all the public without discrimination. It was obviously not th e case in eighteenth century Europe. Only those well-educated, “privileged” though less “noble” property-owner group had the means and desire to engage in critical-rational discussions on po litical issues. At best, this was a small group of elite reading public. Commercialized mass media in the twentieth


38 century, especially the matura tion of radio and television industry, broke down much of the social and economic barriers segregating th e civic society. The in clusiveness of media sphere during this phase was dramatically improved. Similarly, th e spread of online technology in the past decade has made the online sphere a public domain. Moreover, online sphere has been the only affordable medium in history that individuals can establish their own talking ve nue, be it a self-monitored blog site or a chat room discussion thread (Klein, 1999; Wallace, 2001). Accessibility: The ideal public sphere require s universal accessibility. In eighteenth century’s London, however, “onl y men were admitted to coffee-house society” (Habermas, 1989, p. 33). The bourgeoi s public sphere at that time only opened its door to the “elegant world.” The mass media development in twentieth century dramatically lowered the access threshold fo r the general public. In all the developed countries and most of the deve loping countries, tele visions sets and radios are the most frequently used media commodities for general public. The ongoing information revolution is still on its way to stretch its antenna to every corner of the world. Nonetheless, the evidence around the worl d has supported a moderately optimistic perspective regarding online sphere’s global prolifera tion (Ho, Kluver, & Yang, 2003; Hachigian, & Wu, 2003; Wilhelm, 2000). Autonomy : A genuine public sphere should be autonomous from both state control and economic interests. Alt hough restricted and sometimes censored by the aristocratic government, the public sphere in West Europe some 200 years ago was exposed, to a lesser degree, to the economic ve sted interests than its counter part in the late twentieth century (McChesney, 1997). As a result, the commercialized public sphere “developed


39 into an arena infiltrated by power in whic h, by means of topic selection and topical contributions, a battle is fought not only over influence but over the control of communication flows that affect behavior while their strategic intentions are kept hidden as much as possible” (Habermas, 1992, p. 437). The online public sphere faces a similar type of challenge from the political front and the economic front. However, the globally connected networks have made such an inte rvention much more diffi cult, if not totally impossible (Tambini, 1999; Wilhelm, 2000). Rationality : Although Habermas emphasized the “r ationality” or “rationalism” in the process of public opinion formation, this concept has never been practically defined (Habermas, 1984). Considering the normally well-educated participants in club, salon , and reading clubs, combined with the general en lightenment social spirit in the eighteenth century, the emerging bourgeois class had mo re interests in and more gains from promoting the discussions based on logic a nd reason. Such an in tellectual rationalism yielded to commercialism and marketing politics in the twen tieth century. In Habermas’s (1989) word, “[t]he public sphere in the world of letters was replaced by the pseudopublic or sham-private world of culture cons umption” (p. 160). The online public sphere revived people’s expectation for the rational-cr itical discussions. However, some research suggested that such an exp ectation may not be easily rea lized in the online sphere (Papacharissi, 2002; Schneider, 1996; Wilhelm, 1999). Interactivity : It needs to be clarified that Habe rmas never defined the discourse in the public sphere to be a f ace-to-face one. In contrast, he highlighted repeatedly the interpersonal writing correspondence was an in tegral part of the critical communication (Habermas, 1989, 1992). As argued by Saco (2002), “[w]hat matters for Habermas is not


40 the physical co-presence of othe rs, but rather the existence of shared social space” (p. 70). In the late eighteenth century, correspondence among the elite public, either verbal or written, was more frequent than in la tter times. Television and radio, though brought the vivid image to people’s living room, depr ived the audience’s oppor tunity to argue, to response, or to disagree. However, the em erging online medium fundamentally altered this trend. Interactivity ha s become the hallmark of on line communication (Kiousis, 2002). Short-messaging service, e-mail service, and instant online f eedback function are new developments that have elevated onlin e interactive communication to an almost perfect level. Criticalness: The criticalness of public sphere di scourse to a large extent relies on the autonomy of the medium. Besides that, the civic awareness of th e participants also contributes to individual’s cr itical spirit. In the late ei ghteenth century, the bourgeois class was a revolutionary social and political force. For them, criticalness was not only a demographic trademark, but also a political necessity. The intermi ngling trend of state and society in the social welfare states d iluted the confrontational momentum from the public. Both the target and the aspiration of the critical discourse were lost. Online sphere, through returnin g part of the communicative venue to the public, ha s the potential to stimulate individual’s civi c awareness and social group’s cr itical responsibility (Hague & Loader, 1999; Hall, 2001). Commonness : In the genuine public sphere, th e discussion topic should be of common concern and of general significan ce to the whole public. In the eighteenth century Europe, however, this common concern only derived from and mostly referred to the private property and the propertied middle class—the bourgeoisie . When John Locke


41 argued that the “majority” can ru le without a self-perpetuatin g sovereignty, his majority did not even include the massi ve laboring class. “The labor er’s share,” according to Locke (1960), “being seldom more than a ba re subsistence, neve r allows that body of men, time, or opportunity to raise their thoughts a bove that, or struggle with the richer for theirs” (p. 304). The welfare state model in twentieth century expanded its “majority” realm to a much wider spectrum. Still, accord ing to Habermas (1989), the general mass existed mostly in the form of passive cons umers, rather than active agenda-initiators. However, the online public sphere enables co mmon people to raise their private concerns to a public domain, though no guarantee of its eventual publicity (Hall, 2001). Privacy : According to Habermas (1989), no publ ic sphere would be possible if a person’s private sphere can not be fully prot ected. For example, in the eighteenth century German table societies, “[i]ts sphere of publicity had still to rely on secrecy; its public, even as a public, remained internal” (p. 35). The highly commercialized mass media in twentieth century obviously made impossible a ny true privacy issue in the public domain. The omnipresent state power, on the other hand, penetrated into every corner of a person’s private life. From this perspectiv e, the anonymity capability provided by online communication and online technology offers a s light leverage for th e private citizen over governmental power and media scrutiny (Wa llace, 2001). However, some researchers caution that what online technology provides is anonymity, but not confidentiality or unreachability (Nissenbaum, 1999). Social Integration : The political discourse itself, according to Habermas (1989), is a process of social integration. The public sp here is “made up of private people gathered together as a public and articulating the n eeds of society with the state” (p. 176). The


42 earlier bourgeois public sphere did serve as a consolidating platform that initiated the strong wave of political grouping and politic al movements. But as mass media began promoting political issues as a commodity, people’s cynicism, suspicion, and distrust toward politics drove them out of the public sphere. Mass media’s focus on episodic, as opposed to thematic reporting, on politician’s private life instead of their policy position, and on horserace-like campaign coverage alienated the public (Haas, 2004). In contrast, online communication and online community ha ve exhibited a promising capability to cultivate and reinforce social integrati on (Hurwitz, 1999; Klein, 1999; Tambini, 1999). For example, Wellman et al. (2001) found that heavy Internet use is associated with increased participation in vol untary organization and politics. Zhang and Hao (1999) also suggested that online communica tion and Internet pr ess help strengthen social ties among ethnic groups or Chinese Diasporas. To facilitate the comparativ e evaluation, a table listing the four types of public sphere models with their resp ective scores on nine characte ristics was constructed (see Table 2-1). The ratings were categorized into five levels of qualific ation, including the “perfect level,” “highly qualified level,” “moderately qualified level,” “merely qualified level,” and “not at all qua lified level.” The definition a nd evaluation here are fairly impressionistic, if not arbitr ary, given the profoundness and ab stractness of the concepts covered in this study. However, no research on such an inherently sweeping topic can evade the criticism of being over-s implistic. An imperfect formul a is better than a pile of scattered images. The tangible ends , in this case, justified the simple means. Overall, on a 1-to-5 scale, Habermas’s normative abstrac tion understandably scored a full mark (5 points / perfect level), the earlier eighteenth century bourgeois public sphere a 2.78 (less


43 moderately qualified), the twentieth century welfare state a 2.67 (lower than its counterpart two hundred years ago), and th e present online sphe re a 3.33 (more than moderately qualified). Table 2-1. A Comparison of four types of public sphere Habermas’s Normative Abstraction 18-19th Century West Europe 20th Century Western Democracies Online Public Sphere in late 20th Century Inclusiveness 5 2 4 4 Accessibility 5 1 4 3 Autonomy 5 4 2 3 Rationality 5 3 2 2 Interactivity 5 3 2 5 Criticalness 5 4 2 3 Commonness 5 1 3 3 Privacy 5 4 2 3 Integration 5 3 3 4 Overall Average 5 2.78 2.67 3.33 Note: “5” = perfect level; “4”= highly qualified; “3”= moderately qualified; “2” = merely qualified; “1” = not at all qualified. Several interesting points are worth noting from these rather symbolic results. First, judged by Habermas’s own definition, the bour geois public sphere in the eighteenth century was actually less than “moderately qualified” to be called a genuine public sphere. No wonder both philosophe rs and historians felt that it was a little bit difficult to apply his ideal model to the concrete reality. Second, the twentieth century commercialized society did get a lower scor e than its earlier model did as to the authenticity of the public sphere. Such a re sult coincides, though by no means validates, Habermas’s core argument of the disintegrati on of the democratic environment as well as the institution for critical-rational discourse. Th ird, as long as the nine characteristics are concerned, the online public sphere emerging in the late twentieth century paints a much brighter picture for the future public sphere development. In fact, if we compare the vertical trend of these three historical stages , the advent of online public sphere is more


44 like the birth of a real public sphere, rather than a renaissa nce of the old “classic” version. Taken together, these three fi ndings largely answered the se cond research question with regard to online public sphe re’s historical position. Conclusions and Discussions on Public Sphere “One cannot not communicate,” as d eclared by the Palo Alto school of communication scholars (Watzlawick, Beavi n, & Jackson, 1967, p. 48). In the entire human history, people consiste ntly create new communicatio n technologies, such as paper, writing, printing, television, online co mmunication, etc. In the meantime, less noticeably, people themselves have been re created by these communication creations. As indicated in this exploration, the printing technology and print media literally cultivated, facilitated, and bolstered the formation of bourgeois public sphere. Similarly, the advent of another round of communica tion technology revolution in th e late twentieth century has not only rekindled Habermas’s ideal mode l of public sphere, but also extended its domain to a virtual online public sphere. Some evidence even suggests that this new type of online communication sphere may very well be the “real public sphere” that has ever existed. The findings in this exploration, though hi ghly symbolic to some extent, are of great practical signifi cance. First, although Habermas cons tructed and operationalized his public sphere theory at a high level of abstrac tion, the historical pr ototype he used was a developing market economy model in West Europe. At present, when the trend of globalization has brought the market economy to an ever-broader range of the world, the question regarding media, politics, and society seems even more up-to-date and empirical, especially to those emerging mark ets like China, India, etc. Second, some researchers pointed out that Habermas failed to give full consideration on issues related


45 to cultural factors, nation-state consciousne ss, and especially nationalism in his initial theory-building of the public sphere (for ex ample, see Eley, 1992). Actually, Habermas later acknowledged the intertwini ng effects of those cultural and societal factors. He noted, “[a] public sphere that functions polit ically requires more than the institutional guarantees of the constitutional state; it al so needs the supportive spirit of cultural traditions and patterns of soci alization, of the political cu lture, of a populace accustomed to freedom” (Habermas, 1992, p. 453). So, fu ture researchers interested in the interactions between online media and civi c community should focus more on those intervening variables, or ma ybe those antecedent variable s, of culture, tradition, and nationalism. Third, we are still at the in fancy stage of the information technology revolution. If Habermas’s abstraction of the eighteenth century Europe seems a little bit normative, especially in the eyes of historia ns, his idealized model of critical-rational discourse in a civic public sphere may have a chance of being descri ptive in th e age of online communication. However unrealistic Haberm as’s construct may be, his basic ideal that communication should be emancipatory an d free from exploitation of its effects was, is, and will be a worthwhile goal for co mmunication researchers to pursue. In 1835, young Alexis de Tocqueville proclaimed in Democracy in America , “[a]mong the laws that rule human societies, there is one which seems to be more precise and clear than all others. If men are to rema in civilized or to become so, the art of associating together must grow and improve in the same ratio in which the equality of conditions is increased” (1835/1955, p. 118). If this statement was true for the print media era of 1835, then it must be much more revealing now in a globalized world spread with the networking co mmunication technology.


46 Nationalism The great, but valid, paradox is this: nations can be defined only in terms of the age of nationalism, rather than, as you might expe ct, the other way round. ---Gellner, 1983 p.55 Nationalism is in the limelight once agai n. As a formidable political ideology and social movement, nationalism experienced ebbs and flows in the past several hundred years of world history. Nonetheless, it has ne ver faded away ever since it jumped onto the world political stage, and surely will be stay ing there and playing an innegligible role for a long time, if not indefinitely. Although nationalism scholars have contested on almost every component of this important concept, most tend to agree that either as a mature ideology or as a conscious movement, nationalism’s first appearance in We st Europe coincided with a series of historical occurrences, includi ng the collapse of the political dominance by theocratic and monarchic entity, the Enlightenment movement and the spread of the idea of public sovereignty, the formation of modern industria l society, the cyclical interstate wars, and the advent of mass communication technology (Anderson, 1991; Gellner, 1983; Hobsbawm, 1990; Smith, 1995). It is hard to tell, though, whether nationalism was the by-product of those parallel develo pments or was the catalyst for them. The next round of nationalism movements in Europe brought a bout two destructive World Wars in the twentieth century which broke down many old em pires and at the same time gave birth to many more sovereign nations. Such a trend quic kly spread to the rest of the world which eventually triggered the decolonization and self-determination movement in Asia and Africa. The subsequent Cold War, which “fought” between two camps of ideological rivals for more than 40 years, seemingl y overshadowed, at least temporarily, the


47 nationalism current. However, the demon was on ce again out of the bot tle after the fall of the Berlin War in 1991. Nationalism quick ly filled the ideological void left by Communism in those former Soviet states and its Eastern European satellites. Meanwhile, in Asia as well as in South America, the economic miracles and new communication technology not only engendered pr osperous societies, but also cultivated people with firm and determined nationalistic stance. It seems every time when the old dominant world system collapsed, no matte r whether this syst em is a one power domination pattern, or a two-power check-and -balance structure, or simply a chaotic disorder,5 people resort to nationalist appeal as the repositioning and re-identifying strategy. What is nationalism then? The short answ er is: it depends. It depends on how you define nation. Is it a historical product , a cultural development or a political consequence? It depends on how you determine th e origin of nations. Is it the ethnicity, religion, culture, tradition, la nguage, territory, or peopleÂ’s imagination that creates a nation? It depends on from which ideologica l stance you draw the picture of nationalism. Is it modernism, functionalism, Marxism, lib eralism, or post-modernism? It depends on from which historical background and refere nce frame you abstract the concept. Is it Eurocentric, Asia-centric, or America-centric ? It depends, above a ll, on the particular historical stage that shapes the scholarÂ’s visions, minds, and perspective. Anthony Smith (2004), one of the most renowned scholars on na tionalism characterizes the difficulties of studying nationalism this way, 5 These three general types of world order were summarized by Henry Kissinger in his Diplomacy , see Kissinger, 1995.


48 Methodologically, nationalism presents great difficulties of definition, classification and explanation; it involves a vast historical an d geographical field, requires knowledge of several languages, familiarity with many events, customs and sentiments, and an empathy with vari ous situations and problems of identity. And there is no agreement even on basic definitions. (p. 108) Difficult or not, the topic rega rding nationalism is too significant to be put aside. In the following sections, three major research questions on nationalism will be revisited and reevaluated in the wake of new communi cation technology and new political reality. First of all, what is the origin or what are the origins of nationalism? The truth about the study of nationalism is that it is much easier to describe nationalism than to define it. However, without knowing the historical and functional genesi s of this social phenomenon, no description will be meani ngful or useful. Based on the previous theoretical approaches, the orientation of na tionalism will be scrutinized from the angles of history, economy, culture, politics, and ideology, respectively. Although the primary purpose here is to dig into the root basis of this social phenomenon, a vigilant eye will be consistently focused on the current reality a nd its future implication. Second, what are the defining characteristics of nationalism? Every nationÂ’s nationalism bears its own birthmark and indigenous characters. The purpose of this section is not to exhaust those particularities, but to abstr act those few commonalities. Only those practically visible and politically influential factors will be summ arized and analyzed. Third, what are the inherent weaknesses of nationalism research and how can nationalism scholars possibly overcome those loopholes? The depth, scope, and enormity of this social and political phenomenon have posed a daunting task fo r every scholar who wants to unveil its mysterious face. No matter how well prepared or how specialized a sc holar is, he/she is the prisoner of his/her specialty. To point out the possibl e stereotypes in the nationalism


49 scholarship is not to negate those academic accomplishments, but to direct us much closer to the target we are interested in. Origin of Nationalism The origin of everything in the world is both an interes ting and challenging question. The origin of nationalism is no excep tion. Instead of attributing the initial formation of nationalism to any single histor ical event, or any technology invention, or any ideological thought, a multiple-path appr oach will be taken to systematically reconstitute the most likely time, place, partic ipants, and logic of this political ideology and social movement. Nationalism: A historical/economic consequence Bloom’s (1990) analogy of people’s development of ego-consciousness with nation’s formation of group-consciousness highlighted the major understanding among nationalism scholars that nationalism is a hist orical consequence. Hans Kohn, one of the so-called “twin founding fathers”6 of nationalism research, as serted that nationalism is not a natural phenomenon, nor is it a produc t of eternal or natural laws (Kohn, 1955). Instead, nationalism came into being “only through the effects of an historical development which, by education, economic interdependence, and corresponding political and social institutions, bring a bout the integration of the masses and their identification with a body far too great for any concrete experience” (Kohn, 1939, p. 1006). Although Western Europe in the fifteent h and sixteenth centuries was in many ways a poor candidate for great new dynami sm as compared to other contemporary 6 The twin founding fathers of th e academic study of nationalism are Carlton B. Hayes and Hans Kohn.


50 civilizations, the politi cal divide among regional govern ments, religious reformation movement and constant intrastate conflicts fermented an atmosphere for changes on various fronts. The printing re volution in early modern Eur ope ushered the expansion of literacy and the spread of each vernacular language as a cohesi ve force for shared cultural community (Eisenstein, 1983). The frequent interactions and communications among different cultural or politi cal entities reinforced peopl e’s social consciousness and affiliation with an individual whereas dist inct community. This group-consciousness strived toward creating homogeneity within the group, a conformity and common loyalty which led to and facilitated concerted acti on. Kohn (1939) once noted that “[n]ationalism is inconceivable without the ideas of popul ar sovereignty having proceeded—without a complete revision of the position of ruler a nd ruled, of classes a nd casters” (p. 1001). One of the leading nationalism sc holars Ernest Gellner (1983) summarized those historical factors this way, Constant occupational changes, reinfor ced by the concern of most jobs with communications, the manipulation of mean ing rather than the manipulation of things, makes for at least a certain kind of social equality or diminished social distance, and the need for a standard ized, effectively shared medium of communication. These factors underlie both modern egalitarianism and nationalism. (p. 112) However, nationalism scholars disagreed on which nation was the first birth place for such a sovereign community. According to Greenfeld (2001), such a unique form of social consciousness that based on “an image of a sovereign commun ity of fundamentally equal members” (p. 2) first emerged in Engl and in the early sixteenth century and hence spread to the rest of the world. He furthe r argued that such an economic nationalism was the idealistic motivation for a country’s economic expansion and capitalism modernity. Bell (2001) tended to believe that the Fren ch revolutions in the seventeenth and


51 eighteenth centuries opened the new page for nationalism as a clear appealing and mobilizing force. During these grass-roots movements, people pledged their allegiance based on the willingness of belonging to one common community instead of on ethnic, religious, language, or racial f actors. Gellner (1983) traced the roots of nationalism to the unique conditions of modern industrial soci ety in Western Europe with its mobility, equality, commercialism, and military state m odernization. The industrial society was not only “the first society to i nvent the concept and ideal of progress, of continuous improvement” (p. 22), but also the most succes sful to “break down the segments of the traditional order so as to create a common cu lture capable of integrating all citizens” (Gellner, 1983, p. 43). He further linked nationa lism with the process of colonialism, imperialism and de-colonization and argued that the emergence and spread of nationalist ideas were not the result of calculated desi gn, but the result of historical evolution. Political scientist Francis Fukuyama (1992) al so regarded nationalism as the “product of industrialization and the democra tic, egalitarian ideologies th at accompanied it” (p. 269). However different, all these nationalism sc holars actually belong to one dominant academic paradigm—the modernism school of thought. It proclaims that nation and nationalism are recent and novel, and both ar e the product of modernization and the conditions of modernity. One notable excepti on is sociologist Ant hony Smith (2004). He criticizes that the modernist position fails to consider the long-term ethnic and popular sources of national identity. In his opinion, the so-called mo dern nation-state in Western Europe is just a myth. Its et hnocentric characterization of the nation suffers from a twofold limitation: “it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to apply it in areas outside the West; and it precludes any disc ussion of the possibility of pre-modern nations” (Smith,


52 2004, p. 15-6). However, Smith here might mistak e patriotism, another form of collective love and sacrifice toward one’s country, fo r nationalism in his argument (see later discussions in this section). Whether ethno centric or not, the i ndustrial revolution and modernization process in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries did fundamentally change people’s understanding about the world, about other peoples, and about themselves. Such a new mindset proliferated to the rest of the world following the footsteps of Western voyagers, merchants, and colonizers. Nationalism, from this point of view, is surely a historical consequence. Nationalism: A cultura l/ethnical consequence Although nationalism is rooted in cultur al factors, it always outgrows and outreaches its cultural bases. Nationalism embraces almost all the cultur al attributes, such as common ancestors, languages, customs, trad itions, religions, memories, etc. However, very few types of nationalism in the world actually possess all of them. For example, many modern nations, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc., were founde d by immigrants who brought with them a totally different cultural origin from that of the native resi dents. Common ancestors with the same blood were replaced by the “founding fathers” with a common belief. The mixture of different races further obscures the descendant trait. This transformation can be applied to other cultural factors, such as la nguage, traditions, religions, t oo. According to Gellner (1983), there are some 8,000 different languages in the world. However, only about 200 nations now enjoy the legitimacy and entitlement as sovereign political entities. Similarly, religion can help strengthen or weaken the bond within a nation or across nations. But, religious appeal is different from, and may never be comp atible with, the nationalism sentiment.


53 To classify the distinctive functions of different types of cultural origins, nationalism scholars have developed several conceptual schemes. The civic/ethnic and West/East dichotomies are the widely empl oyed and widely disput ed paradigms (Kohn, 1955; McCrone, 1998; Shulman, 2002; Smith, 1991). According to this civic/ethnic definition, nationalism in Western Europe and the United States has been developed as the civic nationalism, whereas nationalism in Eastern Europe and Asia has been developed as the ethnic type . Civic nationalism, which mainly based on Enlightenment ideas of liberty and equality, is more progressi ve, inclusive, and thus civic-oriented. In contrast, ethnic nationalism is derived mainly from ethnogr aphic foundations and ethnic characteristics. It is race and blood-based, exclusive, and has the danger to become the totalitarian type of nationalism (such as the Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Militarist Japan in the 1930s). Inevitably, this overly si mplified classification drew a lot criticism. For example, Smith (1991) states, rightfull y, that “every nationalis m contains civic and ethnic elements in varying de grees and different forms. So metimes civic and territorial elements predominate; at other times it is th e ethnic and vernacular components that are emphasized” (p. 13). In a multinational public opinion survey conducted across 15 European countries, Shulman (2002) challe nged this civic/ethnic definition of nationalism by comparing people’s perceptions and attitudes towa rd many nationalismrelated issues. He found no conclusive ev idence to support such a dichotomous distinction. Harvard Professor Stanley Hoffmann ( 2000) categorizes nationalism into five types, namely the ethnic nationalism (bad), religious nationalism (combustible), cultural nationalism (less bellicose), territorial-traditional nationalism (milder and varying), and


54 universalist nationalism (ideal model). E xpanded from the dichotomous civic/ethnic definition, Hoffmann’s categorization, though mo re flexible, seems too judgmental and not mutually exclusive. Another Harvard Professor Samuel Huntington (1996) put the nationalism discussion against a much broader cultural backdrop. Although he acknowledges that the modern nation-states re main the principal actors in current world affairs, “[i]n this new world, local politics is the politics of ethnicity; global politics is the politics of civilizations. The rivalry of the superpowers is replaced by the clash of civilizations” (Huntington, 1996, p. 28). However, some critics argued that, theoretically and empirically, it is much more difficult to defi ne a civilization than to define a nation. Some scholars took other a pproaches. For example, it has been stated that nationalism is shaped and formed much more on the basis of imaginations than on concrete and well-defined cultural boundaries (Spencer, & Wollman, 2002). According to Benedict Anderson (1991), mass communication and print-capitalism in the seventeenth century Europe facilitated the emergence of nations as the “imagined communities.” In this sense, nation is a kind of illusion and nationalism is the underlying force that drives this collective imagination. In fact, this ar gument may have more implications on current world reality than on the past. When the wo rld enters an era of globalized market, transnational popular culture, networked co mmunity, and highly commercialized multinational media conglomerates, how will people define, imagine, and construct their common community? Another more significant question posed to nationalism scholars would be: if the emergence of nationalism hundreds of years ago was deemed a cultural consequence, will culture continue to be a defining factor in the future?


55 Nationalism: A military/political consequence It may be a little exaggerated to say that war created the first version of nationalism, but it is undoubtedly true that th e interstates wars fought in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries’ Europe cultivated the formation of nationalist sentiment and nationalist movements. In retr ospect, the function of war as a nationalism-formulator took at least three forms. First of all, to fight a war, a state ha d to learn to organize and mobilize its resources, people, and bureaucracy so as to maximize its fighting power. For example, in the “last few years of Elizabeth’s England, or in Philip II’s Spain, as much as threequarters of all government expenditures was de voted to war or to debt repayments for previous wars” (Kennedy, 1987, p. 71). Anothe r set of figures show that around 1700, “European states still absorbed only around 5% of GNP in peacetime, 10% in wartime. By 1760, this had risen to 15-25%; by 1810, 25 %-35%. Virtually all the increases went on financing wars” (Mann, 1995, p. 47). As a natu ral result of this massive war-preparing effort, on the one hand, the monarchical or aristocratic governments increasingly employed nationalist appeals to mobilize subor dinates to serve royal military ambitions; on the other hand, the enhanced au thority and resources of the state in turn convinced the emerging merchants that the well-being of the individuals as well as their private properties had to be achieved and secure d through a commonly supported “nation.” Nationalism thus became not only a rallying poi nt for the governors, but also a common desire of the governed. Therefore, accordi ng to Breuilly (1982) , nationalism grows and pushes itself forward by being its own cause and effect simultaneous ly, not only within the country, but also across borders.


56 Second, war increased interactions, t hough in a rather violent manner, among different groups of people, which in the e nd solidified people’s group-consciousness and national identity. Gellner put th is “common” experience of a war-created group feeling this way, As the tidal wave of mode rnization sweeps the world, it makes sure that almost everyone, at some time or other, has cause to feel unjustly trea ted, and that he can identify the culprits as being of another ‘nation’. If he can also identify enough of the victims as being of the same ‘nation’ as himself, a nationalism is born. (1983, p. 112). Deutsch (1969) pointed out rather sarcas tically that “[a] na tion is a group of persons united by a common error about thei r ancestry and a comm on dislike of their neighbors” (p. 3). Paul Kennedy expre ssed the similar viewpoint in his The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers that “the frequent wars induced national consciousness, in a negative fashion at least, in that Englishmen learned to hate Spaniards, Swedes to hate Danes, Dutch rebels to hate their former Habsburg overlords” (1987, p. 70). Therefore, interstate wars put every nation’s collective character into a comparative context. Just like children develop their self-ego via socializing with peer s, nations define thei r self-identification through interacting w ith other nations. Third, war shattered the old so cial order and political st ructure which helped pave the way for the establishment of modern nation-states. The horrendous aftermath of interstates wars (for exampl e, seven major Anglo-French wars fought between 1689 and 1815 and millions of people died) intensified th e domestic and foreign relations in those war-ridden European powers. The old theocratic or aristocratic structure could not handle and withstand the challenges imposed by th e emerging bourgeoisies who led the appeal for public sovereignty. Actually, most of the modern nation-states established in West Europe and North America were either the dire ct consequence of interstate wars (such as


57 France, Germany), or the indirect byproduct of it (such as the United States, Canada). For example, Napoleon’s military expansion in Eu rope tore down local governments in Italy, Germany, and Spain, which directly drove the local resistance forces under the common banner of nationalism (Stearns, Adas & Schw artz, 1992, Chap. 29). On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the American Revolution or the independence war would have never been won if not for the help from the French government, the arch-rival of Great Britain (LaFeber, 1999). In brief, Charles Tilly’s (1995) often quoted aphorism that war makes states and states make war might be conveniently m odified as “war culti vates nationalism and nationalism cultivates war.” Nationalism: An ideo logical consequence Nationalism is also a form of political ideology. It was derived from various philosophical frameworks and influenced by different ideological schools of thought in its development. Some nationalism scholars have compiled and compared the different ideological approaches in nationalism re search (see for example, Hobsbawm, 1990; Smith, 1998; Smith, 2004). In the following se ction, three major ideological branches will be reviewed. They are modernism, Marxism, and post-Modernism approaches. The reason to choose these three paradigms concerns more about their rele vance to the overall conceptual structure of this research than about their relative popularity. The most renowned representative of modern ist scholar in nationalism research is Ernest Gellner. His central argument is that nationalism is a consequence of


58 industrialization and moderniza tion. He categorized human hist ory into three stages and the third stage—industrial society—is fundame ntally different from the previous two.7 It is based and dependent on cognitive and economic growth which in the end both outstrips and discourages further dramatic population growth. Various factors in it – universal literacy, mobility and hence individualism, political centralization, the need for a costly educational infrastructu re – impel it into a situation in which political and cultural boundaries are on the whole congruent. (Gellner, 1983, p. 110) In other words, it is the nationalism ideo logy that engenders modern nation-states and not the other way around. Benedict Anders on (1991), another modernist, proclaimed that nationalism was based on the imagined communities which were only made possible through the power of print media. Therefore, modern nations are an illusion in people’s mind, and nationalism is the core thread of that illusion. Although modernist school of thought has been challenged by some schol ars (Smith, 1998, 2004), it is still the most dominant framework for nati onalism researchers, especi ally those in the West. The interaction between Marxism and na tionalism, in Ronaldo Munck’s (1986) words, is “the difficult dialogue” (1986). For Marx and Engels, the historical materialism was their explanatory framework to unders tand the relationship between a society’s superstructure and its economic base. As to capitalist societies, the class struggle between the working class and capitalists should be the overriding concern that trumps other cultural, historical, or geographical factor s. Based on this overall understanding, they claimed, rather enthusiasticall y, that “[t]he great mass of the proletarian are, by their nature, free from national prejudice and their whole di sposition and movement is essentially humanitarian, anti-nationalist” (Marx & Engels, 1976, p. 6). In retrospect, Marxism’s slogan that “the working men ha ve no country” is hopelessly naïve. For 7 The other two stages are the hunting & ga thering stage and the agrarian stage.


59 example, just before World War I, the European socialist parties insisted that the working class would never fight with th eir brothers from other countries. And when the war broke out, they joined the army without hesitation and died in the millions for their respective countries. Just as Reilly ( 1980) put it, “modern propaganda created nationalist appeals that no International could drown out” (p. 443). Marxism’s misinterpretation on nationalism, in my opinion, was due to its misuse of methodology in the analysis. He used a telescope to examine a problem that needs a microscope. Lenin, instead, totally revised Marx’s early stance on nationalism issu es and prescribed that nationalism is the weapon for colonized people to strive for self-determination (Munck, 1986). As a result, nationalism, though not endorsed by Marxism’ s founders, has been actively employed by Marxism’s followers around the world. Post-modernists tend to break down all the physical or tangible at tributes attached to the nationalist sentiment. For example, Turner (2002) argues that the modern cosmopolitanism has eroded and to some extent replaced the traditional nationalist paradigm. The growth of global markets, the mobility of labor forc es across borders, the spread of multiculturalism and the globaliza tion of diasporic communities make some of the national sovereignty issues outmoded. In tu rn, a new type of cosmopolitan virtue and moral obligation should substitute for the trad itional nationalism. Moreover, Feys (2004) argues that nation can exist without territo ry and nationalism can exist without the presence of nation. This stance, though similar to Smith’s “imagined communities” proposition at the surfac e level, actually introduces a dram atically different viewpoint. By separating the ideological existence of nationali sm with its physical base of nation, this theory seems to reject both the concept of nation and its ideol ogical consequence of


60 nationalism. However unconventional this idea may seem to be, it becomes more and more understandable, if not yet reasonable, in the present information age. If the print media have the power to create nationalism, as claimed by the modernist, then why can’t the online media redefine this w hole concept from the beginning? Characteristics of nationalism What is nationalism, then? Having review ed the origin of nationalism, we can broadly define it as a historical, econ omic, cultural, political, and ideological consequence that helps people to establish collective identi ty, cultural cohesion, social solidarity, and political autonomy. It is a st rong common consciousness, and it is also a powerful political movement. As indicated by Hoffmann (2000), nationalism is a reaction to a problem, an explanation to a situati on, and a program to solve the questions. “At a minimum, it is the promotion and protecti on of the nation’s integrity and uniqueness. Often, it goes beyond this, and proclaims not only the nation’s singul arity, but its mission in the world, or its superi ority over others” (p. 198). Although every country’s nationalism has its own developing path and features, three common characteristics of nationalism directly related to this overall research topic will be discussed. First of all, nationalism is a super ideology. It encompasses and transcends other forms of philosophical paradigms, political ideologies, and religious beliefs. Once it comes into being, it exists as its own cause and only follows its own rationale. Marxism and some political internationalists failed to recognize the nature and overriding power of nationalism. While analyzing the international affairs, Marx applied the class struggle as the primary framework. He downplayed and unde restimated the role of nationalism as a higher level ideology that could overwhelm th e political and economic claims within its


61 realm. Similarly, the political theories such as “democratic countries don’t fight with each other” or “clash of civilizations” may suffer the similar problems (see for example, Fukuyama, 1992; Huntington, 1996). In sum, so long as the nation-state is still the dominant form in international politics, nati onalism will always be the first and foremost driving force. Second, nationalism is not a status-quo id eology. Nationalism, without exception, grows out of the unsatisfied desi re, be it territorial, cultural, political, or historical. When provoked by the outer pressures, this unsatis fied desire can escalate, intensify, and quickly turn into a social and political movement. In 1774, the nationalism awareness in North America was awakened by a simple event occurred near Boston Harbor. Quickly and uncontrollably, such a sparkle set out the great independence revolution in the eighteenth century. In July 1914, a Serbian natio nalist assassinated th e Austrian archduke Ferdinand, tipping the great power balance in Europe and quickly escalating into the First World War. In late 1980s, the foreign probl ems (Afghanistan nati onalists) and domestic problems (independence movements in Baltic st ates) drove the former Soviet Union to a downward spiral. When Hoffmann (2000) comment ed that “[s]ome nationalisms are evil, and all others can become evil” (p. 208), he was referring to the unsettling nature of nationalism. Third, nationalism is an exclusive, if not an irrational, ideolo gy. Such exclusiveness has been cultivated and reinforced by t hose omnipresent national stimuli, such as country’s name, national flag, national anthem, national color, collec tive memory, etc. As a result, the cultural and emotional life of th e people has become closely integrated with the common good of their beloved nation and their fellow country-men. Such a love and


62 affiliation is not indiscriminate. When two c ountries’ nationalists collide with each other over an antagonistic issue, the overheated rhetoric alwa ys leads to uncompromising stance or irrational behaviors. Therefore, as to the domestic issues, nationalism can be used by the government to solidify all the political groups under a common banner, sometimes even as a tool to repress the oppos ition parties. As to the foreign affairs, nationalism is widely recognized as a double-edge sword. It ca n serve either as a rallying point, or as destructive venom. Reflections on Nationalism Nationalism is a complex and difficult topi c. As an ideology, it is shapeless, constantly evolving, and all-encompassing. Howe ver, as a social a nd political movement, it is concrete, diverse, and contingent. The complexity of this topic lies in the doublefacetness of this concept. Aside from this layer of obstacles, however, the inherent stereotypes and knowledge limitations among sc holars unconsciously affected people’s judgment and objectivity. Every nationalism schol ar is, to a varying degree, a nationalist. An old Chinese saying goes “you can’t have a tr ue view of the Mount Lu if you are in it.” By the same token, you can’t evaluate nati onalism objectively if you are a nation-bound person. However, in spite of these objective and subjective hurdles, this topic is too significant to be neglected. To safeguard ag ainst those biases and stereotypes, the following three pairs of concepts should be clarified. They ar e nationalism vs. patriotism, nationalism vs. ethnocentrism, and nationalism vs. racism. Nationalism vs. patriotism Unlike nationalism, which has been generally considered a result of modernity and industrialization, pa triotism is an old phenomenon. It has existed ever since people began to form communities with common values and interests. For example, in Thucydides’


63 Peloponnesian War , he recorded the funeral oration given by general Pericles some 2,400 years ago, “[a]ny intelligent man would fi nd a humiliation caused by his own slackness more painful to bear than death, when death comes to his unperceived, in battle, and in the confidence of his patriotism” (1954, p. 121) . Such similar expression of loyalty and desire of sacrifice for one’s country or political community can be found throughout human history across the world. Although used interchangeably by some scholars (for example, see Rosati, 1999; LaFeber, 1999), na tionalism differs from patriotism in terms of the affiliating target, attit udinal expression, and behavior pattern. Nationalism refers to people’s love and emotional affiliation towa rd a whole set of national symbols. It includes political entity, but it never stops there, nor does it totally endorse the political system. In contrast, patriotism is a feeling th at is more derived fr om and devoted to the existing political entity. In other words, pa triotism loves the country as it is, whereas nationalism loves the country as it was or as it should be. Re flected onto the attitudinal dimension, patriotism is more likely to be triumphant and victory-oriented, whereas nationalism is more likely to be wounded and humiliation-driven. As to the behavior pattern, patriotism is always manifest and i ndividually oriented, whereas nationalism is much more deeply rooted and collectively shared. Nationalism vs. ethnocentrism People, in their nature, ar e ethnocentric. We are the pr isoners of our origin. We understand the world, other peoples, and ourselv es through our own cultural lens. It is very common, and almost inevitable, for the Western social scientists to regard the European way of human development as the “normal” way of evolution. This kind of “West vs. Rest” thinking style is pervasiv e in the vocabulary, chronology, reference system, and interpretation among those We stern nationalism studies (for further


64 discussions, see Huntington, 1996; Smith, 2004). However, most of the arguments or definitions of nationalism are valid, as long as they are strictly applied to the Western history. For example, no analogous historic al events such as “Renaissance” or “Enlightenment Movement” can be found in Ch ina’s historical calendar. On the other hand, Europe’s Dark Ages overlapped with Ch ina’s glorious Tang and Song Dynasties. If we consider China’s developing route as the reference system, most of the theoretical paradigms of Western nationalism scholarship sh ould be rewritten or labeled solely as the “European model.”8 This understanding, however, is not to suggest a move from universalism to complete particularism. Rather, future nationalism scholars should beware the universalism and particularis m pertaining to any country’s development pattern. From this perspective, the disc ussions surrounding the dichotomous concepts such as civic versus ethnic nationalisms, exclusionary versus inclusive nationalisms, would be meaningful only if we put this de bate into a larger historical and cultural context. Nationalism vs. racism The ultra-ethnic nationalism arising in Germany, Italy, and Japan during World War II has given nationalism a negative de notation around the world. After all, Nazi means nationalism and socialism in Germa n. The holocaust crime committed by Nazi Germany inevitably linked nationalism to r acism, another socially undesirable ideology. However, this linkage is too simplistic, and incorrect. Ethnicity may be one of the major bases for nationalism, but it is neither a n ecessary nor a sufficient factor. It is not 8 Anthony Smith (2004) claims that this problem “bri ngs us to the more revea ling theoretical reasons for sociology’s neglect of nationalism. They all stem, at bottom, from the European origins of sociology and its largely Eurocentric outlook” (p. 109).


65 necessary for those countries that are mainly composed of immigrants (for example, United States, Canada). It is not sufficient for those countries that have one race but have different nationalism orientation (Great Br itain and North Ireland). Racism can exist within one country with multiple races, and it can be shared by many countries with same race. Nazism and Fascism, although may both be categorized as nationalism, are the outliers rather than the standard. Above all, nationalism is an elusive con cept. It is elusive when we try to conceptualize a generalizable pattern from th e ever-changing reality, but it is even more elusive when we try to employ those judgments to an individual country. Not to mention those logic, references, common sense, and imp lications that may be lost in translation. That is particularly true for th e study of Chinese nationalism. Chinese Nationalism Stated another way, the primordial building blocks of ethnicity and cultural habits have in some respects preempted the field and obscured the fact that, for fundamental reasons, nationalism in China has remained nascent and amorphous. Lucian W. Pye (1993, p. 108). If such concepts as “Chineseness” and “n ationalism” proved to be intellectually challenging in their own right s, it would be much more complicated to clarify the theoretical and practical thr ead of a concept called “Chine se nationalism.” It is quite understandable, if not inevitable, that the presen t scholarship on this topic is as diverse as it is disarrayed. For example, Lucian W. Py e suggests that China is not a conventional nation-state and “has not achieved a sense of national identity cons istent with modern standards” (Pye, 1996a, p. 13). As a result, Ch ina’s nationalism is at best a “formless nationalism” and the traditional “Han chauvinism should not be treated as the same thing as Chinese nationalism” (Pye, 1993, p. 108-9). Other China scholars, however, could not


66 disagree more. As questioned by Geris (2004), “‘China’ has four millennia of documented history, and two millennia of centralized rule. Did it only become a ‘nation’ in the twentieth century ?” (p. 7). Fairbank (1992) argues that instead of strictly applying Western Europe’s nation-state model to Chin a’s distinct reality, “[ w]e should do better to apply the idea of culturalism and see ancient Ch ina as a complete civilization comparable to Western Christendom, within which nation-states like France and England became political subunits that shared their common Eu ropean culture” (p. 45). As to the current wave of nationalism sentiment and activities emerged since 1980s, some attributed its origin to the CCP’s intentional manipulati on aiming to salvage its legitimacy after the collapse of the Communism ideology (Dow ns, & Saunders, 1998/9; Zhao, 1997; Zhao, 1998), some suggested it was not the result of government propaganda, but a series of spontaneous reactions among general public toward foreign hostility and pressure (Zhang, 1997), and some regarded this new nationalism tendency as a continuation and modification of China’s century-long nationa listic movement (Chang, M. H., 2001; Karl, 2002; Geris, 2004; Zheng, 1999). With regard to the character of Chinese nationalism, it has been defined as “defensive nationa lism” (Shambaugh, 1996, p. 205), “pragmatic nationalism” (Zhao, 2000, p. 2), “formless na tionalism” (Pye, 1993, p. 108), “revanchist nationalism” (Friedman, 1997, p. 12), “face nationalism” (Gries, 1999), “wounded nationalism” (Chang, G., 2001), “assertive nati onalism” (Whiting, 1983), or “radical and reckless nationalism” (Gertz, 2001). In the following section, Chinese nationalism will be examined from four distinctive whereas interrelated perspectives . They are (1), Chinese nationalism and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP); (2), Chin ese nationalism and Chinese people; (3),


67 Chinese nationalism and Taiwan independence; and (4), Chinese nationalism and world order. This four-section structure was designed in accordance with the following understandings on this topic. First, the state-led nationalism and the grass-roots spontaneous nationalism in China are two di stinctive historical consequences. They might be overlapping to a certain degree on ce rtain issues, but they have never been congruent. Although they shared some common characters, they differ fundamentally in origin, tactics, and objective s. This complementary and c onflicting relationship between CCP-led nationalism and grass-roots natio nalism caused a lot of confusions and misinterpretations among China observers. In this section, th ese two versions of Chinese nationalisms will be examined and explored separately. Second, Taiwan independence has been the paramount and defining issue on China’s nationalism-re lated sentiments and activities. For example, it symbolizes China’s past humiliations during the colonial period (China had to cede Taiwan to Ja pan after an unprecedented defeat in 1895), China’s hatred toward Japan during the Worl d War II (Japan had occupied Taiwan for 50 years from 1895 to 1945; and Japan has been supporting Taiwan’s independence movement since 1996), China’s growing an ti-Americanism (U.S. government has long been providing weapons to Taiwan and indi cated that it may protect Taiwan if CCP reunifies it by force), and China’s strategic ri se as a blue-water s uperpower (Taiwan is a geographically strategic island that separates mainland China from the Pacific Ocean). It is hard to comprehend Chinese natio nalism without knowing China’s “Taiwan Complex.” Third, nationalism is a combination of national self-iden tifications developed in the process of interacting and intercomm unicating with other peoples. It is dynamic, constantly evolving, and psychol ogically reciprocal. Chinese nationalism influences other


68 people’s perception of China, and this perception will affect the future path of Chinese nationalism as well. So, instead of looki ng at China’s nationalism as a home-grown product, a reciprocal angle wi ll be employed to assess the mutual cause-effect patterns among involved countries. The examinations covered the historical period starting from the late 1970s to present time. Choosing the late 1970s as a st arting point for China-related study is an easy and self-evident decision. Late 1970s in China is a watershed period by many standards. What had occurred in this several years fundamental ly altered the fate of onefifth of human beings. Politically, China e nded Mao’s 27-year ruli ng of the country and 40-year ruling of the party (1976), economically China broke the high ly centralized planeconomy and initiated the “opening and refo rm” process (1978), and diplomatically China established formal relationship with th e Untied States (1979), just to name a few. As a result, after nearly 30 years of mostly self-imposed and partly forced-upon isolation with the rest of the world, Ch ina once again showed up on the world stage. It was against this grand background that the new version of Chinese nationalis m came into being. Chinese Nationalism and Chinese Communist Party Ironically, the success story of the Chin ese Communist Party (CCP) in 1949 was not a Communistic one, but a nationalistic one. When Chairman Mao announced proudly on the Tiananmen tower that “Chinese peopl e have stood up,” he spoke on behalf of 400 million Chinese people, most of them impove rished peasants, not on behave of the several million Chinese workers in the trea ty port cities—the so-called leading class projected in Marx’s classics . Though self-claimed the true followers of Marxism, few leaders in China’s first generation of “Comm unists” were from the working class. Mao himself was a peasant-intellectual. CCP’s leading figures, including Zhou Enlai, Liu


69 Shaoqi, Lin Biao, and Deng Xiaoping all came from landlord families. Since there was no bourgeoisie class to be overthrown in Chin a, Chinese intellectuals were haplessly singled out by Mao as the “petty bourgeoisi e” in the anti-Rightist campaign (1955-1957) and the disastrous Cultural Revolution ( 1966-1976). However, sinc e the founding of the People’s Republic of China, this dramatic de viation from the classic Marxism had been largely glossed over, on the one hand, by th e dominating Cold War thinking pattern between the West bloc and the East bloc, and on the other hand by China’s over-heated Communism rhetoric and revol utionary fervors initiated by Mao and his ultra-left followers. The collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s made such a Communist selfidentification unattractive, unwise, and even politically dangerous. In those devastating conflicts between the pro-Western students a nd the Communist hard-liners in the late 1980s, both these two ideologica l camps ruined their legi timacy in China’s future political framework. The only winners are thos e steadfast nationalists within the system. Therefore, the CCP-led nationalism campaign in 1990s was not a well-designed survival strategy, as suggested by many China observe rs (for example, see Downs, & Saunders, 1998/9; Friedman, 1997; Zhao, 1997; Zhao, 1998). Instead, it is a re turning journey for the lost Odysseus. From then on, a long-di sguised quasi-Communist party began to reclaim its original identity: a purely nationalist party. Nationalism: The CCP’s survival strategy? Zhao Suisheng’s (1998) survey of China’s patriotic edu cation campaign offered the most extensive evidence for the survival strategy argument. According to Zhao, the “Tiananmen Incident” in 1989 could be seen as “a result of the bankruptcy of the official ideology” (p. 288). To savage the legitimacy crisis, the CCP leaders “began to wrap


70 themselves in the banner of nationalism which, they found, remained the one bedrock of political belief shared by most Chinese peopl e in spite of the rapi d decay of Communist official ideology” (p. 289). A nation-wide education campaign was launched around 1994 to boost CCP’s credential as the legitimate heir of Chinese tradition and the guardian of China’s national interest and territorial sove reignty. This political maneuver, combined with China’s economic development, the Taiwan problem, and other international factors, gave rise to Chinese nationalism in 1990s. Therefore, Chinese nationalism in 1990s was “constructed and enacted from th e top by the Communist state” (Zhao, 1998, p. 287). In other words, it was not spontane ous. It was political-o riented, pragmatic, and instrumental. However, this argument was problematic for the following reasons. First and foremost, it overstated CCP’s capability and moral appeal in shaping and manipulating Chinese people’s minds. Decades of relen tless education campaigns in Mao’s era had already exhausted Chinese people’s enthus iasm toward anything promoted by the government. The increased interactions and contacts with the out side world provided people with alternative perspectives to view things and multiple channels to check the truth. In brief, Chinese people became apathetic , if not totally immune, to the officially promoted political rhetoric. Simply because there were a lot of editorials on the People’s Daily and other official media calling for something doesn’t mean that the Chinese general public took them seriously. From a foreign observer’s standpoint, all of the CCP’s “propaganda” campaigns, without ex ception, looked like omnipresent and overwhelming. However, how can you persuade people if the audience simply turns a deaf ear to you? That was the exact situation faced by the CCP ideological strategiests


71 after the Culture Revolution. The so-called “t hree belief crises” in 1980s and early 1990s (crisis of faith in socialism, cr isis of belief of Marxism, and crisis of trust in the party) were the embodiment of this prevalent so cial mindset (Chen, 1995; Zhao, 2001). This situation of mutual-disbelief deteriorat ed after the military crackdown on the prodemocracy movement in 1989. Therefore, if th e CCP’s official ideo logy and credibility had “bankrupted,” as claimed by Zhao (1997, 1998) and others (Downs, & Saunders, 1998/9; Friedman, 1997), how come this “bankr upted” regime successfully turned the tide and won back the trust from the public within a short period of time? Second, this understanding underestimat ed Chinese people’s wisdom and autonomy in forming the public opinion. Actu ally, what happened both home and abroad after 1989 was not something that can be easil y brushed aside or viciously framed. The West-led sanctions and hostil ities against China after 1989 hit hard on Chinese people, not on the Chinese Communist Party. The dr amatic downfall of the former Communist Soviet Union and the economic and politic al agonies suffered by Russians were not something admirable to Chinese people. The “C hina threat” proposed by China critics in the West and the “containment policy” em ployed by Washington were certainly not something resonating favorably among Chinese pe ople. Even in Zhao’s (1998) article, he revealed something that was quite c ontrary to what he had suggested, However, after Chinese people had their own sources of information from the Voice of America (VOA), the BBC, and even had chances to visit Western countries in person as contact with the West widened in the 1990s, there was a convergence of perceptions about the We st because many Chinese people found the behavior of the West similar to the portrait by the official propaganda . (p. 300, emphasis added).


72 If the nationalism sentiment in China wa s a propaganda result orchestrated by the CCP, how come when people were allowed to draw their own conclusion, they concurred with the official rhetoric? Third, this argument ignored China’s spontaneous root-searching cultural movement started since early 1980s and ove rsimplified the width and depth of the patriotism education campai gn. The Cultural Revolution and Mao’s ultra-left movements largely destroyed China’s cultura l linkage which had sustained for thousands of years. As soon as Deng started his great economic e xperiment in 1978, Chinese intellectuals desperately started a journey to rebuild and revive the lost cultur al identity. The “rootsearching fervor” and “scar literature moveme nt” were two of the cultural phenomena in the early 1980s in China. Although the CCP government might put more emphasis on the “Century’s Humiliation” ( bai nian guo chi ) in the patriotism cam paign, China’s grievous experiences in the late ninet eenth century had been a persistent theme in primary school textbooks well before the campaign. On the other hand, even during the patriotism campaign, in addition to those government endorsed publications, there were many books deviated from the pro-CCP storyline. Fo r example, numerous history bestsellers published during this period actual ly depicted the CCP as a passive resisting force in the anti-Japanese war (1931-1945) and portrayed instead the CCP’s archrival—Chiang Kaishek’s Nationalist Party as the leading actor. Last but not least, patriotism is not nati onalism. As discussed in the earlier section, patriotism refers to one’s love toward one’s state or government, and nationalism refers to one’s feeling toward a set of symbols of cultural identity. Nation is a subjective entity, only existing in the minds of the people who associate themselves with certain culture,


73 history, ethnicity, or all of the above. State, on the other hand, is an objective entity, including the political institution, the sove reign territory, the government, and the leadership. Patriotism and nationalism may c oncur sometimes, but they may conflict with each other too. Downs and Saunders (1998/9) documented how painstakingly the CCP government tried to tune down the public’s nati onalistic outcry on te rritorial sovereignty related issues. Therefore, if there was someth ing that the CCP truly wanted to promote, it should be patriotism, not nationalism. Howe ver, legitimate or illegitimate, every government in the world promotes patriotism. It is not helpful to treat these two concepts as identical while studying China’s political affairs. In summary, China’s new wave of nati onalism was not the result of the CCP’s political maneuver, but the resurgence of an undercurrent that has shaped China’s political landscape in the past century. Ev en the emergence of the CCP in 1921 was the result of Chinese nationalism. What the CCP was trying to do af ter 1989 was to catch up with the tide and redefine its political identity. It was Chinese nationalism that “constructed and enacted” the CCP’s new po licy and strategy, not the other way around. Nationalism: the CCP’s ideological identity Although never declared in public, the CCP has successfully completed its identity transformation from a Chinese Communist part y to a Chinese nationalist party in 1990s. This transition helped it regain and reinfo rce the political legitimacy and credibility. Unlike those Communist counterparts in form er Soviet Union and Eastern Europe who failed to readjust their histor ical role and quickly faded aw ay, the CCP continues to lead the largest party in the worl d and the most populous country into the new century. How and why could the CCP succeed in this transition?


74 First, CCP has never been a true Communist party from the very start. The CCP’s credentials rest on its nationalist origin a nd stance in fighting for China’s independence and prosperity (Karl, 2002). The classic Ma rxism downplayed or intentionally neglected the significance of nationalism. Marx and Enge ls believed that the economic factors not the cultural factors, the class struggles not the nation-state conflicts, were the driving forces for social development (Munck, 1986). However, China’s revolution cared more about its independence and getting rid of th e foreign exploitation, than about the class struggles or ideological allian ce. If not for the untimely Korean War, China might have been well on its way to developing a formal relationship with the United States and the West (Tucker, 2001). From 1949 to 1989, China engaged in four major military conflicts with foreign countries. They are the Ko rean War (1950-1954), Sino-India War (19591961), Sino-USSR border conflict (1969-70), an d China-Viet Nam conflict (1979-1981). Two of the military conflicts were with Communist comrades on border disputes. Ideologically, the CCP has never felt comforta ble with any of the foreign ideological camps during the Cold War. China was the onl y country that fought with the two super nuclear powers during the Cold War. From Mao Zedong (1949-1976), to Deng Xiaoping (1978-1989), to Jiang Zemin (1989-2002), and to Hu Jintao (2002-present), no matter what type of ideological line, practical pol icy or political institution they applied, the nationalism appeal has always been the driving force in their decision-making. Second, because of this unsubstantiated id entity, the CCP can quickly and smoothly shift its color from the “Communist Red” to the “Chinese Red.” Deng Xiaoping’s famous design of “socialism with Chinese characteri stics” was the first transplanting operation. Pye (1996a) criticized that th is “is not a slogan that can grip the Chinese mind, and


75 certainly it is not a driving ideal for the Ch inese in their foreign relations” (p. 13). He misinterpreted the underlying rationale of this definition. It was not an ideal, it was an identity. Jiang Zemin’s political legacy wa s his so-called “three represents” theory developed in 1997. In it, the then Party Secret ary General declared that the CCP should represent the advanced producti vity, represent the advanced course of China’s culture, and represent the broad interests of the majo rity of the Chinese people. Under this new guidance, tens of thousands of private busin essmen, entrepreneurs, and red capitalists joined the CCP. As pointed out by Samuel Huntington (1968), “[i] n terms of political development, however, what counts is not the number of parties but rather the strength and adaptability of the party system. The precondition of political stability is a party system capable of assimilating the new social forces produced through modernization” (p. 420). Economically, China is a fast-growi ng market economy. Politically, China is a technocrat authoritarian entit y. Ideologically, China is a melting pot for Confucianism, materialism, modernism, liberalism, and do zens of other schools of thoughts except for Marxism. From this point of view, it is fair to say that the Chinese Communist Party only exists as a concept. The real ruling party is a nationalis t one. Based on these understandings, it is easy to answer why the CCP has been so eager to join the nationalism chorus in the 1990s and why th is mergence has been so seamless and intriguing. Chinese Nationalism and Chinese People Michael Mann (1995) has identified three gr oups of people as most susceptible to nationalist appeals. They are (1) the administ rators, civil servants, teachers, and publicsector workers who depend on the state for their livelihood; (2) th e young generation who have been and are being educated by the state; and (3) the armed forces which are


76 composed of young people who are politically sensitive and disciplined. The apparent problem with this classification is that it is not mutually exclusive, and it is certainly not exhaustive. For example, all these thr ee groups share one common underlying factor— age—which seemingly precedes and override s any other factors. Such a problem becomes more acute when applying this classi fication to China’s society. Not so long ago, the majority of China’s urban population wo rked either in state-owned enterprises or in governmental agencies. Does that mean all of them are nationalism-bound? On the other hand, nationalism, as we discussed ear lier, is not necessarily sponsored and promoted by the state. To look into the question regarding Ch inese nationalism and Chinese people, it is much easier and clearer to classify it into two dimensions, namely, grassroots nationalism and elite nationalism. Grassroots nationalism refers to the psyc hological feeling and behavioral pattern among the general public. It is usually latent in its form and static in its essence. Elite nationalism, instead, refers to the rhetoric and ideologies advocated by Chinese elite intellectuals. It is always manifest and floating. Sometimes, their advocacies were adopted by the CCP government; and someti mes these ideological debates only took place within a small academic circle. China’s grassroots nationalism All the Western civilizations inherited their traditions from the Romans and Greeks, while China inherits its character and self-identity from Han Dynasty (B.C. 204—220 A.D.). Today, ethnic Chinese still call themselves han ren (Han People) and Han nationality accounts for 92 percent of th e overall 1.3 billion Chinese population. The Han Dynasty was one of China’s golden ages in art, politics and technology when China rivaled the Roman Empire in power, size, and prestige (Edwards, 2004). One of the


77 trademark remarks made by a famous Han ge neral, Huo Qubing, has become a widely quoted nationalist slogan on China’s online sp here recently. It said, “whoever dares to offend the mighty Han Empire, no matter how far he lives, he will be slaughtered” ( fan wo qiang han zhe, sui yuan bi zhu ). Admittedly, one nomadic group driven by the Han army out of China’s territor y eventually smashed the Roma n Empire (Stearns, Adas, and Schwartz, 1992). However, the more proud people feel about their culture, thei r ethnicity, their tradition, and their ancestors, the more impoten t, frustrated, and humiliated they will become if unjustly treated. Falling from se eming superiority to an abject inferiority always drove a proud people psychological ly paranoid. From 1840 to 1949, what the Chinese people had felt was this type of unc haracteristically para noia. While assessing the historical role of imperialism and col onialism, John King Fairbank (1987) pointed out this kind of dual-effect on those impacted people, Imperialism might be truly exploitative in so me situations but in others more like a crude form of development. Sometimes it was even materially good for you. The real bite of imperialism was psychologi cal. It was most of all humiliating and therefore a political evil to any proud people. (p. 47) The geo-political isolation imposed by Mao’s regime from 1949 to 1976 temporarily alleviated, but did not cured this national psychological trauma. Deng’s “opening up to the outside world” polic y once again opened the unhealed national wounds. Recognizing China’s economic backwar dness in 1980s immediately revived this latent memory of past humiliation and frustration. This gigantic emotional gap paved the way and prepared the public support for th e upcoming conflicts between the impatient students and the transforming government in th e 1980s. From this pers pective, the bloody


78 showdown in 1989 between two groups of Chin ese nationalists was not about the design of China’s resurgence, but about th e timetable of China’s revival. Judged by its general pattern of emo tion and behavior, China’s grassroots nationalism possesses the following four characteristics. First, psychologically, grassroots nationalism is dualistic. It is a rare blend of a jubilant victor and a humiliated victim. When China was viewed as a victor, the voluminous documents of China’s history supposedly became an endless record of Ch ina’s superiority and invincibility. When China was viewed as a victim, the glory past turned into an unbearable burden and a thorny reminder of the impotence of its successo rs. China’s national character of ancestor respect thus painstakingly put its people on a trial before their common ancestors. This national psychological mood overshadows any other factors in determining Chinese people’s overall attitudinal and behavior reactions. Second, grassroots nationalism is traditionalistic. As the primary bearer of China’s traditional culture and customs, Chinese peopl e are born guardian and loyalist to China’s tradition. However, China’s traditionalism doe sn’t necessarily mean anti-modernism or xenophobia, as suggested by some scholars (Zha o, 2000). In essence, Chinese traditions include Confucianism, empiricism, and materi alism, which all call for adaptability and flexibility. That is the fundamental reason w hy Chinese civilization ha s sailed through the turbulences during its long development. Third, grassroots nationalism is mostly passive and reactive, though under some circumstances it is easily to be fanned up into a flame. When David Shambaugh (1996) characterized Chinese nationalism as “defensive nationalism” which is “assertive in form, but reactive in essence” (p. 205) , he actually grasped one of the features of Chinese


79 grassroots nationalism, not Chinese nationalis m as a whole. However, like any massive emotion or massive movement, once ignited, gr assroots nationalism is almost destined to be running out of control. China’s Boxer Move ment at the turn of the twentieth century might not be a perfect example for the presen t reality, but it nonetheless illustrated the danger of radicalism and irra tionality imbedded in any ove rheated mass movement (for more examples, see Gries, 2004). Fourth, China’s grassroots nationalism is in itself highly concerted. The shared memory of glory and agony, th e common ancestry and culture reinforced this inherent concordance and consistency. Faced by exte rnal pressure, this kind of Chinese collectivism can be easily used to form unity and solidarity. Although in the eyes of the foreign observers, this solidarity has been repeatedly interpreted as the CCP’s cheap propaganda or fabrication, the degree of co mmonness among Chinese people in terms of character, emotion, and psychological mood can not be underestimated. For example, while analyzing Western media’s coverage of Chinese students’ protests after the U.S.’s bombing of China’s embassy in 1999, Gries (2004) incisively poi nted out that the “West’s ‘party propaganda’ view focuses on the instrumental motivations of Chinese nationalism, dangerously dismissing their emotions as irrelevant” (p. 20). It needs to be noted here that the advent of Internet and the online sphere provide grassroots nationalists an unprecedented channel in China to vent their anger, form their opinions, and most importantly impose their imp act (see later section on this issue). This new change is unprecedented and enormous ly significant in China’s overall policy decision making. In light of this historic cha nge, some of the above mentioned characters


80 of Chinese grassroots nationalism, such as la tency or passivity, have been affected and altered. China’s elite nationalism A large number of studies on Chinese nati onalism actually concentrated on China’s elite nationalism (Friedman, 1997; Gries, 2004; Pye, 1996b; Zhao D., 2001; Zhao D., 2002; Zhao S., 1997; Zheng, 1999). It is relativel y easy to follow the evolution of China’s elite nationalism given the abundance of its ma nifestations. However, the fast-changing face of this elite group in the past severa l decades in China left most researchers bewildered. Nonetheless, its characteristics can be briefly summarized as follows. First, China’s elite nationalism is divided and floating. It constantly sways between two extremes of anti-traditionalist and anti-modernist. As observed by Lucian Pye (1996b), this type of nationalism tends to “v acillate between the extremes of xenophobic distrust and unqualified admiration of all things foreign” (p. 90). Years before the 1989 student movements, the intellectual blockbuster in China was the broadcast of a six-part television series titled “ he shang ” (River Elegy). It represented the apex of antitraditionalism among China’s pro-West intelle ctuals. In this television documentary, China’s vanguard intellectuals demonized al most all aspects of China’s tradition and turned key symbols of China’s glorious past , such as the Great Wall, the Yellow River, and the Four Great Inventions , into the vicious roots of China’s modern backwardness. However, ten years after this controvers ial intellectual event, the most popular publications in China were a series of books titled China Can Say No ( zhong guo ke yi shuo bu ) (Song, Zhang & Qiao, 1996). The major theme of this new version of elite nationalism was anti-West in general and an ti-Americanism in par ticular (Gries, 2004;


81 Wang, 1997; Zhao, 2000). Ironically, these tw o groups of intellectuals may not be mutually exclusive. Second, ChinaÂ’s elite nationalism is largely detached with the masses. Though salient in publications, the elite nationalism only represents the small tip of a gigantic iceberg.9 Sometimes, this representation was not accurate. Take the publication of the book series China Can Say No as an example. This incident has been interpreted by Western scholars either as the CCP government Â’s propaganda effort or as the emergence of a monolithic nationalism among the public an d intellectuals (Gries, 2004; Wang, 1997; Zhao, 2002). However, the concurrence of public sentiment and intellectual advocacy was a coincident. It was a successful story fo r those commercial publishers who intended to make profit by appealing to the nationali st sentiment. It was those publishers who composed the title, set the timetable, a nd harvested the unexpected windfalls. The gap of perceptions between the mass pub lic and the elite intellectuals has been gradually diminished since the appearance of Internet. The online sphere has served as a platform for those otherwise lonely thinke rs to magnify their thinking. The frequent online encounters between mass opinion and el ite opinion help form a viable public opinion that supplements or checks the offici al political discourse. This ideological mergence, though far from completion, has ch allenged the CCPÂ’s monopoly of foreign policy formulation and interpretation. This new political phenomenon could not have been possible without the pres ence of online technology and an online sphere in China. 9 This author still vividly remembers an incident on the campus in the PeopleÂ’s University of China months prior to the 1989 student movement. It was a famous debate on democracy and tradition between two groups of Chinese elite intellectuals. One group supp orted the purely Western-style democracy, while the other group proposed the so-called neo-authoritarianism. Their enthusiastic sometimes vehement on-stage debates stood in stark contrast to the confused and silent reactions from the thousands of audiences.


82 Chinese Nationalism and Taiwan Independence The Taiwan problem is the touchstone of Chinese nationalism. No other issue in China has aroused so much emotion among so many people for so long a time. Before further exploring the historical , political, and psychological si gnificance of Taiwan issues to most Chinese people, a brief history intr oduction about Taiwan and the origin of this problem is needed. The first record about Taiwan appeared in ChinaÂ’s historical document some 1,500 years ago. In 1387, parts of Taiwan islands (P enghu islands) were form ally incorporated into the administrative system of ChinaÂ’s Mi ng Dynasty. In the earl y seventeenth century, Dutch and Spanish colonists temporarily occ upied a small portion of Taiwan, but were completely expelled by MingÂ’s heroic loyalist Zheng Chenggong in 1662. Since 1683, Taiwan had been under the reign of ChinaÂ’ s Qing Dynasty for over 200 years. In 1894, QingÂ’s imperial navy lost a deci sive battle in the Yellow Sea with Japan and had to cede Taiwan as part of the war repa ration. TaiwanÂ’s resistance fo rces kept on fighting with the Japanese conquers until the collapse of ChinaÂ’s last empire: Qing Dynasty in 1911. ChinaÂ’s first modernized government was esta blished by the Nationalist Party (KMT) in 1928, and three years later China found itself on ce again in an all-out war with Japan. From 1931 to 1939, China had heroically and he lplessly fought with Japanese invaders for eight years. Not until GermanyÂ’s invasi on of Poland in 1939 and JapanÂ’s bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 did ChinaÂ’s brave effort be recognized by the world community. In a historic conference among allied leader s in 1943 in Cairo, the post-WWII world landscape was totally redrawn. The Allied Cairo Declaration clearly stated that Taiwan and the Penghu-Islands be restored to China after the end of the war. The Nationalist Party-led central government regained the co ntrol of Taiwan in 1945, but quickly lost a


83 civil war with its decades-long rival—Chin ese Communist Party (CCP) on mainland China. In 1949, the defeated Generalissi mo Chiang Kai-shek, along with two million military personnel, government staff, and KMT’ s elite groups retreated to Taiwan as the final stand for his hopeless resistance. It was onl y a matter of years, if not months, before the CCP could cross the strait to reunify it with China. North Korea’s untimely invasion against S outh Korea in 1950 totally disrupted the CCP’s liberation plan of Taiwan. The newl y founded People’s Republic of China (PRC) had to divert much of its a ttention to the fight on its north east border. Most importantly, the Untied States regarded North Korea’s invasion as part of the larger scheme of the Communist’s expansion, and im mediately included Taiwan u nder its protection umbrella in the Pacific region. The military conflicts and ideological hostility between the CCP government and the United States cut off a ny meaningful contacts between the two sides for more than two decades. Faced with a common formidable enemy (the former Soviet Union), the Nixon administration, which wa s trapped in the in ternationally and domestically destruc tive Vietnam War, and Mao’s ultraleft government, which also in tremendous troubles due to the hysterical Cultu ral Revolution, found a rare common ground in the early 1970s (Harding, 1992). As the result of the Realpolitik , China took back its seat in the United Nations, which had been filled by the Taiwan KMT for decades. In order to establis h formal relationship with mainland China, as well as to protect Taiwan’s interests, the U.S. gove rnment developed a st rategically ambiguous framework based on three Sino-US communiqués and the Taiwan Relations Act.10 The core principles of this design include (1), the United States acknowle dges that there is but 10 The three communiqués are the February 1972 Shanghai Communiqué, the 1978 Joint Communiqué on the establishment of Diplomatic Relations, and the August 17, 1982, Joint Communiqué.


84 one China and Taiwan is a part of China; (2), this issue has to be resolved peacefully by the two sides and acceptable to the peoples on bo th sides; (3), the United States will deter any unilateral military actions across the strait and promised to gradually reduce its arms sales to Taiwan. Ambiguous or not, this de licate equilibrium help ed keep peace across the Taiwan Strait for two decades. Taiwan’s economic miracles in 1970s and 1980s fostered the democratic movements on the island. Coupled with the increasing confidence and pride was Taiwanese’s continuous frustration with its ambiguous political status. As a result, a growing number of younger Taiw an citizens identified themselves as Taiwanese instead of as Chinese (for more information, see Alagappa, 2001; Chu, 2000; Loh, 2000). The tension across the strait reached its peak when the United States issued a visa to Taiwan’s president Lee Teng-hui in 1995. This act violat ed the U.S.’s promise of no official contact with the Taiwan leaders. The PRC government saw such an unprecedented development as a significant step toward Ta iwan independence and a worrisome sign of U.S. support for such a move. In return, th e PRC angrily suspended the quasi-official cross-strait dialogues an d “test-fired” ballistic missiles that landed around Taiwan’s two biggest ports in March 1996. The U.S. govern ment warned Beijing that any military attack on the island would have “grave cons equences” for China and quickly sent two aircraft carrier battle gro ups to the area. In response, one outraged Chinese hawkish general was quoted as saying to an U.S. e nvoy that “you care more about Los Angeles than you do about Taipei” (Ross, 2000). The Ta iwan-strait crisis ev entually subsided after March 23, 1996, when Lee Teng-hui won Taiwan’s first general and democratic reelection, but refrained from declaring inde pendence. Sensing a st rategic window when


85 Sino-US relationships plumed to a low poi nt after the U.S.’s bombing of Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in May 1999, the long i ndependence-leaning Ta iwan president Lee Teng-hui released his provocative “two-state th eory.” For the first time, a Taiwan leader placed the cross-strait relation as a state-to-state relationship or at least a special state-tostate relationship, rather th an an internal relationship between a legitimate government and a renegade group, or between a centra l government and a local government (Tao, 2000). In 2000, Chen Shui-bian, the leader of Taiwan’s independence-oriented Democratic Progressive Part y (DPP) won the plurality vot e in a close presidential election. As the KMT ended its 50-year ruling over the island, Taiwan’s political course slipped gradually toward the path of inde pendence. Restricted by the one-China-based constitution, Chen Shui-bian’s administra tion in 2004 proposed to revise it and let 23 million Taiwanese determine Taiwan’s politi cal status through referendums. Such a move, as repeatedly warned by the CCP governme nt, will absolutely lead to a unification war, in which 1.3 billion Chinese people will fight without hesitation and at all cost. Thus, Taiwan problem is at the heart of Chinese nationalism. For foreigners, the origin and evolution of this issue may be like a series of pe rplexing interlocking mysteries. For the Chinese people, Taiwan is mo re like a symbol than a real entity. This heart-wrenching sentiment derived mainly from three dimensions. First, Taiwan symbolizes China’s last pain. This small island carries so much historical burden in Chinese people’s collec tive memory. From the impotence of the late Qing Dynasty, to the brutality of Japanese c onquers; from the bitter divide between two ideological parties, to the intervention of foreign powers, Taiwan has become the last symbol of China’s national humiliation. In 1997, China regained control over Hong


86 Kong, a territory it “lent” to Great Britain 100 years ago under the threat of gun boats. In 1999, Macao was turned over to China by th e Portuguese government, ending another chapter of unfair history during the col onialism period. Although not controlled by foreigners, Taiwan has been portrayed by the CCP government and perceived by the general public as the result of the unjust world order imposed on China by the old and new imperialists (Zhao, S. 1998). In China’s lo ng recorded history, all the strongest and most glorious moments came with a unite d and centralized government. Likewise, separation meant backwardness, agony, and humiliation. Second, Taiwan represents China’s nationa l security. The issue on Taiwan is not about simple rational-actor allo cation of various inte rests, it is about China’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty. It is not a border dispute between Mexico and the United States, it is more like the fundamental conflict between the Union forces in the north and the Confederate states in the south during the American’s Civil War. That is the reason why the CCP’s government tailored a speci fic formula more flexible than the “one country, two systems” design. It allows Taiwan to keep intact its own political, economic, and social system for 50 years, and no troops or officials would be sent to Taiwan from Beijing. Moreover, one of Taiw an’s leaders could become vice president of China’s central government. The only requirement is th at Taiwan acknowledges there is only one China and it is part of China (Harding, 2000). Third, Taiwan embodies a larger conflict with two of China’s unsettled rivals, Japan and the United States (Chen, 2001; Friedman, 1997). Most of China’s agonies during the late nineteenth cen tury and early twentieth century were inflicted by Japan. Japan occupied Taiwan for half a century and covertly supported Taiwan’s independence

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87 movement since 1980s. JapanÂ’s unrepentant manner toward the crimes it committed in China during the World War II strengthened Chinese peopleÂ’s resentment toward Japan (Chen, 2001; Shih, 1995). As the legacy of the Cold War, United States was deeply involved in the Taiwan issues. Required by th e international agreem ents signed with the CCP government and the domestic law (Taiwan Relations Act) passed by the Congress, the United States has to keep a delicate eq uilibrium between two parties which it has no total control but moves by either side can pull it into complicated situations. AmericaÂ’s strategically ambiguous ro le on Taiwan issues was inevitab ly regarded by Chinese people as meddling in ChinaÂ’s internal affairs. As a result, Japan and United States have been consistently selected as the top two th reats by ChinaÂ’s general public (Chen, 2001; Downs & Saunders, 1998/9; Zhao, D., 2001). In sum, Taiwan has been a symbol and ra llying point that unifi es all spectrums of ChinaÂ’s nationalism branches. The govern ment-promoted patriotism, grass-roots nationalism, and elite nationalism all share th e same level of intensity and the same pattern of mentality toward the Taiwan inde pendence issue. This se ntiment is so strong that it has the potential to shake ChinaÂ’s domes tic politics as well as East AsiaÂ’s security structure. Chinese Nationalism and World Order As discussed in the previous sections , nationalism is a super ideology which possesses a commanding power to override compe ting ideologies especi ally in times of crises. It is also not a status -quo ideology. It is driven by the unsatisfied desire of national self-identification and self-ful fillment. It is exclusive and discriminate. When faced with other nationalism forces, it becomes more solidified and intensified. Chinese nationalism has all the above listed features.

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88 However, there is another particular factor that needs to be further emphasized in the discussion about Chinese nationalism. It is the interactive or reci procal nature of the formation and development of one country’s nationalism. As pointed out by Gries (2004), “[j]ust as personal identity emerges through our interpersonal relations , national identities evolve through internat ional relations. Chinese identity is not static, but evolves as Chinese interact with the world” (p. 19). In other words, Chinese nationalism, like any other country’s nationalism, is reactive, dyna mic, and consistently evolving. Charles H. Cooley (1864-1929), a famous social psychol ogist in the Chica go School, developed a “looking-glass self” theory to explain the pr ocess of human social ization. This theory, though focused on individuals, might as well be applied to our understanding about Chinese nationalism. According to Cooley, one person’s self-identity is the reflection of what he thinks other people think about hi m—just like looking at a mirror. In other words, “I am what I think you think I am” ( p. 153, as quoted in Rogers, 1994). Therefore, the essence of self-identity is the response toward its current environment. What has been the external environment fo r China in the past decade? Believe it or not, the end of the Cold War in early 1990s pushed China into an awkward and unfamiliar position on the world arena. The dramatic collapse and disintegration of the former Soviet Union and its Eastern Europe bloc not only shocked China, but also put China under the world limelight as the biggest remaining Communist country (the other three, North Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam are disproportionately smaller and less important in terms of size, population, and influence). As far as ideology is concerned, China has been unexpectedly singled out as the sta ndard-bearer of Marxis m and Communism. In return, China shouldered much of the atten tion, pressure, blame, and repercussion from

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89 the West in the post-Cold War era. The CCP government’s harsh crackdown of the Tiananmen incident in June 4, 1989 unfolded before hundreds of world journalists who were assigned to cover the historic su mmit between Russia and China in Beijing. The graphic and bloody images negated any pos itive impressions China earned from its previous economic reform. As observed by Harry Harding (1992), “[o]nce seen as undertaking the most radical reforms in the Communist world, Chinese leaders were now regarded as reactionary ger ontocrats who were resisting inevitable trends toward free markets and democracy” (p. 11). The economic sanctions from the West after 1989, coupled with the hostile accusations about China’s human rights violations, Tibet problem, religion repression, etc. constructed an abysmal mirror in front of a proud nation just walking out of a self-destructive ni ghtmare. In 1993, U.S. navy forces boarded and inspected the Chinese ship Yinhe (Milky Way) on suspici on that it was smuggling chemical weapons to Iran. Nothing was found in the well-staged and world-wide broadcasted incident. Intentionally or uni ntentionally, China as a nation was publicly humiliated in front of the world. At the same year, China lost to Sydney in a close bid for hosting the 2000 Olympic Games in Beijing. Beijing had been the front runner all along and was only surpassed by Sydney in the fina l round. China’s nation-wide struggle to save face ended up with another blow to its psyche. Then came the 1996 Taiwan Strait standoff, the espionage charge against Chinese scientists in the U.S., the prediction of a “coming conflict with China” (Bernstein, & Munro, 1997), and “the coming collapse of China” (Chang, 2001). Considering all these envi ronmental factors, it is much easier to understand the psychological reasons behind the resurgence of Ch inese nationalism.

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90 The core purpose of studying Chinese na tionalism is to understand its policy implications. As usual, scholars on Chin a differed widely on how nationalism would influence China on its seemingly unstoppable rise as a major world power. All these viewpoints can be ranked on a continuous s cale from the extreme pessimists to the extreme optimists. The pessimists likened China’s rise to the pre-WWII Germany, indicating that a stronger nationalistic China would inevitably challenge the post-Cold War world order (Bernstein, & Munro, 1997; Chang M., 2001; Gertz, 2000). They pointed to the 1996 Taiwan Strait crisis as an example of China’s aggressiveness and military ambition. Ted Carpenter, a scholar at the Cato Institute, argued “the history of international relations shows that rising great powers, especially thos e with territorial clai ms, typically pursue assertive and abrasive policie s; consider the United Stat es throughout the nineteenth century or Wilhelmine Germany during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries” (1998, p. 5). Condoleezza Rice, then senior fe llow at the Hoover Institution, also regarded China as “not a ‘status quo’ power but one that would like to alter Asia’s balance of power in its own favor. That alone makes it a strategic competitor, not the ‘strategic partner’” (2000, p. 56). The CCP government’s hard-line reactions and Chinese people’s outpouring of anti-Americanism af ter two incidents (the U.S. bombing of Chinese Embassy in 1999 and the Sino-U.S. spy-plane collision on South China Sea in 2001) underlined some pessimists’ arguments. However, as Pye (1996a) pointed out, China’s problem is too complex to be analogiz ed. Most of the pessimistic analogies were derived more from the authors’ ideological stereotypes than from their concrete understanding about China (see fo r example, Gertz, 2000).

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91 The optimists, instead, focused more on the pragmatic side of Chinese nationalism (Downs, & Saunders, 1997/8; Zhao, S., 2000; Zhao, D., 2002). For example, Zhao Suisheng (2000) argued that China’s pragmatic nationalism “is assertiv e in international orientation and is particularly powerful when China’s national interests or territorial integrity are in jeopardy. But it has not made China’s internat ional behavior particularly aggressive” (p. 29). According to Downs and Saunders (1998/9), concerns about “aggressive Chinese nationalism are overstate d, or at least premat ure” (p. 116). They examined the Chinese government’s handling of two territorial disput es with Japan over the Diaoyu Islands in 1990 and 1996. They f ound out that “the Chinese government proved willing to incur significant damage to its nationalist credentials by following restrained policies” (p. 117). Zhao Dingxi n’s (2002) field survey among 1,000 Chinese college students at three top Beijing univers ities in 1999 revealed something deeper and murkier behind those protesters’ nationalistic motives. Students who participated in the demonstrations against the U.S.’s bombing of Chinese Embassy in Belgrade “were less motivated by anti-American sentiments than by influence and imitation among classmates and friends, facilitated by cramped campus living conditions” (Zhao, D., 2002, p. 24). The complexity of Chinese nationalism is partially due to China’s distinctive history and partially due to Ch ina’s fast-changing reality. Ha ving reviewed the origin and evolution of Chinese nationalism from the perspectives of the Communist Party, the Chinese people, the Taiwan issue, and world order, one still can not draw a complete picture of this powerful ideology and moveme nt. For example, one factor, which has the power to alter, if not overthrow, any of the above mentioned arguments, has been

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92 understandably omitted by both the optimists and the pessimists. It is China’s online public sphere. Prior to 2000, most of China’ s online network infrastructure and online sphere was still in its infancy stage. No virtual sphere was widely available for the general public to search news, post opinions, or organize activities. There is simply no venue for the elite nationalism and the grass-roots nationalism to collide, intertwine, cooperate, let alone to merge. As illustrated in th e previous sections, nationalism needs a network to form, to magnify, to function, and to mobilize. It is China’s online sphere that gave life to an ever-formidable ne w form of Chinese nationalism. Chinese Cyber Sphere “Across the Great Wall, we can r each every corner in the world.” ----The first e-mail message sent ou t from China on Sept 14, 1987 by Chinese researchers to their German counterparts11 Three factors underline the significance of the study about China’s online sphere development and government’s cyber-strategy. First of all, China’s Internet development in the past decade has been so dramatic that, in retrospect, even the most enthusia stic optimists seemed somewhat conservative while predicting China’s online future (Wu, 1996; Tan, 1999). For example, in the year of 1994, roughly 20 million Chinese people had fixed-line telephone at home; while by the end of 2004, more than 300 million Chines e people used mobile phones to contact each other, and 94 million people spent an av erage of 13.2 hours per week surfing online (CNNIC 12 report, January, 2005). Moreover, unli ke in the United States, Japan, and 11 The original copy of this e-mail can be obtained at 12 China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) is the organization in charge of China’s top-level domain name registration, IP address allocation and na tional Internet survey res earch. CNNIC was formally set up in 1997. Since November 1997, CNNIC has releas ed fifteen national Internet survey reports, which

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93 some European countries where the Internet saturation level has slowed down the annual growth rate, China’s Internet gr owth is still at the growing stage, seeing an annual growth rate of 20 percent in 2004. Second, the soon-to-be world’s largest onl ine country is governed, and in the foreseeable future will still be governed, by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which shows no sign of loosing its firm control over mass media, both online and offline. However, China’s media landscape has change d, dramatically if not irreversibly. For example, on the Alexa Global Top 500 web s ites ranking list based on online traffic, three of the top ten are Chinese web sites op erated by privately owned companies. They are (No. 6th), (Chinese equivalenc e of Google at No. 7), and (No. 10th). On the same list, AOL ( ) is ranked at 19, CNN ( ) at 25, and The New York Times ( ) at 100. The Xinhua News Agency’s official web site ( ) is the only Chinese stateowned news site that has ma de to the top-100 list, at 79.13 All these privately owned Chinese web sites provide up-to-the-minute domestic and international news and have become the primary sources for Chinese onlin e people to search, receive, and disseminate the latest information. For example, during the first 24-hour after the 9/ 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, posted a total of 590 news items, drawing a record-high 80 million page views on that single day.14 In a “Communist” country where have been regarded both at home and abroad as th e most authoritative datasets on China’s Internet development. The latest report can be retrieved at . 13 Data retrieved on April 26, 2005 at The Alexa Web ranking lists are the widely used web tr affic auditing lists. The Alexa Web Search site is in association with . 14 Data retrieved on November 11th 2002 at

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94 privately owned mass media have been officia lly deemed illegal till today, such a change is revolutionary. Third, China is the origin and cradle of “the first information processing revolution” (Castells, 1996, p. 8), where the two key Chin ese inventions, paper and printing, changed human history (Gunaratne, 2001). Centuries la ter, as the most populous, as well as the largest developing country in the world, China once again wholeheartedly embraced the new informa tion technology revolution. As Castells correctly pointed out, “the ability or inab ility of society to master technology, and particularly technologies that are strategically decisive in each historical period, largely shapes their destiny” (1996, p. 7). In the case of China, it is about th e destiny of one-fifth of humankind. To review the development of China’s online sphere and CCP’s cyber strategy, three dimensions were further explored and ex amined in line with the overall structure of this study. First, a historical review was c onducted to highlight those major events and policy adjustments in the past decade. S econd, China’s newly established online media order was examined and analyzed. Third, the f eatures and social implications of China’s cyber sphere were explored from th e public domain, in accordance with the understandings about Chinese cultu re and cyber public sphere. Three Developing Stages The fleeting pace of online technology i nnovation and the volatility of online public sphere make every attempt to summarize it s past pattern or predict its future trend a highly risky task. Nonethel ess, the evolution of Chin a’s Internet communication technology and online sphere marked its footprin t in every critical juncture in the past decade. Three distinctive developing stages could be identified based on different policy

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95 environments, landmark events, and the perf ormance of those leading players. These three different stages were introduced in th e following sections fr om a historical and comparative perspective. Stage I: “Spring & Autumn Period ” (April 1994 – November 1997) Twenty-eight hundred years ago, China en tered one of its mo st inspiring and enlightening historical stages in its long tr ack of civilization—the so-called “Spring & Autumn Period.” The most significant character istic of this historical period (770 B.C.— 476 B.C.) was the boosting and contending of dozens of philosophical schools of thought, which collectively set the foundation and cu ltural identity for Chinese civilization. Accordingly, from April 1994 to November 1997, China’s online media development exhibited a similar momentum to this anci ent period in terms of its innovative spirit, encouraging external environment, and government’s policy inclination. Those key developments include: On April 20, 1994 a state-sponsored education and science project in Beijing was formally linked to the 64K international network. Since then China was formally recognized as an online country.15 On August 8, 1995 the first online bulletin board service (BBS) was launched by the Chinese Education and Research Net (CERNET). On April 29, 1996 one of the larg est Chinese commercial portals (then was launched in Beijing. In August, 1996 the parent company of , one of the largest Chinese commercial portals in China, was founded in Beijing. On January 1, 1997 People’s Daily , the official newspaper controlled by the Central Committee of the CCP, set up its online site at . On November 7, 1997 Xinhua News Agency, the state news agency of China, established its own web site at . 15 Most of the events chronicled in this section were retrieved from CNNIC’s web site November 1, 2002 at .

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96 In November 1997, CNNIC released its firs t national Internet development survey report. According to this report, by the end of August 31, 1997 there were 620,000 online users in China. The major regulation in this period includes: On February 11, 1996 the State Council issu ed No. 195 law: “Interim Regulations on the Management of Intern ational Networking of Com puter Information.” Under article 13, the regulation required all the network operators to observe relevant laws, regulations, and secrecy protecting pr inciples, and not to publish any harmful or obscene materials.16 Although China began its network infrastruc ture buildup as early as in the late 1980s, not until April 1994 did it formally connect to the global Internet. Meanwhile, in the media circle, the market economy had already eroded many of the privileges and subsidies enjoyed by the state-owned media organizations for several decades. For example, since 1993, the government had gra dually reduced its a nnual financial support to those state-owned media organizations such as the People’s Daily and Xinhua News Agency. The government’s final objective wa s to force those media organizations, though still labeled as state-owned, to eventua lly become self-sufficient in the market economy. Meanwhile, the provincia l and local governments also drove their affiliated news media into the market to compete for advertising revenue (Lee, 2000; Zhao 1998). During this period of time, the Chinese government noticed the enormous educational and scientific opportunities brought about by this globally connected network. However, like other gove rnments in the world at that time, it did not properly foresee the Internet’s gigantic capability of turning into the most innovative medium for gathering and disseminating news. In other word s, few at that time regarded the Internet as a future “news” medium. Accordingly, in the early Internet re gulation, the government paid more attention to the secrecy protecti on issue rather than to those politically 16 Data retrieved November 1, 2002 at /zcfg/law20101.htm

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97 sensitive issues. By the end of 1997, alt hough two major national news organizations, People’s Daily and Xinhua News Agency, had finish ed the constructi on work of their own web sites, the function and design of thos e web sites were rather simple and mainly symbolic. Nonetheless, the thorough debate in the academic circles about the strategic significance and China’s online future largely formed the theoretical and practical bases for the upcoming booming stage and most impor tantly, nurtured the first generation of online-media entrepreneurs as well as a la rge group of computer technicians. Stage II: “Warring States Peri od” (November 1997—September 2000) From 475 B.C., China entered one of its most chaotic stages—the so-called “Warring States Period,” which lasted more than 250 years. During this period of time, several warlord states fought with each other in the heartland of China and chased for the dominant and legitimate power. As the result of the lasting warfare and atrocities, the long-established royal family, together with its influence and hier archical system, was severely damaged. Likewise, from Nove mber 1997 to September 2000, China’s online media competitions between the old domina tors and the new challengers and among the new challengers themselves escalated to a sc ale and scope that seemingly replicated the scenario staged 2,500 years ago. Those key developments include: In March 1998, the National People’s Congre ss authorized the establishment of the Ministry of Information Industry (MII), whose major duty was to promote and administer the digitalization of the national economy and social life. In late 1998, SOHU.COM and SINA.CO M, accompanied by several newborn commercial portals with strong forei gn venture capital background, launched a series of unprecedented nationwide advertis ing campaigns to promote their brand reputation and market visibility. These national promotion campaigns coincided with the 1998 World Soccer Cup held in France and stirred up a nationwide goingonline fervor among China’s young generation.

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98 On December 1, 1998 SRSNET.COM merged with another Chinese web site to form the largest Chinese-language portal ( ), serving Chinese users in mainland China ( ), Hong Kong ( ), Taiwan ( ), and overseas Chinese with different website versions. On April 15, 1999 senior managers from 23 China’s major state-owned media organizations convened in Beijing, calling on government regulation and collective efforts to protect their onlin e news intellectual property. 17 On May 9, 1999 one day after the U.S.’s bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, People’s Daily on its web site set up a “Prote sting Forum” (later renamed as the “Strong Nation Forum”), providing a virtual place for the Chinese web users to voice their anger and protes ts. It attracted so much a ttention from both home and abroad and became one of the most fa mous Chinese online political forums.18 (see for references, Geries, 2001; Li, Qin, & Kluver, 2003) On March 7, 2000 (Qianlong Net), spons ored by eight Beijingbased mainstream news media and s upported by Beijing Municipal government, launched its news website and announced it self the largest an d most influential gateway website for Beijing. Two months later, (Dongfang Net), a similar regional online media complex wa s formally established in Shanghai by several Shanghai-based trad itional news media. On August 9, 2000 People’s Daily on its front page published an editorial titled “Put more effort on our country’s online media construction”, in which it called for faster and wider application of online tec hnology and raised this issue to the height of “an urgent, crucial, and significant national task.” By July 2000, three major Chinese commer cial portals completed their initial public offering (IPO) on the U.S.’s NASDAQ stock market. According to CNNIC’s 7th national survey report, by the end of December 2000, China’s online population jumped to 22.5 million.19 The major regulations in this period include: On October 16, 1999 the Central Administrativ e Office of the CCP issued the first online media directive that set the tone for future online media management. 20 17 Data retrieved November 11th 2002 at 18 Data retrieved November 1, 2002 at 19 Data retrieved November 1, 2002 at 20 Data retrieved November 11th 2002 at

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99 On May 9, 2000 Ministry of Publicity and th e Foreign Publicity Office of the CCP jointly issued the strategic guidelines fo r China’s online media development from 2000 to 2002. Ten official media web sites, including People’s Daily and Xinhua News Agency, were named as the “Nati onal Principal Online News Web Sites.”21 During this period of time, those lead ing commercial portals, though downplaying their “media” identity public ly, already conquered a large am ount of territory previously monopolized by state-owned mass media. All of the major commercial portals listed the news section as their major online service, publishing on their web sites not only the realtime domestic and international news, but also some political discussions on their various chat rooms. Meanwhile, the massive unauthor ized reprinting of news items by those commercial web sites aroused a strong wave of protests and lobbying effort among those traditional news media. Apparently, the old media hierarchy had been rocked by the new technology as well as the new challe ngers. From the editorial on the People’s Daily to the government’s long-term guidelines, one could feel the anxiety and urgency hanging over government officials’ heads. However, the “Warring-State”-like comp etitions among the commercial portals also led to a wave of bankruptcy and merg ing efforts among the competitors, a transition that actually paved the way and to a larg e extent simplified the government’s future regulating efforts. Meanwhile, several year s of online monitoring experiences provided the Chinese government enough roadmap and kn owledge to regulate the overall online sphere. The launching of those regional onl ine media complexes and the strong policy inclination designed for the elite party mouthpi eces were two of the calculated steps. 21 Data retrieved November 11th 2002 at

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100 Stage III: “Great Unification Pe riod” (September 2000—present) In 221 B.C., the state of Qin defeated all of its six major warl ord states and founded China’s first unified vast empire—Qin Dynast y. The first emperor of Qin issued various laws to unify language, measurement, trans portation and political system within the empire. Meanwhile, to protect its empire from outsiders’ attack, Qin Shihuang (the First Emperor of Qin) began to build along its border China’s greatest landmark—the Great Wall. Return to China’s cyber sphere de velopment, by the end of September 2000, the CCP government was well-prepared, both tech nically and politicall y, to re-establish China’s online media order too. Those key developments include: On November 18, 2000 Tibetan Evening News registered its independent domain name, which marked that all of the provi ncial and municipal level newspapers in China had established their own web sites.22 On December 29, 2000 SOHU.COM and SI NA.COM were granted the special license to aggregate and distribute news ma terials online, the first-ever policy of this kind in CCP’s ruling history. On May 25, 2001 the Internet Society of Ch ina, a non-government Internet ISP/ICP association with strong governme nt backup was founded in Beijing. 23 On November 1, 2001 China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) as its 143rd member. Chinese government promised to gradually open its Internet and telecommunication market to foreign investment. In February 2002, the senior party leader s reiterated that under no circumstance should the CCP give up its total control and leadership over the mass media, including the online media.24 22 Data retrieved November 11th 2002 at http://f 23 Data retrieved November 1, 2002 at 24 Data retrieved November 10, 2002 at 9/20020116/164599.html

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101 In August 2002, China blocked the world’s largest search engine: . According to China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, the blocking action was to prevent “harmful materials.” 25 On October 10th 2003, the 3rd China’s Online Media Forum was held in Beijing. The theme of the conference was “Online Media’s Social Responsibility.” According to the conference report, a total of 150 online media have obtained the online news report license, and over 1500 tr aditional media have established their own websites.26 In October 2004, China’s first Weblog portal ( ) for individual Web bloggers was established and soon rise to become the world largest Weblog community. As of April 25, 2005, a total of 560,021 bloggers have registered their blogger account names and the list is growing at a pace of about 1,500 per day.27 In January 2005, CNNIC reported that China had 94 million online users.28 Major Regulations in this period include: On September 20, 2000 China’s State Counc il passed a new regulation: “Measures for Managing Internet Content Provision.” According to this regulation, an Internet content provider (ICP) should keep the information, including its subscribers’ account numbers, logon addresses and the telephone numbers for 60 days and show them to the authorities when required. On November 7, 2000 the MII and the Info rmation Office of the State Council jointly released new regulation on the management of the news web sites. According to this law, commercial port als run by non-news organizations might carry news only from those officially approved domestic news organizations.29 On March 26, 2002 Internet Society of China, a semi-government organization, publicized the “Public Pledge on Self-Disci pline for China Internet Industry.” It called on all its members to refrain fr om “producing, posting or disseminating 25 Data retrieved November 10, 2002 at,7369,848903,00.html 26 Data retrieved June 10th 2004 at . 27 Bloggers refer to those people who build up and manage their own web page or web sites and share information and their thoughts with other people online. Blog portal is a community-like entry web site that provides service and online space for those bloggers to publish their information or ideas. All the figures were obtained on April 25th 2005 at . 28 Data retrieved April 25th 2005 at 29 Data retrieved November 11th 2002 at

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102 pernicious information that may jeopard ize state security and disrupt social stability” (Article 9).30 Since September 2000, a series of online media related regulations have been passed and enforced by the administrative de partments and governmental organs at all levels. In those regulations, the government, first of all, clarified online media’s identity and legitimacy, an issue that had been inte ntionally or unintenti onally postponed by the government for a long time; secondly, it drew a red line for those pol itically incorrect online news contents and reaffirmed the punitive measures; and thirdly, it assigned different roles for those major players in accordance with their background and specialties. In brief, after these systematic measur es, those uncertainties which had haunted foreign investors, frustrated traditional me dia practitioners, and disturbed the healthy competitions among online media players, largel y disappeared. When the Internet Society of China published its self-dis cipline pledge, over 300 ICP/ ISPs in China, including Yahoo!’s Chinese-language site, vol untarily signed this document.31 China’s New Online Media Order China’s Internet development has become one of the most salient topics on the global communication research arena. Such an academic blossom is both the direct result of and the literal recognition to a) China’ s explosive boom in terms of its Internet infrastructure and online services during the past decade; b) China’s increasingly important status and influential role on world politics, economic issues, cultural exchange, and other affairs; and c) the expansion of the number of communication 30 Data retrieved November 11th 2002 at 31 Data retrieved November 10, 2002 at,3858,4462628,00.html

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103 researchers interested in Ch ina both at home and abroad. Although a wide range of areas have been explored and many important ques tions answered, one t opic has been either largely ignored or habitually glossed over by some ideological stereotypes. That is about China’s new online media order. A country’s media order refers to the institutionalized functioning style and systematic management pattern of the news media at the nationa l level. In Western democratic countries, such a media order is usually formed upon market competitions, professional conventions, and public supe rvision. In Communi st countries or authoritarian regimes, the media order is a designed political mechanism to ensure media’s “throat & tongue” function. The belief that “the media must serve both for the politics and for the party” is one of th e written components in the Marxism media doctrine and has been an integral part of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) governing scheme (Altschull, 1984; Zhao, 1998). China’s media order is a stable, systematic, and hierarchical structure that ha s been built on the party’s past experiences, the party’s disciplinary code and new policy adjustments. The designing and formulating of the media order is usually conducted be hind closed doors and the actual strategy is rarely made public. At times, the CCP’s l eaders may deliberately publish an overly harsh media policy to halt those unruly forerunners ; at times, they may make it look ambiguous in order to encourage internal competition. N onetheless, the essential part of the media order and the overall strategy largely remain the same. In sum, although China’s media order is the key to understanding China’s overall media policy and media structure, the secr etive, ambiguous, and sometimes contingent nature of China’s media order increases the di fficulty for researchers to collect data and

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104 to summarize its pattern. In the following sect ion, the researcher reviewed the relevant literature on this topic and summarized the major characteristics of ChinaÂ’s new online media order based on personal observations a nd numerous conversations with insiders who personally involved in the formation a nd evolution of this new online media order.32 Study on ChinaÂ’s Internet development Although 75.8 percent of Chinese online user s chose news as the mostly inquired information on the Internet,33 the multifaceted social and economic functions of Internet communication technology (ICT) diversified researchersÂ’ focuses and approaches. For example, much of the research on ChinaÂ’s Inte rnet development examined this issue from the perspectives of infrastructure construc tions and regulations (Hachigian & Wu, 2003; Harwit, 1998; Harwit & Clark, 2001; Ta n, 1995; Tan, 1999), civic community and cultural sphere (Liu, 1999; Yang, 2003a; Yang, 2003b), information diffusion and personal use pattern (Leung, 1998; Zhang & Hao, 1999; Zhu & He, 2002), web usersÂ’ life style and social integration (Lee & Z hu, 2002; Melkote & Liu, 2000), nationalistic sentiment in ChinaÂ’s online sphere (Hughe s, 2000; Kluver, 2001), and e-commerce, egovernment, and e-education (Ngor, 2001; Trappey & Trappey, 2001; Zhang, 2002). Among the above mentioned research, the Intern et is treated primar ily as a tool or platform for education, social integration, co mmunity formation, or e-government, rather than a medium for news gathering and news disseminating. 32 From April 2003 to May 2004, the author conducted a number of telephone interviews with senior editors or chief managers of the following online media, , , , , , . On the request of the interviewees, their identities will not be revealed in this research. 33 Data retrieved 29th July, 2003 at

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105 Even for those studies that examined the In ternet as the news media in its general sense, most of them were either too broad in their scope and gene ralization, or too narrow in their subjects and applica tions. The bulk of the literatur e can be roughly categorized into three groups based on its orientation and methods. Group A: online media are political apparatus. This type of research paid more attention to the larger political system of China and accordingly viewed the development of online media as the natural extension and integral component of this overall political structure. For example, Hachigian (2001) inco rporated the CCP’s enthusiasm with online technology into a larger political cyber-strat egy adopted by the ruling party to maximize Internet’s economic potential wh ile minimizing its political ri sks (see also Hachigian, & Wu, 2003). Taubman (1998) depicted the CCP’s adoption and struggle w ith Internet as a kind of “built-in incompatibility between non-de mocratic rule and the Internet” (p. 256). Similarly, Kalathil and Boas (2001) argued that authoritarian regimes, such as China and Cuba, will adopt a series of reactive, proact ive, and restrictive measures to tame and weather the challenges posed by this new wa ves of information revolution (see also Kalathil, 2003). This type of research undoubtedly provid ed a guiding thread for readers to grasp the strategic picture. However, this appr oach might also prime people’s politicized stereotype that overshadowed people’s understandings of thos e technical, functional, and operational issues, such as the actual online media order. Group B: online media are online discussions. Online forum discussions, or Bulletin Board Systems (BBS), are ar guably the most dynamic and inspiring communication byproduct brought about by online media. They are easy to observe, fun

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106 to read, and some of them are highly quotab le for research. Content-analyzing online discussion has become a common method fo r studying China’s online media. For example, Geries’s (2001) study focused on Chinese online surfers’ outpouring of their outrage, nationalist feeling, and foreign policy debates in response to the United States’ bombing of China’s embassy in Belgra de. Yang (2003a) examined Qiangguo Luntan (Strong Nation Forum), one of the hottest political discussion forum hosted by CCP’s party “throat & tongue” People’s Daily , in a way to seek the ev idence of China’s media reform. Li, Qin and Kluver (2003) also content analyzed th e online discussions aroused by the Sino-U.S. spy plane collision incide nt on the Strong Nation Forum. They found that the online public opinion had outpaced and outsmarted the traditional propaganda machine’s maneuver throughout the whole ev ent. They drew the conclusion that “Whereas the official press has always sought to ‘correctly guid e public opinion,’ the Chinese authorities are losing the battle to control information and limit individual expression via the Internet” ( p. 156). Wu (2003) compared two types of online media’s— the state-owned news website and the pr ivately owned commercial online portals— reactions toward President Ji ang Zemin’s visit to the United States. He found significant differences between these two groups of web-k eepers in terms of their political judgment, professional specialty, and technological strength. Although online group discussion is the pr incipal component of online media’s communication task, it by no means represents or replaces online media’s overall “news media” function. Moreover, the results draw n from the issue-specific, personally interpreted and mainly descriptive online disc ussions can not confidently be generalized to China’s overall media structure or online media order.

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107 Group C: online media are online protests and online censorship. China’s online censorship has consistently been the focal point among foreign media researchers and foreign media practitioners as well. The re levant news-censoring incidents and China’s new regulatory policies have been widely reported and thorou ghly scrutinized. Qiu (1999/2000) explained how the CCP propaganda department ma nipulated this so-called “bamboo curtains” via virtual censorship. He analyzed the relevant regulations, their genesis, their efficacy, and the invisibili ty of those controlle rs. Lacharite (2002) examined the administrative and technical di fficulties of regulati ng online media content in China and concluded that such an attempt was an expensive, impractical, and virtually impossible mission. After reviewing China’s bui ldup of the gigantic “Great Firewall”, Deibert (2002) offered a rath er mixed picture. On the one hand, China adopted severe regulations and restrictions on those potentially subversive communications online, while on the other hand, it also designe d policies that “facilitated the penetration and extension of new information and communication technologi es into all sectors of Chinese society” (p. 154). Some research paid particular attent ions to those political dissent groups’ online activities, such as the relig ious faction Falun Gong’s onlin e protests or the Tibetan independent movement’s online appeals, and Chinese government’s countermeasures (Bell & Boas, 2002; Chase & Mulvenon, 2002). A recent study also revealed that the Chinese government regularly blocked up to 19,000 world web sites deemed harmful to the web users inside China (Zittrain & Edelman, 2002). However, the unit of analysis of the a bove mentioned research is actually not China’s online media per se . The real subjects are those propaganda organs, security

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108 departments, or regulatory di visions. In other words, censo rship is a tool of media governing, but it is not the governing media order. In sum, online media are first and foremost “news” media. They surely reflect politics, but they have their own structure and respective f unctional pattern. They carried bulletin boards or discussion forums, but they al so have a larger and broader role to play. They are the target or even the victim of censorship, but a large amount of news still flows through their channels. What is China’s new online media order? China’s new Online media order China’s new online media order can be illu strated through five dimensions. First, the new order transforms the traditional ver tical administrative hierarchy to a horizontalvertical governing structure. Second, it relies on three major pillars, namely the stateowned news web sites (“ xinwen wangzhan ”34), the privately owned commercial online media (“ wangluo meiti ”), and the regional on line media complex (“ meiti wangzhan ”), to support the overall system. Thirdly, it tightly scrutinizes political news, while loosing restrictions on other types of news, such as the sports news, entertaining news, and economic news. Fourth, it encourages the flow and exchange of professional journalists among traditional media, their online news br anches, and the commercial online media. Finally, it calls for orderly competition a nd constructive cooperation among all online news portals. In the following sections, each of the five characteristics was explained respectively. 34 There is no explicit definition or requirement from the government with regard to how to identify or distinguish different types of online media. Here, the au thor introduced three slightly different media titles based on those online media’s self identifications.

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109 The Governance: from vertical to hor izontal-vertical. The de-centralized, instantaneous, and boundariless nature of online technology poses grave threat to any controlling measure that is cen tralized, bureaucratic, and parochial. The CCP government apparently recognized this new challenge a nd adapt to it accordingly in its governing strategy. Instead of preserving the top-down hi erarchical structure used in traditional media, the online media supervision and admi nistrative department adopted a composite horizontal-vertical managing style. For example, many of the online media governing policies and initiatives were announced to the public by senior officials th rough news conferences, public addresses, or conference lectures. All of the online news portals, regardless of their ownership pattern, administrative rank, or geographic location, virtually got the information at the same time and usually in the same form. The traditional top-down internal proliferating channel has been largely repla ced by a quicker, more transpar ent, and thus more efficient means of communicating and governing. Si nce June 2001, a national online media convention “China Online Media Forum” ha s been established by the Association of Chinese Journalists, directed by the State Council’s News Office, and participated by China’s major online news web sites annually. This quasi-governmental organization took the role of interpreting pa rty policy, ensuring internal discipline, and coordinating interactions among its members. On the third convention he ld October 2003 in Beijing, 40 representatives from dozens of Chin a’s online media co-signed the “Beijing Declaration,” calling fo r online media to boost their awaren ess of social responsibility. On top of this social responsibility age nda was to coherently echo the CCP’s new

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110 propaganda theme, the so-called “Three Represents.”35 Meanwhile, the administrative department also downplayed its political color by substituting those political regulations with financial penalties as punitive meas ures. In so doing, the online news governing body mainly pulls the thread behind the curtain a nd pushes the self-governing organizations, such as the Association of Chin ese Journalists and the Internet Society of China onto the front stage. The vertical govern ing structure prevailed in traditional media circles has gently reconfigured to an online-era horizontal-vertical model. The Pillars: from uni-polar to tri-polar. Within China’s traditional media order, the state-owned media basically play a one-man show. Enjoying the government’s endorsement, they monopolized the news ga thering and news distributing business. However, such a uni-polar system can not be extended to the virtual sphere. To cope with China’s online media reality, and most impor tantly, to maximize the economic potential of the online technology, the CCP government redefined the identity of China’s major online news players and alloca ted different tasks to them in line with their backgrounds and specialties. The most important policy adjustment was the Provisional Regulations on Governance of Internet-based News Provide rs, jointly published by the State Council Information Office and the Ministry of In formation Industry on November 6, 2000. Most foreign observers interpreted this regu lation as a new restraint imposed upon the commercial online media. However, chief managers from those commercial online media read this regulation differently. For ex ample, Wang Zhidong, chief executive of 35 News report on the People’s Daily , October 14th 2003, titled “The Online Media Forum Closed in Beijing.” Data retrieved August 10th 2004 at

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111, felt relieved after hearing this news,36 because for the first time since its operation,’s identity as a news medium, or more precisely, as a news distributor, was legalized and st andardized. This “online media” identity also clarified the uncertainty and ambiguity lingering on those foreign investors’ minds. There is an old Chinese saying: “no prope r title, no proper speech”. Those privately owned commercial websites had long been worrying about thei r proper identity. Although most of them listed “online news” as one of their online services, rarely did they publicly claim themselves the “onlin e media”. Instead, they used those more ambiguous names, such as online portals, or Internet Service Provi ders (ISP), to gloss over this sensitive issue in a country where privately owned media are still deemed illegal. However, things cha nged after the publica tion of the provisional regulations. Not only did they begin to call themselves “online media” (“ wangluo meiti ”), some of them even eyed the title of “mainstream online media.” As the result of this new policy adjustme nt, three online media players collectively uphold China’s online media system. The traditional news media’ online service still possesses the privilege of news gathering and news distributing. However, such an inborn advantage is largely undermined by their inhe rited bureaucratic stru cture, old-fashioned news collecting pattern, and lack of direct investment. More over, they have to keep a delicate balance between economic competitivene ss and political correctness. In times of direct conflict between the party line and the bottom line, they have to sacrifice for their historical mission as the part y’s virtual “throat & tongue.” As to the commercial portals, 36 News report on the English version of People’s Daily, November 9th 2000, titled “Regulating Internet News Transmission.” Data retrieved August 10th 2004 at

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112 the new regulations prohibited them from gathering news directly, which in the end forced them to become news aggregators in stead of news collectors. However, they enjoyed the flexibility of amassing news vi a as many sources as possible and packaging the information in a user-friendly way. In -between the state-owned online media and venture capital-supported commercial media, the emerging regional online media platforms established themselves as the news windows for the municipal cities or regional entities. (Beijing-based) and (Shanghaibased) are two of the most su ccessful representatives in this category. They are generally supported by the local government in term s of policy inclinati on, by the major local media in terms of news content and staff, and by the local corpor ations in terms of investment and management. The geographical proximity of their online news and the well-targeted community services attracted a large number of stable and loyal online audiences. From a uni-polar media system to a tri-polar online media system, ChinaÂ’s new online media order expanded its supporting basis and successfully assimilated the emerging competitors into the reorganized system. This new structure resembled ChinaÂ’s economic reform pattern, in which several di fferent types of ownership players (stateowned, collectively owned, and privately ow ned enterprises) ope rate side by side simultaneously (see Table 2-2 for reference). The Contents: from politically correct to commercially profitable. Within this new online media order, not all news items are creat ed equal. Some news categories, such as the sports news, entertaining news, and econom ic news, had already entered the marketeconomy stage. There is no explicit regulation or requirement with regard to what to

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113 report or how to report these types of storie s. All the news organizations, traditional or online media alike, compete for the audiences’ attention and the a dvertising revenue in the same trench. Here, the government’s visibl e hands yielded to th e market’s invisible hands. In return, the quality and quantity of China’s online sports news reporting and entertaining news reporting have literally caught up with or even surpassed the world standard. Encouraged by the government’s loose polic y on the soft news and allured by the enormous market profits, those commercial online media actually t ook one step further on the path toward becoming the real “news media.” For example, during the world-level sports events, such as the Olympic Games, or the World Soccer Cup, those commercial online media routinely invited a number of traditional media’s reporters as their guest columnists or commentators. Sometimes, they even paid those reporters’ traveling and lodging expenses in order to get the fi rst-hand, exclusive news. The “Provisional Regulations”, which clearly prohibit commerc ial online media from directly gathering news, had been circumvented in these occasions . In fact, no punishment or restriction was incurred as the result of this type of practice. In response, state-owned news web site s set up the nationali sm or patriotism oriented online forums to appeal to the massive young web users. The People’s Daily ’s “Strong Nation Forum” is the most telling ex ample. On this political-oriented online forum, tens of thousands of people log on to its various forums everyday to discuss those commonly concerned political issues, ranging from Sino-U.S. relationship to Taiwan independence, from abstract democratic ideo logies to domestic corruption cases. Some of the hot topics, such as the Sun Zhigang deat h case, the Nandan cover-up scandal, and the

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114 SARS report, actually stimulated government ’s policy responses. and also set up online “hotlines” to gather people’s feedbacks on some policy issues and lead information on criminal activit ies. In fact, this t ype of online forum has already become the party’s wind vane to test public opinion and a new source of “Internal References.” To prevent those online forum di scussions from running out of control, the government only endorsed two news orga nizations, Xinhua News Agency and People’s Daily, the privilege to organize online forum on their web sites. However, with regard to th e sensitive political news or foreign policy issues (the so-called “hard news”), the government has no sense of humor about its seriousness. For example, during the sensitive time period, such as the anniversary of some political events or the party’s major conventions, the party officials routinely gathered both the state-owned online media editors and the comm ercial online media managers to reaffirm the news reporting guidance and disciplines. Understandably, selfcensorship regarding this type of information was widely adopt ed by the state-owned news web site, the regional online news platforms, and the comm ercial online media. Since some of the previous forum discussions had drawn a lot of attentions from both home and abroad, the party officials also assigned special superv isors from time to time to monitor the forum operation on-the-spot. The Personnel: from red-collar to whitecollar. One of the most significant characteristics in this new media order is th e free flow of profe ssional journalists both from traditional news media organizations to their online service branches and from stateowned news media to those commercial online media.

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115Table 2-2. Three types of online media in China Commercial Online Portals State-owned Med ia Flagships Regional Media Platforms Name Found 04/29/1996 08/1996 01/01/1997 11/07/1997 05/28/2000 03/07/2000 Owner SINA.COM Private company, listed on the NASDAQ stock market in US. SOHU.COM Private company, listed on the NASDAQ stock market in US. People’s Daily Party organ attached to the Central Committee of the CCP. Xinhua News Agency State news agency attached to the State Council. Dong Fang Net Co. Lt. Co-sponsored by several Shanghaibased major media groups. Qianlong Net Co. Lt. Co-sponsored by several Beijing-based major media groups. Self-ID “Leading online media and value-added infotainment service provider for China and for global Chinese communities”. “China’s premier online brand and indispensable to the daily life of millions of Chinese who use the portal for their e-mail, SMS, news, search, browsing and shopping”. “One of the most authoritative, comprehensive and influential web sites and a disseminator of information claiming the largest daily amount of news releases in China.” “Online aircraft carrier of news and information…multilanguage, multifunction, and multimedia news powerhouse.” “New battlefield for Online media, new platform for information service, and new carrier for cultural communication.” “The largest and most influential gateway website representing Beijing. The fasted and most comprehensive online news pioneer linking Beijing and the world” Users’ Data 83 million registered users worldwide. Over 10 million active paid users. 50 million registered users; Over 10 million active paid users. Daily page-view: 10 million; Forum registered users: 280,000*. Daily page-view: 30 million. Daily visit: 2.3 million Registered info users: 750,000*. Daily visit: 10 million Facility & Sources Providing access to more than 30 channels of online contents through partnership with more than 600 international, domestic content providers. Free e-mail system supports over 20 million active users and is ranked 4th in the world after Hotmail, Yahoo!, and 17 Channels covering topics including: news, finance, Dow Jones, sports, IT, life, women, career, cars, real estate, travel, entertainment, education, health, games, comics and university life. Releasing news in seven lingual versions, with contributions from over 1,000 journalists in more than 70 stations worldwide and over 500 cooperative media. Updating 3,500 news pieces per day. Collecting news from over 150 subsidiaries all over the world, releases news around the clock in eight languages. 32 local channels and 10 subsidiary web sites covering all over China Updating 4,500 news items per Taking advantage of the strong news resource and Shanghai’s unparallel position, develops a service package of news, information and ecommerce for both regional and global readers. Updating Providing four core online services: News, Wireless, Broadband, and Tech. First complex online news website, supported by Beijing municipal government and eight major Beijing-based news media. Updating over 3,000

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116 Commercial Online Portals State-owned Med ia Flagships Regional Media Platforms Name AOL. day. over 4,000 news items per day. news items per day. Leaders hip Yan, Wang (CEO) Graduated from Paris University Charles Zhang (CEO) Ph.D. (MIT, USA) He, Jiazheng (CEO) Former PeopleÂ’s Daily reporter & editor*. Zhou, Xisheng. (CEO) Former Xinhua News AgencyÂ’s reporter & editor*. Li, Zhiping (Chief Manager) Former Editor-in-chief of the Youth Daily in Shanghai*. Zhou, Kejin (CEO) Former reporter of Xinhua News Agency*. Investm ent Cash and case equivalents: 208 million US$ as of Sept. 30, 2003. Cash and case equivalents: 117 million US$ as of Sept. 30, 2003. Registered flow capital: 5 million RMB (0.6 million US$). Total investment: 150 million RMB (18 million US$) as of Aug. 2004. * Registered capital: 10 million RMB (1.2 million US$). Total Investment: 200 million RMB (24 million US$) as of Aug. 2004.* Total Investment: 600 million RMB (73 million US$) as of Aug. 2004. * Registered capital: 60 million RMB; Total investment: 225 million RMB (27 million US$) as of Aug. 2004. * Note. The materials listed in the table were mostly retrieved from the web sitesÂ’ self-introduction section. They are , , , (SINA.COM); , , bout/English/cash_q.htm (SOHU.COM); , ( PeopleÂ’s Daily ); , ; (Xinhua News Agency); , (; and , (, respectively. * Information obtained via personal interviews.

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117 Most of the chief managers of those stat e-owned news websites and those regional online news platforms are former editors or reporters in traditional news organizations (Wu, 2005a). Their previous media backgrounds undoubtedly prepared them for the new job as the online version editor-in-chief. However, as compared to their commercial media counterparts, their comm on weaknesses, such as the lack of advanced management skill, lack of technical knowledge, and lack of foreign connections, might influence their decision making and marketing strategy. More over, the state-owned news groups were not in a good position to compete for or even keep the most talented online news editors or technicians due to their low compensation offer and bureaucratic structure. Many chief managers or chief editors in the state-owned online media were frustrated by the fact that their best trained editors were easily lured away by the commercial online media rivals.37 From the perspective of the state-owne d online media, such a brain drain is disturbing, frustrating, and seem ingly unstoppable. From the perspective of those online media administrative officials, however, such a personnel flow and exchange is a rather preferable outcome. It solved the strategic problem of how to painlessly and efficiently educate those commercial online media editor s in terms of politic al consciousness and political sensitivity. Actually, the government seemed to have taken this issue into consideration all along. Inside the Provisional Regulations on Governance of Internetbased News Providers, the policy releas ed on November 6, 2000, an article was particularly focused on this issue. In Article Nine, which outlined all the requirements for online media to be qualified for the news reporting license, one requirement read, “it must have full-time news editorial director who has relevant news media experiences and 37 Based on several personal conversations with a senior manager of the and a senior editor of the .

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118 above the middle-level media professional certi ficate, and it also must have sufficient number of full-time news editors who posse ss above the middle-level media professional certificate.”38 This requirement is a cost-efficient and far-reaching measure as to the longterm online media control. It shortened the process of integrating and assimilating those new comers into a well-established system. Since most of these commercial online news editors have been educated and trained by the old system for many years, there is no need to tell them how to differentiate the political correct from the political intolerable. That is one reason why China’s online self-censo rship seems so wide-spread and well synchronized. The Interactions: from competition to cooperation. This tri-polar online media system could also be viewed as two di fferent pyramids. Politically speaking, those traditional media had the government-endorsed authority and legal protection. Therefore, they sat on the top of the political signif icance pyramid. In contrast, those commercial portals, despite their tremendous marketing capability and larg e readership, are the stepchildren in the political family. The regional online platforms combin ed the strengths of the above two groups, so they comfortably possessed the middle area. Commercially speaking, however, the pyramid is reversed. Taking advantages of the foreign venture capital, global market vision, and advanced management skill, the commercial online media are more flexible in covering the international news and breaking news. In contrast, for those traditional media’s onlin e services, direct government support was accompanied by direct government supervision, es pecially with regard to editorial stance and topic selection. Although th e state-owned online media outnumbered their privately 38 The original policy can be accessed at

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119 owned commercial counterparts, their power of influencing ChinaÂ’s nearly 100-million strong online population could not match with their commercial rivals. Actually, the CCP government infused a large amount of mone y to those stateowned online news websites from the beginning. For example, and www.x , the two major state-owned online media, received some 50 million RMB (6.25 million US dollar) subsidies from the government revenue as the start-up money.39 In addition, the government also a ppropriated at the lowest price 100 Mbps bandwidth to these two major web site s. Moreover, according to the online news publishing regulation, the tradit ional media can sell their online news to the commercial portals and make a profit as high as one million U.S. dollar per year. The CCP governmentÂ’s investment into the online media section is huge by traditional standard; however, it is still not la rge when compared to those venture capital supported, Nasdaq-listed commercial onl ine portals. Likewise, although those commercial online media command the unparallel ed financial superiority, they lack the political authority, legitimacy, and news ga thering networks possessed by those stateowned online media. Due to the constant co mpetition for readersh ip and advertising revenues, a win-win cooperative model has developed by these two groups of online media. For example, and Si successfully cooperated on the online live coverage of ChinaÂ’s 50th Birthday Celebration in 1999 in Beijing. Inside this type of partnership, the commercial media contribute d money, technical speci alty, and marketing skills and the state-owned online news webs ite provided its privil eged news sources, political authority, and policy support to this co-sponsored news event coverage. One got 39 Based on a personal interview with a senior manager of the .

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120 the political score, and the ot her got the economic profit. Bo th found their best position and enjoyed the orderly interactions within the new online media order. China’s online media order has been esta blished. Its tri-polar system actually stabilized, at least in the cu rrent stage, the overall struct ure by providing the choices and diversity for the self-motivated online user s and the unity and stability for the policy makers. Through expanding participation and br oadening supportive basis, this new order combined continuity, flexibilit y, and creativity in its system. It has survived the tests of several political events incl uding the 9/11 terrorist attack s on the United States, the outburst of SARS epidemic, and the Taiwan 2004 presidential el ection. Like China’s gradual economic reform patter n, the transition of the onlin e media structure may serve as the “special media zone” for the overall media reform. However, how well this new order will respond to the forthcoming fore ign media competition and contribute to China’s political transformation remains to be seen. China’s Online Public Sphere What does a typical Chinese online user l ook like? According to the latest CNNIC national survey report,40 a typical Chinese netizen would be a twenty-something urban unmarried male with an undergraduate de gree who spends 13.2 hours per week surfing on line for news and entertainment. He has 1.5 e-mail accounts, receives 4.4 e-mails and sends out 3.6 e-mails per week, logs online usually at 8:00 PM from a home computer using dial-up telephone service, and pays roughly 100 Yuan (12 U.S. $) per month for the online service fee. 40 The original report can be accessed at .

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121 Compared with China’s overall populat ion as well as other countries’ online populations, the demographic profile of Chines e online users distingu ishes itself in the following areas. First and foremost, they ar e much younger than othe r countries’ online population. For example, nearly 70% of th e 100 million Chinese online users are below the age of 30.41 In contrast, in the United States , this age group of online users only accounts for about 30% of the overall online population. Second, about one-third (32.4%) of China’s online population are students. In other words, they don’t have regular income, though they do have a lot of classmates to contact, a lot of curiosity to be satisfied, and a lot of ener gy to spend, both online and offline. Third, China’s online population have a much higher education-leve l than China’s overall population have. For example, although less than 10 percent of Ch inese population possess some college-level degree, 57.7 percent of China’s online popul ation have some college-level degree. Numerous research on political participation has found that education level is one of the most important factors affecting people’s inte rest, attitude, and behavior toward political issues. In China’s long histor y, intellectual group has tradi tionally been the most active and dynamic political group that, for better or fo r worse, shaped China’s destiny. In fact, according to Huntington (1968), the opposition of the urban middle-class, students, and intellectuals to the existing gove rnment is a normal pattern pe rvasive in almost all types of political systems. The core reason of this rebelliousness stems from “psychological insecurity, personal alienation and guilt, and an overriding need for a secure sense of identity…demands which no government can really ever meet” (Huntington, 1968, p. 371). Right now, the most popular nickna me on China’s online sphere is “ fen qing,” 41 The English version of CNNIC’s 15th semiannual report (released on January 2005) can be retrieved at .

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122 meaning “raging youth.” It refers to a la rge group of online Chinese users, who are young, self-motivated, well-educated, and seems detested with anything orthodox, sequential, and foreign. They call for aggres sive attitude, polic y, and action toward foreign pressure, and most importantly, they are eager to devote themselves to this cause. At the opposite end of this online sentim ent spectrum, those people who promote conservative or long-term oriented policy are dubbed “ wang te ,” meaning “Web spy.” The polarization tendency on the Chinese onl ine sphere reflects the socioeconomic composition of the online population. In sum, the demographic distribution of Chinese online users sets the tone, determines the color, and shapes the sentiment for China’s cyber sphere. China’s societal structure, cultural traditions, and political systems also contribute to the distinctive development pattern of China’s online sphere. For example, as discussed in the previous sect ion on the characteristics of Chineseness, Chinese culture traditionally values the written form of communication over the oral form of communication. Both the online Bulletin Bo ard System (BBS) and the Weblog diaries actually offer common Chinese people a means to communicate with each other or with a large group of people in the much-respected wr itten form. Moreover, the barrier for oral communication among different Chinese dialects has been easily overcome through using the online chat room format. Over the te lephone, a native Guangdong dialect speaker can never talk directly with a native Shanghai di alect speaker. However, such is no longer a problem on the cyber sphere. Another Chines e culture factor, the tradition of common ancestor worship, further binds Chinese pe ople around the world together through the linkages of family, surname, hometown, or various sub-cultures. For example, Yang

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123 (2003a), in his study on the co-evolution of th e Internet and civil society in China, pointed to the fact that the Internet facil itates civil society activities among Chinese citizens by offering the necessary social basis (citizens and citizen groups) for communication and interaction (see also Me lkote & Liu, 2000). An earlier research conducted by Zhang and Hao (1999) also noted th at the role of ethnic media in fortifying the cultural binding among Chinese immigrants is expected to be further strengthened in the age of cyberspace. After comparing th e surveys of 2,500 residents in Beijing and Guangzhou in 2000, Zhu and He (2002) revealed a more complicated psychological and behavioral pattern in Chinese people’s a doption of Internet. Specifically, people’s perceived importance of the Internet, the perceived need for the Internet and the perceived popularity of the Intern et (the social cont ext factor) collectively lead to Chinese people’s decision to go online. In addition, the motivation for mode rn lifestyle (Leung, 1998), the desire for socializing with each other both in the online world and in the offline world (Lee, & Zhu, 2002), the rise of digital communities across a larger geographical area (Loo, 2003), the advent of the online generation of China’s “New Mankind” (Wang, 2002), all these intertwini ng factors help propel the China’s cyber boom in the past decade. From another angle, however, China’s Internet fever is more a political consequence than a cultural consequence. A lthough CCP has never dreamed of Internet becoming the grave-digger for its political de stiny, cyber space may very likely end up to be the hotbed for political disturbance. As Habermas (1989) pointed out, the genuine public sphere, which is characterized by its inclusiveness, accessibility, autonomy, rational discourse, commonness, privacy, and in teractivity, will inevit ably lead to the

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124 critical discussion about the political entity and the eventual social integration. For example, although CCP has adopted various lega l, administrative, and financial measures to control the information flowing online (s ee for references, Deibert, 2002; and Qiu, 1999/2000), computer-mediated communication pr oved itself a monstrous creature too resilient to be tamed. According to Lachar ite (2002), “anti-blocking software, mirror sites, remailers, secret Usenet groups, and anonymous e-mail services have all contributed to a noticeable breakdown in Beij ing’s enforcement mechanism” (p. 333). As Nina Hachigian (2001) wisely cautioned, “[t] he Net cannot create rebellious social forces, of course, but it can nurture and empower those that exist” (p. 129). There is a Chinese saying— “ qi hu nan xia” (riding a tiger is easy, but it is hard to get off)—which perfectly illustrates the cu rrent dilemma facing the CCP government. In 1970s, when Chairman Mao realized that hi s self-orchestrated Cu lture Revolution was running out of control because of young st udents’ limitless revolutionary energy and enthusiasm, he could still drove them to the remote villages for reeducation. At present time, how can you contain the momentum flow ing at a supersonic speed across the globe among tens of millions of youngsters who, at least seemingly, have nothing to fear? To Conflict or to Compromise From the very beginning, none of the CCP ’s publicity officials wanted to build a “virtual throat & t ongue” on the online sphere, since they already manipulate one of the world’s largest and effective traditional medi a machines. Likewise, if not more so, none of them wanted to build a “virtual Tiananme n Square.” Nonetheless, the advent of the Internet and cyber sphere brings both good news and bad news to China’s decision makers.

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125 On top of the bad news list is the un conventional nature of the online media. Although the CCP decision makers strived to incorporate the emerging online media into the old hierarchical system, every new tu rn in the cyber sphere and every new development of online technology still caught the old system off-guard. For example, the government can block certain web sites deemed subversive or obscene, but the determined web users can still circumve nt the barriers through proxy server. The government can monitor and censor the sens itive information on state-owned online media or commercial portals, but the delete d sensitive information instantly becomes the hotly pursued “secrets” in those millions of chat rooms, BBS, and Web bolgger’s personal diaries. In the information age, it seem s that the best way to prioritize a story is to censor it. Second, it is too la te to do anything that can put the genius back into the bottle. China’s accession to the World Trad e Organization (WTO) and the billions of dollars foreign investment pouring into Chin a annually make it legally, financially, and practically impossible to cut o ff the network of blood veins ca rrying capitals, contracts, ecommerce and various business information. A d ecision about cyber sphere is no longer a political one, but an economic one. Third, th e demographic composition of current online users, the distinctive Chinese communicati on tradition, the strict control on traditional media, and the large number of Chinese im migrants and students living and studying abroad, all contributes to the formation of an online ma instream opinion that is parallel to, and often different from, the government -endorsed print-media opinion. China’s cyber sphere may not be a genuine public sphere yet. But it is definitely not a virtual “throat & tongue” for the CCP government.

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126 The good news is that the most rebel lious communication technology comes at a time when China is realizing and witnessing one of the most stunning economic miracles in human history. Hundreds of millions of peopl e, for the first time in the past 200 years, begin to enjoy the life of happiness, prosper ity, stability, and pride. Even the harshest China bashers have to acknowledge that the CCP has accomplished something beyond their expectations (Chang, 2001; Gertz, 2000) . Moreover, the spread of online technology not only increases civic co mmunication among citizens, but also facilitates the administrative management of the cent ral government (Hachigian & Wu, 2003; Yang, 2003). The CCP, believe it or not, is the in itiator, sponsor, and manager of China’s information revolution. This credential adds to the strength and cred ibility of its policy argument. Therefore, a compromise, called by Nina Hachigian (2001) as the “marriage of convenience” (p. 126), has been reached between the empowered public and the endangered leaders. Among China experts in the West, the widely adopted understanding about this temporary compromise is the following: as long as CCP can sustain the current economic miracle, it can retain its political legitimacy. In other words, the CCP’s fate solely rests on the nation’s annual Gross Do mestic Production (GDP) growth rate. This seems to be a convincing argument, at least at the first sight. The untold logic of this reasoning is that no nation can sustain for ever a growth ra te achieved by China in the past two decades. Therefore, CCP’s life is numbered. However, that is a typical Westernstyle misinterpretation of China’s political reality. There is a compromise between the party and the public. But it is not a compromise based on economic growth. It is a strong alliance aiming to bring China back to the

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127 strong, respectable, the great power status . Former president Jiang Zemin’s “Great Power” diplomacy and the current leader Hu Jington’s “Peaceful Rise” blueprint stemmed from, resonated with, and appealed to this national mindset. The congruence of the strategic agendas between the ruling part y and the ruled public has diminished the possibility of any massive anti-government m ovement, so long as the party stands firm on issues involving territorial sovereignty and na tional interests. Cert ainly, economic factor has always been a necessary premise for any st able governance. But, in the case of China, it is neither a sufficient nor a guaranteed condition for political legitimacy. Cyber Nationalism Like a mothball, which goes from solid to ga s directly, I expect the nation-state to evaporate without first going into a g ooey, inoperative mess, before some global cyberstate commands the pol itical ether. (N icholas Negroponte, 1995 p. 238) Marshall McLuhan was not the first technodeterminist in history, but he surely was the most famous spokesperson for co mmunication technology evolution in the twentieth century. As early as 1964, he envisione d, rather shockingly at that time, that the new telecommunication media and electronic te chnologies would amplify and extend the social and political functions of individuals as well as soci eties “in a sudden implosion.” As the consequence of this el ectrical extension of man, McLuhan declared, “the globe is no more than a village” (1964/1997, p. 3). Forty years later, McLuhan’s “global village” metaphor bears more meaning in its descri ptive accuracy than in its imaginative creativity. Unlike most other pioneer mass communi cation scholars who were rooted in sociology (such as Charles Cooley, and Paul Lazasfeld), or psychology (such as Carl Hovland, Harold Lasswell, and Kurt Lewin) , McLuhan was a Canadian professor of English Literature. This academic background underscored his reference archive and his

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128 trademark writing style. He or chestrated his interpretation of modern mass media through those intuitive analogies instead of sequential arguments. For example, he likened, rather metaphorically, the telegraph to “the social hormone,” the radi o to “the tribal drum,” and the television to “the timid giant.” However, the most famous and the most influential of McLuhan’s analogous creation was the ti tle of the first chapter in his Understanding Media : “the medium is the message” (McLuhan, 1997, p. 7). In his analysis, the design and pattern of the medium would impose more impacts on the societal psychic and social structure than the contents carried by the medium. As McLuhan stated, “the effects of technology do not occur at the le vel of opinions or concepts, but alter sense ratios or patterns of perception steadily and without any resistance” (1997, p. 18). For example, the printing technology developed in the sixteen th century Europe led to the bourgeoning of nationalism, industrialism, individualism, and education reform in Western Europe. According to McLuhan, those social consequences were not the direct results of what had been printed in the books. Instead, Psychically, the printed b ook, an extension of the vi sual faculty, intensified perspective and the fixed poi nt of view…The linearity pr ecision and uniformity of the arrangement of movable types are inseparable from these great cultural forms and innovations of Renaissance experien ce…For print presented an image of repeatable precision that inspired totally new forms of extending social energies. McLuhan, 1964/1997, p. 172. Nationalistic feelings were only possibl e when people could visually see their native language and cultural identity in the pr inted, standardized, and persistent form. In this sense, what was printed in the book was secondary to the printing technology in shaping people’s mentality. The medium, th erefore, is not the messenger, but the message.

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129 It is rather exaggerated to attribute th e emergence of nationalism, individualism, and capitalism to the form of the medium ra ther than to the contents of the medium. However, McLuhan did tap a very signifi cant aspect in mass communication research— the long-term social and psychological imp act of communication t echnology. The printed books in the sixteenth century not only restor ed people’s memory of the ancient wisdom, but also molded the senses of uniformity, homogeneity, repeatability, and detachment into peoples’ minds. Similarly, the televisi on technology in the midtwentieth century not only brought the fierce battles fought in the Vi etnam jungles into pe ople’s living rooms, but also reshaped their nerve systems, a nd their understandings of space, time, and themselves. Following this logic, Nicholas Negroponte, one of the few WWW (World Wide Web) founding fathers in MIT Media Lab, speculated that the “old-fashioned” physical nation-states would eventually evaporate under the re ign of the cybertechnology. He proclaimed, ten years ago, that “the role of the nation-state will change dramatically and there will be no more room for nationalism than there is for smallpox” (1995, p. 238). If the medium is the message, then what kind of message has the online medium brought to the cyber world and to the real worl d? Is there any room or time left for the continual existence of nationalism? Or will nationalism end up like “an almost dead fish flopping on a dock” (Negroponte, 1995, p. 237)? Mo reover, what nationalists can do and have been doing in utilizi ng the online technology to pr omote their causes? A brief literature review in the following section would provide some basic underpinnings in answering these questions.

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130 Cyber-technology as the McLuhanite Medium Whenever there is an innovation, be it a new idea, a new product, or a new movement, the first group of commentators al ways are those optimists, or idealists, or liberals, depending on which philosophical cat egory you want to put them. They hail, excitedly and undoubtedly, the unp recedented significance and the revolutionary nature of this new thing. As the hilarious promoti ons gradually die down, the pessimists, or realists, or conservatives, dutifully show up. They downgrade the impact and role of this new thing and denounce the naivety of their im patient colleagues. After a while, people suddenly find out that both the optimists a nd the pessimists are looking at the same glass of water, though from an oppos ite angle. The final group of the wise people then blends the two opposite extremes into a mixed, half-full-and-half -empty picture. The final consensus, as shown in statistics theory, always regresses toward the population mean. The new cyber-technology experienced the same process of ups and downs and finally returning to the middle areas in social science academia. Negroponte in his bestseller Being Digital (1995) first introdu ced the unstoppable and undeniable nature of the digital technology and online medi um. As he described, “[I]t has four very powerful qualitie s that will result in its ul timate triumph: decentralizing, globalizing, harmonizing, and empowering” ( p. 229). Because the decentralized and networked structure of online technology empow ers individuals to bypass the restraints of space, time, money, language , various gatekeepers, and even governmental powers. Dyson (1997) portrayed a future that the existing hierarchical bureaucracies will be replaced by a new electronic feudalism with overlapping communities and multiple layers of citizens’ identiti es and loyalties. Klein (1999) focused on the new electronic town-hall meeting which enables online users to engage in political debates on common

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131 concerned issues with people around the world. He pointed out that the current meeting hall used for the town hall meetings or congr essional meetings actually has changed little from the forum used by Greek citizens 2,000 years ago. The Internet for the first time made “possible many-to-many communication without the use of a physical meeting hall” (Klein, 1999, p. 213). Lessi g (1999) argued that what the Internet accomplished overnight in free speech in those authoritaria n countries almost surpassed what the U.S. government had tried through diplomatic, econom ic, and military means for the past fifty years. As long as a country c onnects to the World Wide Web, it has to abide by the “First Amendment in code more extreme than our own First Amendment in law ” (Lessig, 1999, p. 167, emphasis in original). In a book titled Digital Democracy , Hague and Loader (1999) summarized particularly seven key f eatures of cyber technology that provide the potential for a new form of democracy. Th ey are interactivit y, global network, free speech, free association, construction and di ssemination of information, challenge to professional and official perspe ctives, and breakdown of nation-state identity. In brief, the technological determinists te nd to highlight that the Internet as a me dium is inherently democratizing, progressive, and anti-nation-state. Based on the supposedly same reality, the pessimists came up with equally convincing but less enthusiastic conclusions. Po litical scientists are among those who are most annoyed by the determinists’ rosy e nvisions (see for example, Kaplan, 2002; Keohane, & Nye, 1998; Shapiro, 1999). Shapir o (1999) regarded the argument of the “Internet is inherently democratizing” as “an empty truism and a dangerous one at that” (p. 14). Keohane and Nye criticized rather incisively that those optimists “moved too directly from technology to political consequences without sufficiently considering the

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132 continuity of beliefs, the persistence of ins titutions, or the strategic options available to statesmen” (1998, p. 82). In other words, althoug h information can travel faster, cheaper, and wider on the online sphere, it does not fl y in a social, cultural or political vacuum. The old power holders are equally eager, more prepared, and well-organized to counterbalance any challenges posed by the online technology. The evidence gathered by communication scholars from the field proved that the pessimists’ arguments were not unfounded (Ald isardottir, 2000; Ch alaby, 2002; Eveland & Scheufele, 2000; Flanagin & Metzger, 2000; Nie, 2001 ; Scheufele & Nisbet, 2002; Wellman, et al. 2001). For example, Scheufele a nd Nisbet (2002) warned that the role of the Internet in promoting citizenship and poli tical participation is limited as compared to traditional mass media. Nie (2001) pointed out that Internet users do not become more sociable or more civic simply because th ey connect to the Internet. Rather, their demographic backgrounds, such as educati on, financial status, age, and profession predetermine their skills and patterns of connectivity and sociability. More over, “simply because of the inelasticity of time, Inte rnet use may actually reduce interpersonal interaction and communication” (p. 420). Al disardottir’s (2000) multi-nation survey supported the hypothesis that the global web-media will mainly be used as local tools by online users. The local identity and cultura l community would eventually outweigh the illusory global culture or nation-less identit y. Shapiro (1999) applied theories of social psychology (such as selective exposure, select ive perception, and sele ctive retention) to demonstrate people’s possible be havior in the online sphere. Given the endless filter and personalize information online, “we can also build virtual gated communities where we never have to interact with people who ar e different from ourselves” (Shapiro, 1999, p.

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133 25). On the other hand, several empirical inve stigations found that the knowledge gap between information haves and have-nots wi dened over time (Bonfadelli, 2002; Eveland & Scheufele, 2000). Not to mention the low credibility of online information among its users (Flanagin & Metzger, 2000), the potential “bal kanization” of on line deliberation (Wilhelm, 2000, see pp. 41-44), and the availabi lity of online technology as a sufficient tool for various government censorships (Chalaby, 2002). Increasingly, online research ers began to adopt the optim ist-pessimist half-and-half mindset. Instead of looking at the online technology as a morally dichotomous determinant, they view it as a contingent f actor intertwined with and influenced by other antecedent variables, such as people’s social -economic status, a nation’s history, culture, and developing stage. For example, Kaye and Johnson (2002) categorized people’s motives for connecting to politically orient ed sites into four groups: finding guidance, information seeking, entertainment and social ut ility. Based on the uses and gratifications theory (Katz, 1959; Blumler & Katz, 1974), th ey investigated a nd once again found the linkage between two classic media research questions “what does online medium do to people” and “what do people do w ith the online medium.” Pap acharissi (2004), instead of continuing the debate on Internet’s potent ial for civil discourse based on vague and abstract concepts, tried to clarify those majo r concepts such as civility, politeness, and rational-critical discourse at the online era. She found that contrary to popular belief, most online debates on political chat room s are “neither predominantly impolite nor uncivil, although frequently disembodied and distracted” (p. 275). In other words, the seemingly heated and anarchic debates onlin e fostered by the absence of face-to-face communication may serve the ends of democratic emancipation.

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134 After examining American online users’ attitude and behavi or, Scheufele and Nisbet (2002) raised a far-reaching research que stion that is highly related to this present study. They asked, what do our findings mean for the future of the Internet as a tool for efficiently informing and mobilizing large cross-sect ions of the population, especially those who are traditionally not exposed to mainst ream print and broadcast media? (p. 69). Scheufele and Nisbet didn’t give an answer to this question. However, according to Marshall McLuhan, such an answer might need te ns of years, if not hundreds of years, to be found out. Actually, he once joked about mass communication scholars’ futile attempt to evaluate the psychological impact of TV by using the research method of content analysis. “Had his [Wilbur Schramm] methods been employed in 1500 A.D. to discover the effects of the printed book in the lives of children or adults, he could have found out nothing of the changes in human and so cial psychology resulting from typography” (McLuhan, 1997, p. 19). As implied in McL uhan’s arguments, it takes a visionary philosopher instead of a content analyst to reveal the long-term subliminal effect of a new medium. Nationalism as a McLuhanite Message How will online technology inte ract with nationalism? Against the rhetorical backdrop of globalization, democratization, a nd digitalization, talk ing about something called “nationalism” seems intuitively obsolete, if not totally irrelevant. Or does it? Before reviewing online technology’s built-i n potential in promoting nationalism, the following misperceptions about informati on communication technol ogy should be briefly clarified.

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135 First, the innovativeness of information technology refers to the technology, not the information. Democratic ideas can be dissemi nated by the online media faster, cheaper, and wider, so are the ideas of fundament alism, terrorism, and all the other opposite extremes in the human ideology spectrum. An old Chinese saying goes, “A new bottle can contain the old wine, and a pair of new shoes can always walk on the old path.” As far as the communication technology is c oncerned, neo-Nazism and neo-moralism are equally conveyable. Second, information t echnology can facilitate communications among people, as long as people speak the same language. Although the current technology can instantly translat e a message from one language to another, no technology can instantly implant all the history, tradit ion, and culture of a nother country into people’s mind. Therefore, people cannot not co mmunicate, but preferably in their own language, and about their own culture and expe riences. Even when people use English as a lingua franca in business or intellectual communications, “it is a tool for communication not a source of identity and community. Because a Japanese banker and an Indonesian businessman talk to each other in English does not mean that either one of them is being Anglofied or Westernized ” (Huntington, 1996, p. 61). Right now, English is on the verge to be surpassed by Chinese as the most used language online. Third, oversupply of information is as bad as under-supp ly of information. The white noise from the mountainous junk information is the symbol of lack of meaningful information rather than the sufficiency of information. Unless th e information is picked up by the attentive mind, the immenseness equals meaningless. Online technology’s unnoticed potential as a catalyst for nationalist ideology and nationalistic movement takes at least three forms. First of all, it serves as an information

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136 center for gathering and disse minating nationalism-related ma terial. Such a feature is more salient in those countries where the traditional mass media can not be accessed by the nationalist groups. Second, it serves as an organizational platform for those nationalistic movements which otherwise have no other means and options to exist, survive, and expand. Third, it serves as an ex ecution channel which can be used to fulfill nationalistic groups’ short-term objectives. To illustrate the above three points, three well-known world incidents, the Kosovo Wa r in 1999, Mexico’s Chiapas Uprising in 1994, and China’s Red-Hacker Movement in 2001 are discussed below. Information center for nationalism information NATO’s bombing of Kosovo in 1999 was “the first major intern ational conflict to be extensively reported and, arguably, f ought on the Internet” (Hall, 2001, p. 94). The death of former Communist Y ugoslav leader Josip Tito in 1980 opened the lid on a bottle filled with nationalism explosives. The revived conflicts between Serbs and Albanians over Kosovo resulted in an 80-day bomb ing campaign initiated by NATO. Though the tragedies and bloodiness of war remained the same, the presen ce of online technology and Internet communication remarkably overh auled the traditional war-time propaganda strategies, and sometimes even tilted th e power-balance toward those previously disadvantageous groups (see for re ference, Hall, 2001, chap 4.). In retrospect, it seems that nationalism was one of the beneficiaries of this web war fought in an area historically saturated with nationalistic confrontations. Online technology’s role as a war-time information center for nationalism sentiment existed in three layers. First, as outside journalists were expelled from Serbia and barred from Kosovo at the beginning of the bombing, individu als living in the war zones could utilize the web to communicate directly with each other and literally with the whole world

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137 community. Those live, unedited, on-the-spot , eyewitness reports from the war zone provided an unprecedented perspective among those fellow “countrymen” as well as those outside observers. Thanks to the Intern et’s speed and reach, an individual’s voice can be heard, magnified, and resonated among an ever-larger population. Second, the opposition groups suppressed by the Slobodan Milo sevic’s regime could promote their anti-Milosevic but nonethele ss nationalistic appeal s online. Radio B92, a radio station inside Serbia, was the best example of such a new phenomenon. Highly critical of Milosovic’s policies both home and abroad, B92 was often jammed and interrupted by the government. In response, the station “had es tablished itself as the first ISP inside the country and it responded by sending its broadcas ts abroad over the Internet and then having them rebroadcast back into Serbia fr om sympathetic stations in Montenegro, and later by CNN, the BBC and others” (Ferdina nd, 2001, p. 14). During the time of war, B92 online website received about two million hi ts and over 700 emails per day from its audiences (Hall, 2001). Third, while Milo sevic’s government was in no position to compete with its enemy (NATO) in the pr opaganda war fought on traditional media, according to Hall (2001), “they were able to conduct an alarmingly effective Netwar which left NATO looking outdated, out of t ouch and even vulnerable” (p. 119). Serbia nationalists volunteered to keep updated the government websites, translated new information into English, argued about the war in numerous online chat rooms, and called for Serbian expatriates around the world to contribute. Online technology indeed empowered those who are the most determined and dedicated. Overall, nationalism was certainly not the only online them e during the Kosovo war. However, without the online technol ogy, nationalism groups would never have

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138 found such a cheap, efficient, and less cont rollable means to fight an asymmetrical information war. Operational platform for nationalism organization On January 1, 1994, when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect, thousands of Mexico peasants who led by Subcomandante Marcos seized control of the main urban areas in the province of Chiapas. When the Mexican government sent military to repress the upris ing, the guerrillas—the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) —retreated to th e nearby rainforest a nd started a ten-year long confrontation with the government forces. It is hard to define the identity of the Zapatistas and the nature of this movement. Th e movement’s rhetoric is an intermingling of class struggle against capit alist exploitation, protection of indigenous tradition and culture, and Mexico’s past models of he roism and nationalism (Couch, 2001). However, what made this event so well-known and signi ficant was its symbolic meaning. A group of primarily low-waged, indigenous Mexican peasants rose up against the seemingly unstoppable trend of globaliz ation, and eventually it was the champion-product of the globalization—the Internet and the global communication —helped Zapatistas achieve their goal. Communication scholar Manuel Castells co mmented the significance of this event in his The Power of Identity (1997) by stating, Extensive use of the Internet allowed the Zapatistas to diffuse information and their call throughout the world in stantly, and to create a network of support groups which helped to produce an international public opinion movement that made it literally impossible for the Mexican governme nt to use repression on a large scale. (p. 80) Ironically, the globalized network facilitate d the existence, spr ead, and success of an anti-globalization movement. The Internet’s indispensable role in the development of

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139 the Zapatistas movement existed in the follo wing areas. First, wh en most national and international commercial media refused to publicize EZLN’s communiqués and letters, supporters of the movement uploaded t hose messages onto various Usenet groups, Peacenet conferences, and Internet lists rela ted to Mexican issues. Such a maneuver was so successful that it helped create the popul ar tale of the “spokesman Sub-commander Marcos in the jungle, mobile phone in hand, uploading communiqués directly to the Internet” (Russell, 2001, p. 358) . Second, the leaders of the Zapatistas utilized the Internet technology and online community as a platform to rally support, mobilize sympathetic groups, and sway internationa l public opinion online. Knowing that the Mexico government could not afford a ne gative world image in the face of the international financial assi stance, the EZLN directly a ppealed to the “emerging transnational public sphere supported in part by the growth of th e Internet, where it sought the leverage necessary to neutra lize the Mexican government’s tactical advantages” (Russell, 2001, p. 360). Third, th e Internet’s organizational power also embodied through the plebiscite called on by the EZLN in 1995. Among those one million votes, 80,000 people, most of them livi ng outside of Mexico, cast their vote via the Internet. Although Zapatistas is not a strictly typical nationalis m movement, its evolution and development may point to some possible pa tterns in future social movements. Online technology enables the non-mainstream or non-government ideological movement to exist, grow, and spread as a physically invi sible whereas practica lly functional social force. In this sense, the Internet is no t only an information center, it is also an organizational platform for daily meeting, recruiting, advocating, and operating.

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140 Execution channel for nationalism activity On April 26, 2001 the Federal Bureau of I nvestigation (FBI) of the United States issued an unusual national warning that Chinese hackers might mount online strikes against American government Web sites over the next few weeks.42 Meanwhile, Pentagon officials ordered a ll their computer service sy stems to take additional precautions to protect against any attacks from Chinese hackers into the Defense Department systems. Two days later, on the Department of Labor’s official web site, a hacker posted a homage to Wang Wei, the Chin ese pilot who lost his life in a collision with a United States Navy spy-plane on April 1, 2001. The official web sites of Department of Health and Human Services ( ) and Surgeon General Office ( ) were also defaced.43 At 7:00 P.M. (Beijing Time), April 30, 2001, thousands of Chinese hackers held their first online meeting at and established a loosely organized virtual organization: “Honker Union of China.”44 As the revenge toward the spy-plane collision and the Bush administration’s handl ing of the post-collision relations with China, the Honker Union of China decl ared online warfare against America’s government websites and set out the objectives and strategies. From May 1 to May 9, nearly a hundred American’s web sites in government, military, and education sectors were defaced or taken out of services. In response, American hackers counterattacked 42 See the article on The New York Times , “F.B.I. warns that Chinese may di srupt U.S. web sites.” April 28, 2001, section A, pg. 8. 43 See the article on The New York Times , “Chinese hackers invade 2 official U.S. web sites.” April 29, 2001, section A, pg. 10. 44 “Honker” is a made-up word widely used by Chinese hackers. It combines the Chinese word “hong” (red) and English word “hacker.” It means “red hacker.”

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141 hundreds of China’s web sites and posted pr o-American messages on those sites. The peak of the battle occurr ed from 9:00 A.M. to 11:15 A.M. (EST), May 4, 2001, when hundreds of thousands of well-coordinate d online service requests jammed and eventually brought down the se rvice of the White House’s official web site at . According to a report posted by the Honker Union of China, an estimated number of more than 80,000 Chines e hackers participated in the collective attacks on the White House web site.45 The New York Times correspondent Craig Smith used a sensational title for his coverage on this online conflict between Chinese hackers and American hackers: “May 6-12: The First World Hacker War.”46 It was understandable and seemingly self-e vident for most of America’s China watchers to draw a conclusi on that the Chinese government was somehow behind this people’s online war. As James Adams, the Chief Executive Officer of iDefense and a member of the advisory board of the U.S. National Security Agency, pointed out later that “there is no question that China is s ponsoring these attacks. The difference between American hackers and Chinese hackers is th at the Chinese government has a pretty good history of sponsoring attacks using surrogates.”47 Actually, there is no question that James Adams doesn’t know the Chinese languag e himself and he didn’t have chance or intention to visit th e chat room on the China’s Honke r Union. In the days immediately following the spy-plane collisi on, China’s hundreds of online chat rooms filled with not 45 An article (in Chinese) which documented the history of the Honker Union of China could be accessed at . 46 See the article on The New York Times , “May 6-12: The First World Hacker War.” May 13, 2001, section 4, pg. 2. 47 See the article on The New York Times , “F.B.I. warns that Chinese may di srupt U.S. web sites.” April 28, 2001, section A, pg. 8.

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142 only anti-American rhetoric but also harsh criticism toward Chinese government’s weak response (see for example, Li, Qin, & Kl uver, 2003). It was the double-resentment toward American government’s “arrogance” and Chinese government’s “impotence” that prompted this highly coor dinated nationalism activity. From this brief online cyber-war fou ght between two groups of “virtually” organized nationalists, online t echnology’s potential role as an execution channel was all too clear. Hackers, driven by unsatisfied nationalism feeling, turn ed online technology’s interactive and borderl ess feature into a le thal weapon. Individuals around the world can rally behind a common cause, share informati on, coordinate timetable, set objectives, adjust strategy, launch attack, and report vi ctory. Even if the Chinese government, although it is nearly impossible, has the tota l control over online activities taking place within its physical border, there are more than 3 million Chinese students studying abroad and about 50 million diaspora Chinese livi ng abroad. How can any government control these “virtually nationless” na tionalists? From this aspect, online medium is not only a message, it is an invisible military. Cyber-Nationalism and Some Reflections Nationalism is an exclusive, unsettling, and super ideology. Cybe r space is an allembracing, dynamic, and unconventional sphere. It seems counterintuitive at the first sight to think that the globa lizing cyber technology would pr omote an excl usive ideology or movement. Further scrutiny on the inte rnal linkages between this innovative communication technology and the old-fashi oned ideology revealed something worth noting. First of all, online technology possesses mo re subversive power in those societies where information can not flow freely thr ough traditional mass media. Online technology

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143 became the only viable and affordable means for those non-mainstream or nongovernment groups to communicate, to functi on, and to grow. Coincidently, in those politically authoritarian soci eties, nationalism sentiment is historically strong. The nationalistic appeal was so resonating and popular that even the most repressive government could not simply turn it off. Th erefore, in those well-developed democratic societies, citizens will naturally focus on the democratic functions imbedded in the online technology and online sphere. In contrast, in those pre-democratic countries, the InternetÂ’s communicatio n and organizational functions would be exploited to serve the nationalistic ends. For example, SerbiaÂ’s Ra dio B92, MexicoÂ’s Zapatistas, and ChinaÂ’s Red-hackers embodied such a tendency. Second, nationalism is an ideology deve loped in the proc ess of one nation interacting with another nation. No ot her communication technology except for the Internet has provided every indi vidual an easy and fast m eans to interact with people from another country. For example, people can get information about a foreign nation by reading the newspaper, listening to the ra dio, or watching televi sion, as long as those media carry information about foreign countries . However, using traditional news media, the general public can never have a chance to search information from the foreign sources by themselves, or talk directly with a forei gner, or engage in a direct conflict. The Internet has forever changed th at. Online technology enables indivi dual to act as an active subject rather than a passive object in the cross-nation interactions. The diplomacy is no longer the privileged turf o ccupied by professional dipl omats. In the online age, diplomatic negotiations take place not only among diplomats behind the closed doors, but also among fervent online surfers on chat r ooms, BBS, or in the online battlefield. For

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144 example, Bunt (2003) introdu ced the new political phenomenon of “e-jihad” which the Muslim Hacker Club and Pakistan Hackerz Cl ub directly engaged in the India-Pakistan border conflict over Kashmir. Third, online technology direc tly gave rise to the forma tion of a virt ual nationalist community which no longer relied on a physical presence to exist. Ten years ago, a wild accusation against China aired by a U.S. domes tic television program could never arouse any reaction from China. Today, due to th e Internet, such news would immediately spread across over 100 million Chinese online p opulation and the next day, that television program’s web service would be flooded with angry protests coming from every corner of the world. As online communication technolo gy helped shrink the world into a global village, nationalism feelings may also be globalized. Stanley Hoffmann (2000), political scie ntist at the Harvard University, once commented on the propaganda power of nati onalism, “[i]deologies need mobilized believers who will propagate it and do battle for it. Few ideologies have been so resourceful in their choices of vehicles of propagation” (p. 198). Another Harvard professor Samuel Huntington’ s (1996) statement also help ed our understanding of the current issue, “[p]eople are discovering new but often ol d identities and marching under new but often old flags which l ead to wars with new but of ten old enemies” (p. 20). In other words, although we are living in a global village, we still quarrel about the same old trifles. Returning to Negropont e’s (1995) confident declara tion that “without question, the role of the nation-state will change dram atically and there will be no more room for nationalism than there is for smallpox” (p. 238) , the first part of his statement is truly “without question,” but for the second part, it is s till too early to tell.

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145 Chinese Cyber Nationalism Having reviewed the literature on “Chi neseness,” “Cyber Public Sphere,” “Nationalism,” “Chinese Nationalism,” “Chinese C yber-sphere,” and “Cyber Nationalism” respectively, this theoretical expl oration came to a crucial conjuncture that the conceptual and ope rational definition of the “Chinese Cyber Nationalism” should be clarified. Conceptual Definition Chinese cyber nationalism is certainly not th e simple addition of the three separate concepts: Chinese, cyber sphere, and nationa lism. Instead, it is a distinctive phenomenon derived from the intermixing of multiple hi storical factors, incl uding but not limited to, culture, technology, politics, history, geogra phy, and conflicting ideologies. In this research, a comprehensive review of relevant lecture put this new phenomenon back into its original context which be nefits the overall un derstanding and further exploration of this issue. To summarize, below is a brief outli ne of the major concepts covered so far. Chineseness is a concept that illustrates the uniqueness of Chinese as a people, as a culture, as a society, and as a political enti ty. China’s achievements in the past two millenniums stood in sharp contrast with the humiliating downfall in the past two centuries. The complex feeling of victims a nd victors has dominated and torn apart the national memory. Ideologically, Confucianism and Communism could not be used as the sole underpinnings to understand China’s policy, behavior, and mindset. Instead, the ancestor-respect and Chinese-style pragmatism stand out as the everlasting features of Chinese civilization. Although mo st cultures in the world re spect their ancestors, China has developed such a respect into a religi on. The Chinese-style pragmatism was derived from the Chinese secularism and naturalism . Culturally speaking, in China writing is a

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146 formal and respectful way of communicati on. Based on the above mentioned factors, three general implications can be made. Fi rst, unless China has risen to a position comparable to its past glory, nationalism will be the overwhelming central theme in Chinese people’s rhetorical appeal, psyc hological mindset, and political reactions. Second, although Chinese-style pragmatism im plies rationalism, it never endorses nor leads to rationalism. Third, the ancestor-respect tradition, China’s long history and common culture provide the foundation, exp ectation and motivation for people to communicate among larger and broader Chinese groups. Public sphere is a concept created by Jürgen Habermas to summarize and explain the grand social and political changes taki ng place in the eighteenth and nineteenth century Europe. As a social and politic al phenomenon, bourgeois public sphere took shape in the particular historical circ umstances of a developing market economy. A genuine public sphere is a space accessible to all the public in a society but independent from both state control and economic power. With in this sphere, participants engage in public, rational, and critical di scussions that help form the public opinion. The results of the discourses will be judged by the merit or the validity of the argument rather than by manipulation, coercion, or social status. The success of a public sphere will be evaluated by both the quantity and the quality of the di scussions. The core f eatures of the public sphere can be summarized into nine characte ristics, including inclusiveness, accessibility, autonomy, rationality, intera ctivity, criticalness, comm onness, privacy, and social integration. The printing tec hnology and printing press played a historical role in the formation of the early bourgeois public sphe re. The advent of online technology revived Habermas’s envision of a genuine public sphe re, since never before have so many people

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147 communicated with each other in such fast tim e, across such far distance, and at such cheap cost. A comparison among the four models of public sphere revealed that the cyber public sphere may well be the only true Habe rmasian public sphere to truly exist. Nationalism, as a formidable political id eology and social movement, experienced ebbs and flows in the past several hundred ye ars of world history. It first jumped onto the world stage in Western Europe twoto thr ee-hundred years ago. It coincided with the collapse of theocracy and monarchy, the spre ad of the idea of public sovereignty, the formation of modern industrial society, the cy clical interstate wars , and the advent of mass communication technology. First, it is a super ideology. It encompasses and transcends other forms of philosophical para digms, political ideologies, and religious beliefs. Second, it is not a status-quo ideology. It grows out of unsa tisfied desire and quickly turns into a social and political m ovement once provoked by external pressures. Third, it is an exclusive, if not an irrationa l, ideology. It can be used by governments to solidify all the political groups under a comm on banner, and it also can be used by the opposition groups to overthrow a government deem ed weak by its people. Nationalism is a complex and difficult topic. As an ideology, it is shapeless, constantly evolving, and allencompassing. However, as a social and politic al movement, it is concrete, diverse, and contingent. Nationalism shoul d be distinguished from patriotism, ethnocentrism, and racism. Chinese nationalism as a concept should be examined from four distinctive interrelated perspectives. They are Chinese nationalism and the Chinese Communist Party, Chinese nationalism and the Chinese people, Chinese nationalism and Taiwan independence, and Chinese nationalism a nd the world order. ChinaÂ’s state-led

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148 nationalism and grass-roots s pontaneous nationalism are tw o distinctive historical consequences. Although they shared some co mmon characters, they differ fundamentally in origin, tactics, and objectiv es. China’s new wave of natio nalism was not the result of the CCP’s political maneuver, but the resurg ence of an undercurrent that has shaped China’s political landscape in the past cen tury. China’s grassroots nationalism possesses four characteristics. It is a mixed feeling of a jubilant victor and a humiliated victim; it is traditionalistic; it is mostly passive and reactiv e; and it is in itself highly concerted. The Taiwan issue is the touchst one of Chinese nationalism. No other issue in China has aroused so much emotion among so many peopl e for so long a time. It symbolizes China’s past humiliations and demonstrates China’s future glory. It has been a rallying point that unifies all spectr ums of China’s nationalism bran ches. From the international relations perspective, Chinese nationalism is the national self-identification developed in the process of intera cting and intercommuni cating with other peoples. It is dynamic, constantly evolving, and psychol ogically reciprocal. It is th e reflection of the outside world, and it will certainly impact the outside world as well. Chinese cyber sphere development in the past decade has been one of the unprecedented chapters in human communi cation history. One hundred million people have leapfrogged from the pre-telephone age directly to the online information age. The CCP government’s policy support and infrastructure commitment facilitated the formation of a gigantic Chinese online sphere. China’s online sphere evolution in the past decade can be divided into three distinctive phases, the “Spring & Autumn Period” (April 1994—November 1997), the “Warring States Period” (November 1997—September 2000), and the “Great Unification Period” (September 2000—present), respectively.

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149 China’s new online media order can be illu strated through five dimensions. First, it transformed the traditional vertical admini strative hierarchy to a horizontal-vertical governing structure. Second, it relied on three major pillars, namely the state-owned news web sites (“ xinwen wangzhan ”), the privately owned commercial online media (“ wangluo meiti ”), and the regional online media complex (“ meiti wangzhan ”), to support the overall system. Thirdly, it tightly scrutinized the pol itical news, while let loose other types of news, such as the sports news, entertai ning news, and economic news. Fourth, it encouraged the flow and exchange of prof essional journalists among traditional media, their online news branches, and the commer cial online media. Finally, it called for orderly competition and constructive coope ration among all the online news portals. Under this general online media structure, China’s online populat ion created a dynamic online sphere and an increasingly influe ntial online community. Its huge impact infiltrated into every corner of the cha nging society and transformed the pace and direction of China’s social and political transitions. Cyber nationalism is an innovative con cept by many standards. When McLuhan attributed the emergence of nationalism, indi vidualism, and capitalism to the invention of printing technology, he regarded nationalism as one of the messages brought about by the print media. However, the online-age tec hnology determinist believed that there is no room left for the provincial nationalism now due mainly to onlin e technology’s inherent democratizing nature. Political scientists and communication schol ars cautioned that people are not so well prepared to grasp th e democratic side of the new communication technology. The democratic ideas can be disseminated by the online media faster, cheaper, and wider, but so are nationalism, f undamentalism, or even terrorism. Moreover,

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150 online information does not fly in a social, cultural or political vacuum. Actually, the innovativeness of information technology refe rs to the technology, not the information. Online technologyÂ’s unnoticed potential as a catalyst for nationalist ideology and nationalistic movements takes at least three forms. First, it serves as an information center for gathering and disse minating nationalism-related ma terial. Second, it serves as an organizational platform for those nationa listic movements which otherwise have no other means and options to exist, survive, a nd continue. Third, it serves as an execution channel which can be used to fulfill na tionalistic groupsÂ’ short-term objectives. What is Chinese cyber nationalism then? Chinese cyber nationalism is a non-govern ment sponsored ideology or movement that has originated, existed, and developed on ChinaÂ’s online sphere in the past decade (1994-2005). It is a natural extension from ChinaÂ’s century-long na tionalism movement, but it is different from the CCPÂ’s official ve rsion of patriotism. Taking advantages of the online technology, Chinese c yber nationalism has been ut ilizing the Internet as a communication center, organizational platform , and execution channel to promote the nationalism causes among Chinese nationalists around the world. Politically, it aims primarily on those internati onal issues involving China a nd strives to retain ChinaÂ’s historical position as a respect able power in Asia and in the world. The combination of ChinaÂ’s distinctive culture and traditi on, online technologyÂ’s reach and power, and nationalismÂ’s broad appeal and ideologi cal approach made it a powerful and unpredictable factor in ChinaÂ’s policy decision-making process. Operational Definition and Research Questions Building a concrete theoretical constr uct is only halfway in understanding a complex socio-political phenomenon such as Chinese cyber nationalism. To evaluate the

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151 accuracy and appropriateness of the theoretical cons truct, many of the definitions and statements have to be examined with real ity through multiple scientific methods. Three major research questions would thread and guide the operational de finition of Chinese cyber nationalism. Research question 1: How did Chinese cy ber nationalism evol ve from 1994 to 2005? Tracing back to the origin and developm ental route of Chinese cyber nationalism helps to clarify some major propositions in the current re search. For example, was the Chinese cyber nationalism a state-sponsored movement or a grassroots movement? What was the relationship between the state-promot ed patriotism and spontaneous nationalism? When did they converge and when did they di verge? How did this new form of Chinese cyber nationalism relate to ChinaÂ’s traditional nationalism movement? What was the defining event marking the birth of this new form of nationalism? What was so far the highpoint of this movement? What has been the development pattern of this movement? What are the key figures, crucial symbols, a nd lasting images in those events? From a historianÂ’s viewpoint, a te n-year time span is at best sporadic. However, in the online age, one decade may equate to several generations . There have been enough events occurred in the past decade that require and warrant a historical review of this new phenomenon. Research question 2: What are the ma jor characteristics of Chinese cyber nationalism? The major characteristics of Chinese cybe r nationalism rested both on the collective character of its participants and on the cons equences of their communicative actions. As to those online nationalists, what are thei r media use habits? How many hours per week do they usually surf online? Do they pa rticipate in any form of online political discussions? Do they contact in person with other discussants? How frequently do they

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152 use traditional media? Do they trust stateowned media? How do they view nationalism? To what degree do they affiliate with Chin aÂ’s culture, tradition, ethnicity, and current political entity? How do they evaluate Chin aÂ’s current leadership and their foreign policy? How do they view the Taiwan issue and what are their pr edictions about the future? What are their socioeconomic background and demographic profile? With regard to the online and offline communicative results, more emphases will be given to the Habermasian criteria of pub lic sphere. For example, does the online chat room provide an atmosphere for critical and rational discussion on common concerned issues? While engaging in a pol itical discourse, what are th e general topics, patterns, manners, and rhetoric among discussants? How do people evaluate the merit of an argument? Does the participant present condi tions of validity, reasons, or evidence to support his argument, or merely use personal prejudice, emotion or aesthetic judgment? Are those discussions ac tion-oriented or just random expression? Knowing the answers to the above listed questions w ould benefit the comparison between the old-fashioned nationalism and the emerging cyber nationalism. Research question 3: What are the polit ical implications of Chinese cyber nationalism? Political implications of Chinese cybe r nationalism may be examined from two aspects, the cognitive effect among gene ral public and the policy effect among the decision makers. The most thoroughly researched communi cation theory on mediaÂ’s cognitive impact is agenda setting theory (Deari ng & Rogers, 1996; McCombs, Shaw, & Weaver, 1997; Protess, & McCombs, 1991). Ever si nce Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw published their path breaking research on mediaÂ’s agenda setting effect in 1972,

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153 communication scholars’ attention had been shifted from media’s direct attitude and behavior impact on audience to media’s c ognitive and perc eptive influence on audience (Funkhouser, 1973; Kaid, Hale & Williams, 1977; McCombs & Shaw, 1972; Shaw & McCombs, 1977). Numerous empirical analys es in this direction provided robust evidence to support Bernard Cohen’s (1963) statement that “the press…may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think, bu t it is stunningl y successful in telling its readers what to think about ” (p. 13, emphasis in origin al; see also Dearing & Rogers, 1996; McCombs, & Shaw, 1993; R ogers, Dearing, & Bregman, 1993). Later agenda setting research, however, went one st ep further. They found out that the issue salience on the mass media also influences people’s perception of political candidates (McCombs, et al. 1997; McCombs, Lopez-Es cobar, Llamas, 2000), people’s attitude strength (Kiousis, & McCombs, 2004), and even people’s voting behavior (Roberts, 1992). Thus, mass media’s impact exists not only at the cognitive and perceptive level, but also at the attitudinal and behavior level. The current phase of agenda setting research extends its antenna to the emerging online medi a sphere as well. For example, Roberts, Wanta, & Dzwo (2002) found a strong correlati on between online media’s issue agenda and online discussants’ talking agenda in the chat room. However, due to the huge differences between the United States and Ch ina in terms of culture, media system, and political reality, no agenda se tting research has been conduc ted in China’s traditional mass media setting, let along in China’ s newly developed online sphere. Based on the traditional ag enda setting research desi gn, this study intended to examine the relationship among several variab les: the issue agenda of China’s stateowned online media, the issue agenda of China’s commercial online media, the issue

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154 rank-order in China’s major online chat rooms, and China Internet users’ perceived issue importance ranking. These multiple comparisons would provide vital information for the following important research questions: does th e online chat room’s agenda reflect the issue ranking order of the tr aditional media, the official online media, the commercial online media, or none of the above? What are the hottest topics on these separate lists respectively? What is the major theme drawi ng online users’ attention over time? How do people’s nationalistic sentiment influence their issue-ranking agenda? How does the online sphere environment affect the dynami c of issue-agenda formation? Are online users’ agenda the result of media agenda-sen ding effort, or the result of government’s agenda-selling effort, or simply the resu lt of audience’s agenda-seeking effort? Moreover, the single most important rese arch question concerning Chinese cyber nationalism can be shortened to two simple phr ases: “So what?” and “Who cares?” All in all, no matter how dramatic it looks like fr om the outside, does this new form of nationalism matter to China’s overall political decision-making? How did all levels of web masters, propaganda offici als, media moderators, and di plomats view this trend and movement? How did they react? Did the govern ment implement public policies or secret measures to deal with it? How did this on line movement influence China’s policy toward Taiwan and the United States? What will be the future direction of this tendency? It is always easier to ask questions than to answer them. The broadness of these research questions underlines the exploratory nature of the current research. The answers to questions on the evolution, ch aracteristics, and political im plications of Chinese cyber nationalism, however sketchy and prelimin ary, would help lay the groundwork and hopefully, establish the operational definition of this concept.

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155 CHAPTER 3 METHODS Given the inherent complexity of social science research in general and the everchanging nature of mass communication tec hnology in particular, no single research method would be sufficient in defining a comp rehensive concept such as Chinese cyber nationalism. In this study, multiple research methods, including historical analysis, case study, online web-page-based survey, online co ntent analysis, and telephone in-depth interview, were used in accordance with th e research questions. In the following sections, the research design, sample, data collecting methods, and the streng ths and weaknesses of each method were discussed. Historical Analysis and Case Study (Research Question 1) The first research question concerned about the evolution of Chinese cyber nationalism. Since ChinaÂ’s online sphere has existed only for a decade and Chinese cyber nationalism is a nascent concept, the literature on this topic is rare and sporadic. To trace back its origin and evolutionary path, the me thods of historical an alysis and case studies are the appropriate approaches. According to Earl Babbie (2001), historical analysis is one of the most frequently used research methods for social and political scientists to trace th e historical progression of social phenomena over time. Official government documents, media publications, and personal sources can all be used as raw data fo r historical analysis. In this study, the time span was set from 1994, when China first connected to the World Wide Web, to May 2005. The historical records were searched and gathered from world mediaÂ’s coverage of

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156 online events in China, Chinese governmen t’s public records stored online, Chinese online surfers’ stories, and the researche r’s personal observations and experiences.1 One of the best known full-text online databases—Lexis-Nexis se rvice—was referred to as the major source for English print media publicatio ns. A list of Chinese official and private web sites was also consulted for relevant info rmation. Special attention was paid to those leading Chinese web portals, earlier Chinese Bulletin Board Systems (BBS), and major online debates surrounding China-related inte rnational events. Although the data sources for historical analysis are too extensive to exhaust, Babbie (2001) poi nted to th e potential inaccuracy in those existing records, be it offi cial or unofficial, prim ary or secondary. To safeguard the accuracy and increase the validity of the historical analysis, a method of corroboration, or cross-check, was applied to ensure an objective description and interpretation of the event. The researcher cla ssified five different historical phases within the time span of ten years (1994-2005). They are (1), period of “enlightenment in the ivory tower” (1994.4—1996.12); (2), period of “say no to Indonesia’s anti-Chinese riot” (1997.1—1999.3); (3), period of “Sino-U.S. online wars” (1999.4—2001.9); (4), period of “post-9/11 transition of priority ” (2001.9—2003.8); and (5), period of “direct confrontation with Japan” (2003.9—2005.4). Each of the five periods was examined in terms of its distinctive char acteristics, major online even ts, overall political background, and representative people or arguments. To exemplify and supplement the general pattern of each development period, the research method of case study was employed. A ccording to Yin (1994), case study is an empirical inquiry that uses multiple sources of evidence to investigate a phenomenon in 1 To prepare for this study, this researcher has been constantly collecting relevant reports on Chinese cybernationalism for the past several years.

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157 its real-life context. Merriam (1988) summari zed four essential feat ures of case study: particularistic, descriptive, heuristic, and inductive. Sin ce case study usually provides tremendous detail and background information a bout individual issues, it is specifically useful in inducing and generating patterns. A special event occurre d in each historical period was studied on its origin, development, and influence. Each case study serves as a supplemental example to the general themes. For example, a book titled China Can Say No was reviewed as a historical case for the period of “enlightenment in the ivory tower” (1994.4—1996.12); and the 1999 Chinese embassy bo mbing and the subsequent online conflicts between American hackers and Chinese honkers were case-studied for the period of “Sino-U.S. online wars” (1999.4—2001.9). The following criteria were observed while choosing each of the five cases. First, the studied case must have been widely covered by both online media and traditi onal media. In other words, the case must be in the public domain, be it a public event, or a public figure. For example, in the fourth period, a comparison between two famous a nd controversial Chinese intellectuals—Ma Licheng and Wang Xiaodong—was conducted to illustrate the fervent nationalism atmosphere online. The debates between Wa ng’s nationalist group a nd Ma’s liberal group had been covered considerably not only by Ch ina’s media, but also by foreign media as well. Second, the studied case must be an infl uential event or figure. The event or figure should impact China’s overall public opinion or China’s decision making process at the time of its occurring and have a lasting imp act thereafter. For example, in the second period, the event of Indonesia’s anti-Chinese riot and the subsequent reactions from China’s online hackers were reviewed. This series of events largely altered Chinese government’s existing foreign policy and forced it to change the policy course. Third, the

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158 studied case must have occurr ed within the designated pe riod, and most importantly, it must exemplify the major characteristics of th at period. For example, in the fifth period, the nationwide anti-Japanese demonstrations were reviewed and analyzed. This event was the pinnacle of a series of anti-Japanese movements online that had been cumulated in this period. Overall, although case study and historical analysis lack external validity, the exploratory nature of the firs t research question warranted th e use of two de scriptive and qualitative research methods. Online Survey and Online Content Analysis (Research Question 2) The second research question concerns w ith general characteristics of Chinese cyber nationalism. As indicated in the previ ous chapter, the major characteristics of Chinese cyber nationalism rest both on the coll ective characters of its participants and on the results of their communicative actions onlin e and offline. In order to obtain empirical information on Chinese online users and thei r online communicative activities, two newly developed online research methods—online su rvey and online content analysis—were applied for this research question. Strengths and Weaknesse s of Online Survey Survey research is one of the fully de veloped and extensively used research methods in social sciences. It is most su itable for gathering those factual information, public opinion, attitude change, people’s percep tions, and some behavior al reports. It can also be used for the purpose of exploration, description and explanation. In line with the research question, researchers can apply cros s-sectional or longit udinal survey (panel, cohort, and trend) methods to gather inform ation, or they can choose from face-to-face survey, telephone survey, mail survey or on line survey as a res earch method (see for

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159 references, Babbie, 2001; Manheim, Rich, & Willnat, 2002; Poindexter, & McCombs, 2000). The advantages of using survey as a research method include: 1), it can be used to study a large population vertically or horizontally; 2), the survey results are usually in the form of the standardized information, whic h can be easily transformed to quantitative data for statistical analysis. However, surv ey research has several major weaknesses. First, the survey questionnaire is usually pre-de signed and it is not flexible with regard to follow-up questions or outstanding issues. Seco nd, survey research relies on self-reported data or self-administered report which by no means guarantees accuracy or prevents faulty results. The online survey is a newly developed form of the survey research method. Basically, two types of online survey met hods have been developed by communication scholars. One is to send the questionnaire as an attachment to people on a pre-established e-mail list; another is to crea te a web-page-based online questionnaire and provide the URL link of the questionnaire to the ta rgeted respondents (O’Connor & Madge, 2000; Smith, 1997; Mann and Stewart, 2000). Ta king advantages of online technology’s borderless, boundariless, and in stantaneous nature, the online survey extends the benefits of the traditional survey method. First, it br eaks through the limits of space, time, and cost. It can reach virtually a ny corner of the world as long as the respondents have access to the Internet. It can get the instant results once the respondents click the “submit” button. The web-page design software enables anyone with the basic computer skill to construct a good-looking web page with li ttle cost. Moreover, many universities now provide free online server for students or f aculty to post their survey questionnaires. Second, it tremendously enlarges the sample size of the possible population, and most

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160 importantly, it enables researchers to reach t hose social groups that can not be reached through traditional means. For example, it is hard to interview those gay/lesbian groups or survey on sexual issues due to the lack of available population sample. Also, it is highly inconvenient, if not totally impossible, to conduct a traditiona l public opinion poll in certain countries on politically sensitive issu es. However, such obstacles can be largely overcome by the online survey method. Different kinds of virtual community provide a convenient sample group for researchers, and the globally conn ected online sphere protects participants’ privacy and confidentiality. Third, online survey data are ready to be transformed and analyzed. The current soft ware can make the questionnaire look userfriendly and easy to fill up. Moreover, once the data-gathering process ends, the researcher can use the software to export the basic statistical data instantly. Such a step may reduce the human error in coding and inputing data (Kaye & Johnson, 2002; Papacharissi, 2004). Like other online research methods, onlin e surveys face several major problems. The first and foremost problem relates to the sampling method. In an online survey, for example, it is hard to determine a sample fr ame. Once the questionnaire is posted online, the researcher has no contro l over who has been respondi ng to the survey. Since the online population is nameless, shapeless, and hi ghly volatile, the res pondents can literally be anyone from anywhere for whatever purpose. Most online survey researchers rely on the volunteer self-selection method as the sampling method. Although the purposive sample is one type of the non-probability sa mpling methods, it is not the optimal version recommended by scientists (Babbie, 2001). Wit hout a clearly defined sample frame, the external validity of the research—the extent to which the findings can be generalized to a

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161 larger population—will surely suffer. Second, there is the problem of response rate. Without a clearly defined sample frame, it is impossible to com pute the response rate. And the online survey has a reputation of low response rate as compared to other survey methods (O’Connor & Madge, 2000; Mann & Stew art, 2000). Third, th ere is a potential internal validity problem. For example, once the research er posts the questionnaire on a web site, he or she can not prevent the respondents from entering false information, participating multiple times, or sabotaging the web page. Fourth, there are the ethical issues. Although one can promise anonymity and confidentiality to online survey respondents, new online technology exists for pe ople to trace back to the respondents. China has experienced a sea change in almo st every area of soci al life in the past two decades. However, one area—the public op inion survey on political issues—remains a forbidden zone tightly monitored by the central government. No traditional survey methods are applicable for researchers to study people’s opinions on political issues inside China, let alone a study or iginated from abroad. Therefor e, in spite of the apparent shortcomings of the online survey method, it is still the best and most practical option. Moreover, the target populati on of this study is online us ers and, no channel can better reach this group of people than the online ne twork. To reduce the disadvantages of the online survey, several precautions were taken in this study. As to the sampling, a sample frame was established through gathering onlin e users’ registered e-mail addresses on those targeted online chat rooms. To encour age participation, the re searcher adopted the following steps. First, a total of three re minders were sent to the targeted e-mail addressees. Second, the online questionnaire was posted on a univers ity-based server which increased the credibility of the resear ch. Third, for those who completed the survey

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162 and sent a request note to the re searcher, a brief survey report would be sent back to them as an incentive. As to the external valid ity issue, a sample evaluation method called validation was used (Poindexter & McComb s, 2000, p. 150). The representativeness of the survey sample was checked with th e overall demographic data complied by the Chinese National Information Center (CNNIC) at the same time period. The weighting method was adopted if deemed necessary. In fact, some recent online survey research showed encouraging sign in terms of res ponse rate and participation (Koch & Emrey, 2001). For example, Koch and Emrey (2001) have conducted several online surveys among gay/lesbian groups to check the self-s election sample and response rate problems caused by online survey. After comparing the de mographic data of those who elected to participate their survey and those national demographic data gathered through traditional survey methods, they found no distinguishab le difference existed between these two groups of people, a result suppor ting the legitimacy and reliab ility of online survey as a scientific method, especially for those research focusing on sensitive topics or marginalized people. Online Survey Design (Sample, Time, and Pretest) The online survey was conducted in acco rdance with the following research designs. Both the pretest and the actual onlin e survey were reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the University of Florida. Sample: four Chinese web sites were chosen as the target web sites for the sample frame. Based on their particular function and respective role played in ChinaÂ’s overall online media sphere, they can be categorized into two groups, namely, the state-owned news web sites ( ; ), and the privately owned commercial online media ( ; ). Each of these four

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163 web sites provides various kinds of chat room services, hot-topic discussions, or online forums for their registered members. For example, in’s chat room service section, there are more than 200 self-organ ized active discussion groups, each focusing on one particular topic or theme. The chat room theme can be a common habit (i.e., stamp collecting, buying stocks, or wea pon fans), a common hometown (“Beijing teahouse”, “Shanghai Metro,” “Hong Kong Life,” etc.), a common purpose (i.e., friendsmaking, online gaming, joke-talking), or a common issue (i.e., Sino-US relationship, Taiwan problem, terrorism). In , there are 25 common forums, each with one general theme and one or two a ssigned web masters to monitor the daily operation. All of the chat rooms or forums requi re the users to register an account name and provide an e-mail address for verification. The discussant can decide if he or she wants to release this information to the pub lic. Roughly one-third of the discussants opt to release their e-mail address to the public . Using multistage cluster sampling method, a total of 2,000 e-mail addresses we re gathered by the research er in November 2004 (about 500 for each web site). First of all, for each of the four web sites, a total of 20 chat rooms or forums were randomly selected. Second, in these selected chat rooms or forums, at least five discussion threads were chosen from the topic list by using systematic sampling method. Third, under those discussion threads, at least five discussants’ records were randomly checked to obtain their e-mail addres ses. If a discussion thread doesn’t yield five e-mail addresses, the searching will continue in the next immediate discussion thread. Time Span: the first-wave online survey was conducted from mid-January 2005 to mid-February 2005. This time period coincided with China’s traditional lunar new year

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164 (February 9th 2005) when people have a week-long holiday and more leisure time to go online. An invitation letter and the online surv ey link were directly sent to those e-mail addressees at the beginning of the survey. On e week later, a reminder e-mail was sent to the people on the e-mail list. Two weeks later, a thank note was sent out again. Pretest : A pilot online survey with similar research design had been conducted from March 1st 2004 to April 10th 2004. A total of 306 Chinese online users completed the questionnaire. Based on a few problems disc overed in the pretest, several adjustments were made to refine the wording of the questions, to balance the gender ratio of respondents, and to establish a more representative sample. Survey Questions and Major Variables Based on the research question about the major characteristics of Chinese cyber nationalists, the online survey questionnaire explored onlin e users’ media use habit, political attitude, nationalism sentiment, and demographic data (see Appendix A for survey questionnaire sample a nd the IRB’s appr oval letter). In the media use section, respondents we re asked about their online media use habits and their opinions toward online discussion— “Among the following web sites, which one did you visit most frequently during the past week?” “What is the major reason that you visit the web site (multiple choices)?” “Usually, from where do you l ogon to the Internet?” “How many hours per day do you usua lly spend surfing on line?” “Have you ever participated in any form of online forum di scussion/chat room discussions?” “Based on your personal observations, do you agree or disagree that people can engage in serious, rational, and m eaningful discussions on some commoninterested topics online?”

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165 “In your opinion, what are the major bene fits for online discussions (multiple choices)?” “Do online discussions have impacts on Ch ina’s current policy decision making?” “How long have you been an online citizen (s ince you first used the Internet)? “How many hours per day do you read newspaper?” “How many hours per day do you watch the news on television usually?” “Which medium is the primary source for you to get the national and international news?” In the political attitude se ction, respondents were first asked about their evaluation of the current CCP leadership on several fo reign policy issues. On a 100-degree feeling thermometer, respondents were asked to evaluate (1) the government’s overall performance, (2) its performance on foreign pol icy in general, and (3) its performances on Sino-US relationship, (4) Sino-Japan relatio nship, and (5) Taiwan policy in particular. These five scores would be used to compute a composite index in the later data analyses. On a list of ten major issues (economy, educatio n, health care, social security, political reform, Taiwan independence, foreign policy in general, culture & social issues, and environment 2), respondents were asked to pick th e “most important issue facing China today.” If none of the listed issues were d eemed most important by the respondent, he or 2 This list of nine issues was constructed by the researcher through reviewing and categorizing the online news reports in September and October 2004 of China’s major news web sites, including , , , and . Here are the definitions for the nine issues, respectively. “Economy” includes news about employment, income gap, taxes, financial reform, stock market, etc; “Education” includes news about tuition, teacher’s welf are, dropout students, and education reforms; “Health Care” includes news on h ealth insurance, epidemic protection, AIDS, etc; “Social Security” includes news about various forms of crime and safety issue; “Political Reform” includes news about CCP’s ruling capability, anti-corruption, vari ous legal, administrative reforms; “Taiwan Issues” includes all the news related to Taiwan, Taiwan leader s, and Taiwan policy; “Na tional Security” includes news about China’s overall foreign policy, Sino-US and Sino-Japan relationships, etc; “Environment” include issues about water, air pollution, forest pr otection, global warming, etc; “Society & Culture” includes news about China’s social life, celebrities, mora l issues, cultural discussions; “Others” include all issues that left over.

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166 she could type in his/her own choice. The respondents were then asked to provide opinions on their overall intere st on Taiwan issues (“Generally speaking, how concerned are you about the Taiwan issue?” “Recently, did you participate in any kind of online discussions regarding Taiwan issue?”), th eir major information source (“Generally speaking, from which channel do you get the in formation regarding the Taiwan issue?”), their judgment on the current s ituation (“How do you evaluate th e Taiwan situation in the past half year?”), the origin of the problem (“Who should be responsible for the current Taiwan problem?”), and the possibility of a military conflict in the near future (“If the newly elected Taiwan leaders stay on the curr ent course of gradual independence to test mainland China’s bottom line, how likely do yo u think that Chinese government will use force to unify Taiwan in the next four years?”). In the third section, respondents were asked to assess seven statements about China. These seven statements were designe d in line with the major components of nationalism in general and the orientation of Chinese nationalism in particular (Gellner, 1983; Kohn, 1955; Hoffmann, 2000; Shulman, 2002; Zhao, 2000). For example, they examined people’s affiliation with Chin ese culture, tradition, ethnicity, collective memory, responsibility attribution, future position, and the Chinese Communist Party. These seven statements are: “Chinese people are one of the smartest and most diligent peoples in the world.” (collective identity) “In essence, China’s Confucian-centere d civilization is better than other civilizations in the world.” (cultural identity) “I am proud to be a Chinese. If I were given a chance to choose again, I wouldn’t hesitate a moment to choose Chinese as my nationality.” (ethnical identity) “Chinese civilization will sure ly reestablish its past glor y and success in the near future.” (future expectation)

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167 “Most China’s atrocities and tragedies experienced in the past one and a half century were the results of foreign exploi tations and interventions.” (responsibility attribution) “China’s rise will pose no threat toward peace and prosperity in East Asia and the world.” (reciprocal positioning) “Generally speaking, the love for the CCP e quates with the love for China.” (grassroot nationalism vs. state-promoted patriotism) On a five-point Likert-scale, respondents can choose from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree” with the above statements. These seven measures would be used in constructing a composite index of the Chinese nationalism sentiment in later analyses (for similar design, see example in Sobel, 1995). In the fourth section, re spondents were asked to pr ovide information on their ideological belief and demographic bac kgrounds, including age, gender, income, education, profession, and CCP party membership. Online Content Analysis Content analysis is a research method of counting, assessing, and interpreting the form and substance of recorded communicati on context in a systematic, objective, and quantitative manner for a scientific purpos e (Babbie, 2001; Manheim, Rich & Willnat, 2002). It was first developed and used in so cial science research by Lasswell in his propaganda research of Propaganda Techniques in the World War (1927) (as cited in Rogers, 1994). Since then, content analysis has become one of the most frequently used research methods in social sciences, partic ularly in mass communica tion research for the purposes of exploration, desc ription, and explanation. Any communication record with manifest context can be content analyzed. In addition to those features shared by most of the research methods, such as hypotheses proposing, sampling, and literatur e review, content analysis has several specific steps

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168 (Kaid, & Wadsworth, 1989). First, researchers need to identify the unit of analysis, namely the basic coding element. Second, re searchers need to construct a code book and determine the coding rules. Thir d, researchers need to train the coders to transfer the contents into a standardized form for futu re analysis. After the coding process, the researcher also needs to calculate the inte r-coder reliability by using the cross-coding measures. Traditional cont ent analysis method has weaknesses and strengths. For example, content analysis is an unobtrusive research method, most suitable for dealing with large amount of raw data, unstructured materials or symbolic form of content. Content analysis is particularly valuable as a research method because of its costefficiency and flexibility. However, content analysis also has weaknesses. For example, content analysis can only be used to study those recorded contents. Moreover, since all the coding categories have been pre-designed, they run the risk of reducing the multiple dimensions of human attitude or communications into simplified numeric forms. Online content analysis is a new extensi on from the traditional content analysis method. The contents can be any form of onlin e materials on the cyber sphere, such as online web pages, online articles , online discussions, or online ads. Taking advantages of online technologyÂ’s timeless and borderless feature, online cont ent analysis breaks through the constraints of time, location, and co st for researchers. Moreover, coders in different locations can be tr ained online and the code sheet can be exchanged instantly. The major obstacles in online content analysis, however, include the sampling problem and how to determine the unit of analysis. Th e sheer size of the online web sites, online population, and online community makes it literall y impossible to locate a sustainable, reliable, and accessible sample frame. For example, no existing search engine can

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169 produce a reliable and workable list of all the sample frames. Even if people can get a list of the potential sample, that sample may change from time to time after the list being produced. Some web sites on the list may stop operating, and some web pages may not be accessible anymore. On the other hand, it is hard to determine a unit of analysis for the online content. No web sites are designed alik e. And numerous new Internet devices and innovative online services, such as image, flash, banner, jump-up window, sound, video, etc. further complicate the process of locat ing a common element for coding. Therefore, although collecting the online contents may be easy and fast, coding the online contents can be difficult and time-consuming. Noneth eless, due to the abundance of online contents and ever-growing influence of on line communication, online content analysis has been accepted by more communication rese archers as a workable though not perfect research method (Mann & Steward, 2000; McMillan, 2000; Wilhelm, 1999). For example, after reviewing 19 research papers using online content analysis, McMillan (2000) concluded that despite limitations, onlin e content analysis can be a fruitful and reliable method for gathering data on the web if the research has been carefully designed. Online Content Analysis Sample Based on the research question about th e characteristics of Chinese online nationalism, two types of online contents were collected and analyzed. The first type was the news agenda reported by ChinaÂ’s various online media, and the second type was the online discussions among Chinese online users. The following are the designs for these two types of content analysis. News agenda sample: From December 1st 2004 to January 31st 2005, all the headline news on the homepage of four Chinese web sites ( , , , and ,) was downloaded

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170 and printed out. As a general pattern, each of the four major web sites post everyday 10 to 20 headline news stories on its major news page. Based on the issue agendas constructed for the online surv ey, the coders assigned a ll the headline news into 10 categories, namely, (1) economy, (2) education, (3) health care, (4) social security, (5) political reform, (6) Taiwan issue, (7) national security & foreign policy, (8) environment, (9) society & culture, and (10) others. If the coder c ould not determine from the headline the nature of the news, he or she then open and read the entire story saved by the researcher. The issue rank order of the on line media will be comp ared with the issue rank order provided by the online surv ey respondents one month later. Online discussion sample: One political online forum on each of the four major online media was chosen as the sample frame for online discussion. They are: “Shishi” (Current News) Forum on “Baixing” (Common Folks) Forum on “Fazhan” (Development) Forum on “Qiangguo” (Strong Nation) Forum on All these online forums are major political chat rooms for online users in China. Due to different political background, web de sign, and management styles, these forums have established their own reputation and formed distinctive online communities. For example, the “Qiangguo” (Strong Nation) Foru m has been the most famous Chinese political online forum. Established by CCP ’s party newspaper one day after NATO’s bombing of Chinese Embassy in May, 1999, th e “Strong Nation Forum” quickly attracted attentions from Chinese people living both at home and abroad. Its loosely controlled forum atmosphere, its People’s Daily -endorsed background, and its focus on domestic

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171 and foreign policy related issues had turned this forum into a hotbed for China’s young nationalists (Geries, 2001; Hachigian, 2001; Li, Qin & Kl uver, 2003; Harwit & Clark, 2001). “Fazhan” (Development) Forum is an online platform set up by China’s official news agency—Xinhua News Agency. It paid more attention to economic reform and Taiwan-unification related issues in its polit ical discussions, and es tablished itself as a sister-forum to the “Strong Nation Forum.” From February 1st to February 28th 2005, the researcher down loaded 50 discussionthreads from each of the four forums by using a systematical sampling method. The discussion-thread here refers to a group of posted messages that are under a common topic and arranged in time order. Usually, each thread starts with an original message and is followed by certain number of responsive postings. The overall number of the postings is determined by the attractiveness of the topic as well as the number of core discussants. Each discussion thread was the uni t of analysis for data coding. Coding Categories & Variables in Online Discussion In The Theory of Communicative Action , Habermas (1984) argued that a genuinely democratic public sphere comes into being when the interactions are (1) focused on issues of common concern to citizens, (2) equally accessible to all those potentially affected by those issues, (3) based on rationa l-critical deliberati on, and (4) subject to normative standard of evaluation. To apply th ese four features to China’s online forum discussions, four coding categor ies (topics, accessibility, rati onality, and evaluation) were created (see for references, Papacharissi, 2004; Wilhelm, 1999). All the postings were coded based on the following coding rules. Topics: Two indicators were used to a ssess the nature of the online discussion topics. First, all discussion threads were code d into ten issue categories identical to the

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172 list used in the survey questionnaire. Sec ond, the number of follo w-up postings and the word count of the initial posting were also recorded. Accessibility: The following measurements we re used to measure the accessibility of the online forum: The average number of the participants on each topic. The evaluation of the registration proce dure on each forum by the researcher. The time lag between the submission of a me ssage and the actual publication of the message (a trail message was sent to the forum). Rationality : Each thread was measured based on th e following criteria: “on a 1 to 5 scale where 1 represents very poorly and 5 re presents very well, pl ease rate in general how well the online discussants”— present conditions of valid ity, reasons, or evidence to support his argument? control their personal prejudice, and emotion? focus on the initial argument? Evaluation : Each thread was measured in the following areas: On a 1 to 5 scale ranging from highly negative to highly positive, what was the overall attitude of the discussants toward China’s current government? Did the discussants mention any name of Ch inese leader? If yes, then who was the leader and how was he evaluated? Overall, these four indicators were us ed to assess the quality, difference, and characteristics of the online discussion in Ch ina’s online sphere (see Appendix B for code sheet sample). Coder Training and Pretest Two Chinese graduate students majoring in communication in the College of Journalism and Communications , at University of Florida were recruited to code the online news agenda and online discussion sample s. After being trained by the researcher,

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173 two coders coded 20% of all the headline news agenda and 20% of all th e postings. The inter-coder reliability coefficient was calculated by using Scott’s pi formula. The intercoder reliability was .88 for the headline ne ws agenda, and .90 for the online discussion3. Since the reliability was acceptable, one of the two coders went on to code the rest of the postings and the news agenda (Wimmer & Dominick, 2000). Telephone & Online In-depth Interview (Research Question 3) The third research questi on intended to explore the political implications of Chinese cyber nationalism. As discussed earlier , political implications of Chinese cyber nationalism may be examined from two aspect s, the cognitive effect among the general public and the policy effect among decision makers. Based on the traditional ag enda setting research desi gn, this study intended to examine the relationship among several variab les: the issue agenda of China’s stateowned online media, the issue agenda of China’s commercial online media, the issue rank-order in China’s major online chat rooms and China Internet users’ perceived issue importance ranking. Since online users’ nationa lism sentiment could be measured by the composite index in the online survey, th e relationships among people’s nationalism tendency, their issue importance judgment, a nd their evaluation of Chinese leadership could be analyzed. One-on-one in-depth interviews, as Poi ndexter and McCombs (2000) state, “are most beneficial as a research tool when the topic being explored involves change, novelty, or uniqueness and the people being inte rviewed play influent ial or unique roles” 3 For the online discussion inter-coder reliability, the per centage reported here (.90) was an average score of all the coded items. The reliability scores ranged from the lowest of 75% to the highest of 100%. All those item-by-item reliability scores were reported in the Appendix B, following each of the coded questions.

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174 (p. 269). Because the interviewees usually possess unique position, background, experience, or information, a conversational ex change can yield meaningful insights that otherwise would be unattainable. Also, th e Internet and new communication technology have made a cross-national telephone or onl ine interview a convenient and affordable research option. Since the third research que stion concerns more about the policy and political implications of Chinese cyber nationalism, some in-depth interviews with those insiders are an a ppropriate choice. Those interviewees in this research could be categori zed into three groups. First group included some insiders who had direct experience of ChinaÂ’s otherwise secretive foreign policy making process. Since Chin aÂ’s Foreign Ministry and CCP Central CommitteeÂ’s International Department were two key apparatus of ChinaÂ’s foreign decision making,4 from mid-February to May 20, 2005, numerous attempts were made to contact with the senior leaders through the information posted on their official web sites and through some personal connections. An in troductory e-mail le tter explaining the purpose, importance, background, and the proce dure of this research was sent to the prospective interviewees (see Appendix C for the invitation letter and IRB approval form). At last, one spokesperson of ChinaÂ’ s Foreign Ministry and one minister-level senior leader in CCPÂ’s International Depa rtment agreed to be interviewed on the conditions of anonymity. Thei r first-hand knowledge and pers onal experiences would be added to the overall picture of the cons equence evaluation. The second group of people included ChinaÂ’s online opinion leaders or web masters. Se veral major nationalist web sites in China, such as ; ; , 4 The official web site of International Department can be accessed at ; and the official web site of ChinaÂ’s Foreign Ministry can be accessed at .

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175 were contacted. Wu Zukang, the founder of Ch ina’s most famous nationalist web site——agreed to be interviewed. Hi s web site was the leading force behind a series of cyber nationalism movements in th e past few years, incl uding the “Protecting Diaoyu Island Movement” in 2003, the ongoing onlin e petition against Japan’s bid for the UN Security Council permanent membership in 2005, etc. The interview was conducted on May 23, June 16, and June 17, 2005, resp ectively. Wang Xiaodong, China’s leading nationalism scholar who has been regarded as the spokesperson for China’s new generation of nationalists5, was also interviewed (see for reference the case study IX in the chronicle of Chinese cyber nationalism). His story provided a valuable perspective from the elite Chinese nationalism intellect uals who had been marginalized by the mainstream media. The contact information fo r the first two groups of interviewees was obtained either from public in formation on the official web s ite or from personal contacts. The third group of interviewees involved Ch inese discussants on online political forums. At the end of the 2005 online survey questionn aire, the researcher asked the respondents if they would like to be in terviewed on issues regarding China’s Internet and other political issues. Those who were interested in the interview would send an e-mail to the researcher. A follow-up interview was c onducted via telephone or online messenger service. A total of eight discussants were agreed to be interviewed, and the interviews were conducted during March and June 2005. There was no standardized questionnaire for these one-on-one depth interviews. The interviews were conducted via long-dist ance telephone or online chat rooms in 5 See an introduction about Wang Xiaodong by Martin Jacques (March, 25, 2005), “The Future is China’s,” in The Guardian . Online copy retrieved on May 10, 2005 at a/stroy/0,7369,1445560,00.html .

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176 accordance with the intervie wees’ preference and technol ogical availability. The telephone interviews were re corded. There was only one interviewer—the researcher himself—in this investigation. On average, e ach session of the interv iew lasted about half an hour. One-on-one interview is not a way to obtai n precise measures of concepts, but a means of gaining in-depth understanding of a phenomenon and discovering aspects of that phenomenon not anticipated by the research er. Nonetheless, all interview questions in this investigation centered on two simple phrases regarding the practical implications of Chinese cyber-nationalism: “So what?” and “Who cares?” All in all, no matter how dramatic it looks like from the outside, what re ally matters is whethe r this new form of cyber nationalism affects China’s policy de cision making, online media management, and the general public’s daily life. Validity, Reliability & Triangulation Whereas the issue of research validity c oncerns the accuracy of the measurement, the question of reliability refers to the consistency of the results while using the same measurement. To evaluate a social ph enomenon as complex as Chinese cyber nationalism, no single research method seems perfect and sufficient. To guard against those validity and reliability problems imbedded in every research method, a triangulation approach was purpos ely adopted in this study. Both qualitative and quantita tive research methods have merits and flaws. For example, those social science researchers who believe in qualitative research methods argue that people can never fully capture the comprehensive picture of human activities by reducing the complex reality to nume ric representations. Similarly, those quantitatively oriented scholars criticize that qualitative methods ar e too issue-sensitive

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177 and subjective to be applicable. As a co mpromise, the triangulation approach, which combines qualitative and quantitative resear ch methods in one study, has become more and more popular in various social science disciplines. The combination of several different research methods not only can increas e the validity of the results, but also can factor out those inc onsistent results through cross-ch ecks. A triangulation approach, which includes historical study, secondary da ta analysis, online survey, online content analysis, unobtrusive observat ion, and one-on-one depth interview, was hence adopted in the exploration of the Chinese cyber nationalism.

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178 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS In line with the three res earch questions on the evolu tion, characteristics, and consequences of Chinese cyber nationalism, the findings chapter wa s divided into three sections. The first section, wh ich chronicled the developmen t path and major events in the past decade in ChinaÂ’s online sphere, employed mainly the research methods of historical analysis and case st udies. In the second section, re sults of the online survey and online content analysis were examined and reported by using the SPSS data analysis software. The third section focused on the soci al and political consequences of Chinese cyber nationalism. Accordingly, the results of in-depth interview with three groups of people (officials, opinion leaders, and common citizens) were also summarized. RQ1: Evolution of Chinese Cyber Nationalism In stark contrast to the overabundance of online information and seemingly endless online data sources, systematic recollection of ChinaÂ’s online public sphere development in the past decade is rare and sporadic. On the one hand, the fast updating cycle of information processing software, the big elim ination rate among ISPs and ICPs, and the lack of archive-reserving awareness among Chin aÂ’s Internet servers and Internet users, resulted in the lost in transition of the histor ical data, especially for those materials that are time-sensitive or deemed politically harmful. On the other hand, the existing historical reviews, either written by individual scholars in side China or sponsored by Chinese governmental agencies, paid little atte ntion to the political dimension of online communications and online activities. For ex ample, on August 8, 2003 the China Internet

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179 Society (CIS) and the China Internet Inform ation Center (CNNIC) published in Beijing the first government-endorsed comprehensive review of China’s In ternet development: China Internet Development Report . This historical review was too broad-brushed, policy-centered, and politically correct. For instance, it didn’t include the earlier online communities, online journals, and online even ts established, developed, and operated by those Chinese students studying abroad. Although living outside China, tens of thousands of Chinese students were among the first gr oup of Chinese people who took advantages of this newly developed online technology, rebuilding a virtual hom etown in the cyber sphere. Through those online publications, they talked about China, wrote in Chinese, and left a mark on China’s grand political landscape during the mid 1990s. To establish an accurate, comprehensive, and valid historical account of the Chinese cyber nationalism, several steps were taken to guarantee the accuracy of the accounts as well as the represen tativeness of the timeline stru cture. First of all, the developmental history of dozens of major Chinese web sites, operated by people both inside and outside China, were reviewed and synchronized. Second, the literature on China’s online sphere and analyses on Chin a’s foreign policy decision making process in the past decade were compared in order to put the chronicle into a broader perspective. Third, relevant reports by foreign media on China’s online communities and online activities were searched and re viewed. As a result, within the time span of about ten years (1994-2005), the researcher classified five diffe rent historical phases. They are (1), the period of “enlightenment in the ivory tower” (1994.4—1996.12); (2), the period of “say no to Indonesia’s anti-Chinese riot” ( 1997.1—1999.3); (3), the period of “Sino-U.S. online wars” (1999.4—2001.9); (4), the period of “post-9/11 transition of priority”

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180 (2001.9—2003.8); and (5), the period of “dir ect confrontation with Japan” (2003.9— 2005.4). In the following sections, each of the five periods is examined in terms of its distinctive characteristics, major onlin e events, overall political background, and representative people or arguments. A special event that occurred in each historical period is studied on its origin, development, and influence. Each case study serves as a supplemental example to the general themes (see Table 4-1). Table 4-1. Five evolution periods of Chinese cyber nationalism Five Evolution Periods of Chinese Cyber Nationalism Order 1 2 3 4 5 Time Span 1994.4– 1996.12 1997.1– 1999.3 1999.4– 2001.9 2001.10– 2003.8 2003.9– 2005.4 Title Enlightenme nt in the Ivory Tower Say no to Indonesia’s anti-Chinese Riot Sino-US Online Wars Post-9/11 Transition of Priority Direct Confrontation with Japan Case Study China Can Say No Cyber Nationalists & Indonesia’s anti-Chinese Riot Embassy Bombing & Online Bombing Ma Licheng & Wang Xiaodong AntiJapanese Protests & Online Petition in 2005 Online Population* 2,000– 500,000 500,000–3 million 3 million– 22 million 22 million– 70 million 70 million– 100 million * The online population numbers are estimated figure s in accordance with the CNNIC’s semi-annual national survey reports. Period I: “Enlightenment in the Ivory Tower” (1994.4—1996.12) In China, people who were exposed to the Internet technology prior to 1997 have been labeled the “first generation of Chines e Internet users.” According to the initial government policy, the first and foremost pur pose of establishing a globally connected data network in China was to exchange scholarly information. In the early 1990s, China’s top-level administrative organ—The State E ducation Commission (SEC)—was in charge of building the nationwide backbone to support an information network that connected all

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181 of China’s universities and educational branches (Harw it, & Clark, 2001). That policy initiative inevitably set the birthplace of Chinese cyber-nationalism inside China’s elite universities in Beijing. Outside the virtual sphere, China, Taiwa n, and United States were on a dangerous course toward a direct milita ry conflict. In David Lampt on’s (2001) characterization, the July 1995 to March 1996 confrontation in the Taiwan Strait between the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and U.S. Navy was “the third turning point in the post-cold war evolution of Sino-American ties” (p. 45). The Clinton Administration’s China policy started with a miscalculation of political priority and policy feasibility. On May 28, 1993, President Clinton announced that the annual extension of China’s Most Favorite Nation (MFN) trade status should be determined by whether China had made “overall, significant progress” in several human rights conditions that were explicitly outlined by the White House. Among the multiple critical errors of this policy, one was tragically short-sighted—“by publicly articulating the th reat and setting a deadline, Clinton made the standard of his success th e public humiliation of the PRC’ s leaders and the alteration of patterns of internal PRC governance—a pr ice of few nations would pay for market access, let alone one as proud as China” (Lampton, 2001, p. 41). As the final outcome revealed, this policy ended up with an undisguisable humiliation to the inexperienced president. Two days before the deadline, President Clinton withdrew the executive order and declared instead a new policy of “comprehensive engagement” with China. Howeve r, the seed of distrust and resentment had been sown in the political fields on both si des. To reap the political benefit from the rift between China and the United States, as well as to prop up his popularity before

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182 Taiwan’s first general election, Taiwan’s pres ident Lee Teng-hui shrewdly applied for a visa to go to Cornell University—where he had received a Ph.D.—f or an alumni reunion. In the face of strong pressure from the Se nate and Congress, the White House granted Lee the visa, an act not only stood against the administration’s repeated promise to Beijing, but also reversed a policy of no-contac t with Taiwan’s offi cials adopted by U.S. government ever since the normalization of Ch ina-U.S. relationship in 1979. The last straw finally came when Lee delivered a pr ovocative and inflammatory speech to his Cornell gathering, in which several U.S. C ongress members were present. In response, China suspended all high-level military exch anges and non-prolifera tion negotiation with the U.S., recalled its ambassador in Washi ngton, and declared two rounds of massive military exercise surrounding Taiwan. Agains t this grand backdrop, China’s grassroots nationalism quickly arose to the central them e both in Chinese people’s mindset and in the rhetoric nationwide. In a matter of several months, dozens of anti-American book series, unprecedented in terms of th eir magnitude and popularity, flooded the bookshelves around the country. On top of th is wave of nationalism outburst was a controversial book, titled China Can Say No (see a case study about this book in a later section). In the later half of 1994, no more than 2,000 pe ople, most of them were scientists in China’s state science institutes, had access to the Internet. In January 1995, China began its first public Internet services operated jointly by Sprint in America and China Telecom. By the end of 1996, the number of Chinese Internet users quickly jumped to about 80,000, and the major body of this first generation of Chinese Internet users shifted from scholars and scientists in national research institutes to college students in Beijing’s

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183 several major universities, notably the Peking University and Tshinghua University (Harwit & Clark, 2001). The early Internet services were primitive and instrumental. Most people went online for the purpose of checking e-mail, searching scientific publications, and downloading software. Correspondingly, the on line sphere was still in its embryonic form. On the first Bulletin Board Syst em (BBS) operated by China Education and Research Network (CERNet) under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, explicit regulation was imposed to restrict the on line discussion to the scope of academic exchange (Qiu, 1999/2000). However, the BBSs operated by major universities were more active and politically or iented thus they attracted much more online traffic and discussions. Two of the most famous campus BBSs during this time period were Peking University’s “Untitled BBS” and Tshinghua University’s “ Shuimu Tshinghua BBS” (SMQH). Ever since their founding more than a century ago, Peking University and Tshinghua University have been famous for their vanguard role in China’s political transformations, such as the May Fourth Movement in 1919, the “12/9” anti-Japan Movement in 1935, the Cultural Revolution in 1966, the June Fourth Movement in 1989, to name a few. In China’s contemporary hi story, most important figures, influential ideologies, and significant events can be tr aced back to these two universities. Chinese cyber-nationalism is certainly no exception. Still in the shadow of the June Fourth incident in 1989, both the CCP leaders and China’s intellectuals were attentive not to reveal the unhealed wounds. During every anniversary of the June Fourth incident in this period, the campus BBS would dutifully close for a week or so to evade potential confrontation. Nonethel ess, the campus BBS,

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184 though limited, still existed as the only accessi ble venue for students to discuss political events and policy issues. Moreover, onlin e discussion opened a convenient window for those alumni who were studying abroad to post information and ideas that could never be found in China’s official publications. Howe ver, given the deteriorating relationship between the U.S. and China, and the ove rwhelming negativity toward China among American politicians and general public, most of the messages that had been translated back to the home audience could only fu el China’s anti-American sentiment and grassroots nationalism. When the news came that the United Stated had dispatched two aircraft carrier battle groups to the wa ters off Taiwan in March 1996, China’s campus BBSs were filled with hundreds of belliger ent rhetoric, calling for “a bloody showdown with the U.S. forces” or “an im mediate reunification with Taiwan.”1 This sentiment, though seemed a little overblown in retrospect , actually was consistent with the overall political environment, the official storyline, and China’s military maneuver at that time. One episode that occurred in this peri od is particularly noteworthy. On March 8, 1996, when three test-fired missiles roared ove r Taiwan Island and landed in the water near Taiwan’s two big city ports, both the Taiwan military and American navy forces watched vigilantly but without making any re sponse. However, on the virtual sphere, one group of Taiwan college students who claimed themselves as the “Web Volunteer Army” launched a wave of counter-attacks on main land China. Their target was Tshinghua University’s BBS web site located at a web position marked by “” (IP 1 A quote from an online article “Chinese don’t fight with Chinese,” published April 1996 by an overseas online journal “Xin Yu Si” (New Thre ads). Retrieved March 3, 2005 at .

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185 address)—and hundreds of “Web red guards” positioned there.2 The cross-strait online debate that involved seve ral hundred hormone-fueled undergraduates on campus might not in itself alter any ideological landscape or political structure, but it did serve as a public domain where citizens can publicly di scuss common concerned issues. However, the online debate was far from the rationa l-critical model envisioned by Habermas (1989). And the only theme that was pre dominant and overwhelmingly supported by fellow online participants in China’s online sphere was nationalism. In August 1996, such an inflammatory and infectious sentiment quickly reached its tipping point when a Japanese right-wi ng group erected a buoy on Diaoyu Island, a disputed territory claimed by both China a nd Japan. On Peking University’s “Untitled BBS” and Tshinghua University’s “ Shuimu Qinghua BBS,” students began to mobilize a nationalist demonstration against the Japanese aggression, notwithstan ding the official objection and the university’s persuasion (Q iu, 1999/2000). Such a demonstration could easily trigger a massive anti-Japanese move ment, given the widespread hostility among the Chinese people toward Japan. That was the last thing that the CCP wanted to happen (see relevant analysis in Downs & Saunders , 1998/99). The government took a resolute and quick measure to indefinitely shutdown the leading organizer: Peking University’s “Untitled BBS” in mid-September, 1996 and de fused the time-bomb that could explode from the “virtual Tiananmen Squar e” to the real Tiananmen Square. Compared with mainland China’s online sphere, the online community established in this period by Chinese students abroad was more advanced and free of external interventions. The first ever Chinese on line BBS (alt.Chinese.text, or ACT) was 2 An article published by Taiwan’s “New News Weekly” in 1996. Retrieved March 3, 2005 from the online journal “Chinese News Digest” (1996, vol. 266) at http://www.cnd.o rg/HXWZ/CM96/cm9605a.hz8.html .

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186 established in 1993 by Chinese st udents studying in the United States. Almost at the same time, Chinese students studying in Canada founded a Chinese online journal Feng Hua Yuan on September 20, 1993.3 These online bulletin boards or online journals quickly became the virtual hometown for tens of thousands of Chinese students studying abroad. These types of online publications were nor mally managed by a group of student editors or operators composed of volunteers and elec ted editor-in-chief. They published a wide range of topics, including Chinese literatu re, poems, memoirs, research, and political commentaries. Among them, the most famous and still in operat ion online journals include Feng Hua Yuan ( ), Chinese News Digest (or HXWZ) ( ), and Xin Yu Si (or New Threads magazine) ( ).4 Due to the distinctive background and opera tional pattern, overseas online BBS or online journals exhibited a rather unique online sentiment, issue preference, and organized activities. First of all, many of the online publica tions could be named “exile literature”5 which recorded overseas students’ natural homesick sentiments and the cultural shock that they experienced in fo reign countries. Second, because most of the overseas students could get information from all possible angles and sources, their nationalistic feelings, though still genuine and vibrant, were much more controlled and rational. For example, at the heig ht of the Taiwan Crisis in 1996, Chinese News Digest 3 For more introduction and history about “ Feng Hua Yuan ” online journal, please visit its web site at . 4 Founded in February 1994, New Threads online magazine aimed to promote Chinese culture to the general public. From 1998, it turned its focus to disc losing the academic corruption, scandals, plagiarism, and unethical issues in Chinese academia. See more information at . 5 This title was first raised by Fang Zhouzi, the founder of online magazine “New Threads,” on the conference “Network and Chinese Cultu re,” held July 20, 1996 in Toronto, Canada. The original speech can be retrieved at .

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187 published an extra edition to comprehensively review from the historical, political, and strategic perspectives the benefits and setbacks of a military conflict.6 Similarly, New Threads magazine also published an article title d “Chinese don’t fight with Chinese,” criticizing the blind, short-si ghted, and blood-thirst y rhetoric and sentiment prevalent in mainland China.7 These arguments, although might not represent the mainstream viewpoints of all overseas Chinese students, did present an angle not available on the mainland online BBS. Third, the relevant activities sponsored by overseas Chinese online publications were more organized, coordinate d, and productive. For example, in wake of Japan’s increasingly provoca tive activities related to th e history textbook, Yasukuni Shrine, and Diaoyu Island, the Canadian Chinese Student Association and Feng Hua Yuan online journal cosponsored an online “Prote cting Diaoyu Island” signature protest. In its formal announcement published on Septem ber 10, 1996, the organizers declared the current campaign as the continuation of th e nationalist movement against Japanese militarist groups some 25 years ago. “We have never forgotten for a second the battlefield song that encouraged our ancestors to fight to deat h with the Japanese invaders 50 years ago—faced with enemy’s gun barrage , every Chinese was forced to shout out his last roar: stand up, stand up, and let’s advance!”8 This campaign gathered a lot of support among overseas Chinese communities and paved the way for future large-scale movements. In the academic circle, Feng Hua Yuan online journal actively participated in 6 Data retrieved on March 1, 2005 at . 7 Tu Ya (April 1996). “Chinese don’t fight with Chinese”. Data retrieved on March 1, 2005 at . 8 The original letter can be retrieved at .

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188 the conference on TaiwanÂ’s post-election si tuation, actually build ing a bridge linking intellectuals across the Taiwan Strait.9 In summary, the Chinese online sphere was still in its infancy during this period of time. Correspondingly, Chinese cyber nationali sm was mainly restricted on the ivory towers both at home and abroad. The online disc ussions of political i ssues, especially for those mainland-based online BBS, were sporadic , superficial, and mostly reflective of what had been promoted by the government. The online activities, including those that were unsuccessfully tried by the domestic BBS and those that were successfully organized by overseas Chinese online jour nals, were nonetheless experimental and mostly symbolic. Moreover, the government ha d much control over the content as well as the channel of those domestic online BBS, and could either suspend the operation of those unruly offenders or cut off the linkage between the campus Intr anet and the global Internet. Case Study I: China Cay Say No A small book published in May 1996 capped the overall sentiment in ChinaÂ’s online and offline spheres at that time . Edited and penned by a group of young Chinese intellectuals,10 China Can Say No (Song, Zhang, & Qiao, 1996) quickly became a best seller in ChinaÂ’s increasingly commercia lized book market (mor e than 100,000 copies were sold out in a month), drew an unprecedented wave of global media attention, and was subsequently forced to cease publication by the central government at the end of 1996. According to the bookÂ’s edit ors, although this topic had been considered for about 9 For relevant introduction of the conference, see . 10 Most editors were freelance writers in their 30s, and the youngest contributor Tang, Zhengyu was only 26 years of age while writing one of the sections.

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189 two years, the actual writing only took about two to three weeks.11 Its ideas, design, and even title were largely borrowed from a Ja panese bestseller seven years prior titled The Japan That Can Say No , written by the former chairman of Sony Corporation, Akio Morita, and Japan’s hard lin e politician, Shintaro Ishiha ra. Among the extreme ideas promoted by those young Chinese authors in cluded guarding against the invasion of cultural and economic imperialism from the United States, such as Hollywood, McDonald’s, and Marlboro; building up a stro ng military to reunify Taiwan with the mainland and to fight with U.S. if necessary ; standing firmly against American hegemony and Japanese aggression. The book’s highly inflammatory rhetoric, the blunt antiAmerican and anti-Japanese policy design, a nd the unequivocal nati onalism orientation evoked strong and mixed emotions among different peoples. In sum, people in the West, especially in the United States, were bewildered, if not shocked, by the sudden outburst of hostility a nd outrage toward them. The fact that this type of extreme anti-Western polemic was ar ticulated by a group of former pro-Western young intellectuals added to the confusion. The Washington Post ’s Beijing correspondent Steve Mufson characterized the authors as “a group of obscure writers and their friends who until recently wore American-style blue jeans and smoked American brand cigarettes”.12 The New York Times correspondent viewed the book as “not so much political analysis as a handbook for anti-Americ an and anti-British slogans, conspiracy 11 Fang Jinyu, “Let the world hear China’s voice,” an interview with the book’s editors published by China’s South Weekend on August 9, 1996. 12 Mufson, Steven (November 17, 1996). “China’s shaky grip: A nation of contradictions gropes for an identity.” The Washington Post , Outlook section, pg. C01, para. 2.

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190 theories and satire.”13 The Guardian in London portrayed this book as “a wild jumble of conspiracy theory, anti-Western polemic a nd bombastic insecurit y…it resembles more closely a rant by the Russian ultr a-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky.”14 Within China’s intellectual circle, however, the reaction toward this highly commercialized and fast-made best-seller was a blend of half sympathy and half negligence (Zhao, 1997). The overall sentiment of the book appealed to the popular mood of indignation and frustrati on toward Western bullies and pressure. Nonetheless, the largely unsubstantiated arguments and unf ounded accusations in the book diminished its academic value. The reaction of Chinese government toward this book was particularly noteworthy. Until a brief story reported by a Xinhua News Agency correspondent about the popularity of this book, it had run largely unnoticed for several months either by the government or by the foreign media. The xenophobic outcry satisfied the resentment among the general public, and the potential mark et also lured dozens of copycats. When a series of books titled Why China Can Say No , China Still Can Say No , China Always Say No , etc. flooded the book sale stands across th e nation, the government finally decided to step into this commercialized nationalism fanfar e. When the “Say No” series were forced off the bookshelf, China’s grassroots nationa lism, however, entered a new stage. From the perspective of Chinese cyber nati onalism, several new trends were in the offing during the unfolding of this event. Fi rst, the switch of nationalism sentiment was no longer monopolized solely and tightly by the government. The advent of the Internet in China not only provided a channel, and a medium for the fast flow of information, but 13 Tyler, Patrick (September 4, 1996). “Rebel s new cause: A book for Yankee bashing.” The New York Times , Beijing Journal, section A, pg. 4. 14 Higgins, Andrew (July 15, 1996). “Young China bashes US.” The Guardian , Foreign page, pg. 9.

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191 it also established a link and a community among like-minded people. Moreover, the Internet’s low-entry and unive rsal accessibility nature predetermines that some news travels faster than others. Nationalistic wr itings, such as the “Say No” series, were undoubtedly among the hottest topics on China’s online sphere. Second, the convergence of China’s elite nationalism with the grassroo ts nationalism would be further facilitated by the Internet. Claiming themselves as the “New Boxers,”15 the authors of China Can Say No used their knowledge and reasoning ski ll to justify the popul ar anti-Western mood, as well as to counter cynicism a nd nihilism brought by the market economy. For example, Zhang Xiaobo, one of the authors of the book, argued: I have some questions to ask Westerners . British sold opium to China and waged the Opium Wars against China. That wa s a great infringement upon Chinese human rights. Yet I have never heard of any apologies being made by British government…Without making sufficient apologie s, they don’t have the right to talk about human rights.16 Thus, the irrational anti-Western sentimen t was equipped with a rational logic, at least at the surface level. Third, Taiwan was, is, and will be the focal point of Chinese nationalism. Because of the Taiwan issue, Ja pan and the United States sometimes became the direct target, and sometimes became th e collateral damage of Chinese nationalism. This tendency becomes more evident in later phases of this movement. Period II: “Say No to Indonesi a’s Anti-Chinese Riot” (1997.1—1999.3) On January 1, 1997, the CCP’s of ficial “throat & tongue”—the People’s Daily , set up its web site online, which marked the firs t major step of the traditional state-owned media’s online expedition. In the privat e sector, as China’s backbone network 15 Becker, J. (Aug. 3, 1996). “The writers who can’t stop criticizing.” South China Morning Post , pg. 16. 16 Ibid.

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192 infrastructure—the Golden Bridge Network (China GBN) began to lease its network space to private ISP/ICPs, the privately operated BBS or chat rooms, such as Hua Tong , Sitong Lifang , and Dong Nan Xi Bei (NEWS) quickly extended their reach and influence among new comers. By the end of October 1997, according to the first CNNIC nationwide Internet survey report, there were a bout 620,000 Internet users in China and about 1500 WWW web sites.17 Another significant event unfol ding in this period was the emergence and growth of China’s “hacker” group. Hackers are gene rally referred to th ose online technology specialists who apply their network skills to seek and take advantage of the loopholes in network design for economic purpose, for various political causes, or simply for fun or to showoff. A top-level hacker can access unprot ected online computers or online servers, change the design and contents, and plant a viru s or Trojan horse in the infected program or hard drive. Hacker’s ac tivities can cause huge amounts of damage to the overall World Wide Web operations, the security of Internet servers, and th e online safety of individual users. For example, in June 1998, an Inte rnet virus “CIH” developed by a Taiwanese college student, Chen Ing-Hau, permanently de stroyed tens of thousands computers’ hard disks and caused direct loss as high as several billions of dollars wo rldwide in a matter of days. However, hackers’ practice is the flipsi de of online security. Actually, most of the earlier hackers later became specialists of Internet security protection and anti-virus programmers. In mid-1997, a Chinese hacker named “Goodwill” registered in China the first ever Hacker community—“the Green Force” zone. After the creation of this virtual space, a group of talented Chinese com puter programmers found a common place to 17 data retrieved April 25, 2005 from CNNIC at l/Dir/2003/10/22/1001.htm .

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193 share their ideas, develop their weapons, and co ordinate their activit ies. On January 23, 1999, the then famous “Green Force” held it s first offline annual convention in a Web café in Shanghai, and within months, it qui ckly transformed into a venture capitalsupported Web security company—Shangha i Green Alliance Computer Safety Technology Co, Ltd. 18 Although a group of Internet va ndals grew up into a group of Web safety guardians in two years, their cy ber-nationalism legacy, especially what they had done during the Indonesia’s anti-Chines e riot in 1998, was remembered and wellrespected on China’s online sphere (see the case study later). In China’s Internet development calenda r, 1998 was dubbed “the Year of the Great Leap Forward Online.” In a matter of 400 da ys, China’s online populat ion swelled to 2.1 million and the domain names under “.CN” exploded to 18,396.19 Behind this exponential Internet boom was the omnipresen t and profit-thirsty Wall Street venture capitalists, and a group of Western-educated Chinese young entrepreneur s. In the stage of world politics, the United St ates and China, the two gian ts across the Pacific Ocean, finally found a way to look at each other and those multifaceted obstacles through a pacific lens. In October 1997, President Jiang Ze min paid his first state-visit to the United State. After the summit meeting, President Ji ang and President Clinton issued a “Joint Statement” that committed both nations to building toward a “constructive strategic partnership”—though nobody seemed at that time or now understood what this ambivalent title really meant except for its apparent mutual-respect manner and hollow courtesy. In a long commentary titled “Chi na rising: Is America paying attention?” 18 See a general review of Chinese hacker history written by an anonymous author at . Information retrieved on April 4, 2005. 19 data retrieved April 25, 2005 from CNNIC at l/Dir/2003/10/22/1001.htm .

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194 Robert Kaiser, the managing editor of The Washington Post complained that “the Clinton administration has invested much more energy in Bosnia and the Middle East than in formulating a coherent China policy; and on Capitol Hill, China has become a political football.”20 In June 1998, President Clinton realized his first China trip—also the longest of his Presidency to a single country. In an up-beat press conference, President Clinton summarized his trip, “I don’t think anyone who was on this tr ip could fail to appreciate the remarkable transformation that is under way in China, as well as the distance still to be traveled.” Asked whether there will ever be democracy in China, the most frequently raised question by foreign reporters, Presid ent Clinton looked op timistic, “Oh, yes, I believe there can be, and I believe there will be.”21 “Can be” or “will be”, that prediction seemed addressed toward the American home audi ence. Because just at this point in time, what really attracted Chinese online users’ at tention was a series of brutal events that occurred in one Southeast Asian country—Indonesia. In sharp contrast to China’s smooth a nd continuing economic growth, Asian’s overall economic status, especially economies in those former Asian tigers, including South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc. suffered bitterly in a catastrophic financial crisis from 1997 to 1999. In Indonesia, the aftermath of the economic downfall was the collapse of the m ilitary dictator Suharto’s regime in May 1998, and the widespread looting, raping, a nd killing committed by armed forces and rioters toward ethnic Chinese minority groups. In Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, a total 20 Kaiser, Robert (Oct. 26, 1997). “China rising: Is America paying attention?” The Washington Post , Outlook, pg. C01. 21 Broder, John (July 4, 1998). “Clinton optimistic on China’s future as he heads home.” The New York Times , section A, pg. 1.

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195 of 1,200 people were reported killed and 168 women raped, nearly all of them were ethnic Chinese in May 1998.22 While Indonesia witnessed its worst economic crisis in 30 years, ethnic Chinese, who accounted for 4 percent of Indonesia’s 200 million population but controlled more than 80 pe rcent of the country’s wealt h, had become the scapegoats for inflation, food shortages, and mass unemployment.23 What happened in Indonesia naturally stimulated worldwide protests among Chinese diasporas and human rights groups. Large demonstrations were hence organi zed in Canada, Australia, and the United States. However, the violence against ethnic Ch inese in Indonesia presented an acute quandary to the Chinese government. On the one hand, just months after the jubilant ceremony of Hong Kong’s return in 1997, Beijing was in no mood to swallow this assault on Chinese ethnicity; on the other hand, however, China’s lo ngtime foreign policy basis has been not to interfere with other countries’ internal affair s, and not to be meddled in by foreign powers. If not for the Internet, the Chinese government might well have been able to dodge this thorny issue or handle it through diplomatic channels. Although China’s official media carried no news about the anti-Chinese violence in Indonesia during May, June, and early July 1998, the eyewitness reports and the bloody pictures began to surface on China’s online sphere from the very beginning of the event. The mounting public anger online stood in sharp contrast to the government’s low-key response. In July, two Chinese newspapers bravely broke the sile nce, publishing photo 22 See report “Beijing students and women, defying ban, protest anti-Chinese violence in Indonesia.” Rosenthal, Elisabeth (Aug. 18, 1998), The New York Times , section A, pg. 6. 23 Ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asian countries have long fallen prey to attacks and discrimination in the past century. “Jews of the East” not only denotes th eir success in business, but also likens their ethnic tragedy to Jewish people.

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196 essays of the violence in which they republished pictures posted by online users. Therefore, this issue was finally thrust before the Chinese public. On July 15, 1998 Chinese foreign ministry spokesman for th e first time commented on the Indonesia riot, calling for a thorough investiga tion and compensation. On A ugust 3, 1998, more than two months after the riots, the People Daily on the front page published an editorial, condemning the “cruelty and inhumanity of th e crimes” and reiterating China’s concerns and request for swift, complete, and responsib le investigation. However, one portion of this government statement was particular ly noteworthy. It said, “Ever since the occurrence of anti-Chinese viol ence in Indonesia, the Chinese government has repeatedly conveyed its grave concerns and worries about the unjust treatment of ethnic Chinese to the Indonesia government. These acts reflect th e heartfelt sentiment of all the Chinese people around the world.”24 Interestingly, this late announcement seems aimed more at the indignant Chinese public opinion than at the newly established Indonesia authority. Since no public protest was allowed by th e Chinese government on this issue, the Chinese cyber nationalists took justice into their own hands. The Chinese hackers’ community “Green Force” quickly organi zed a wave of coordinated attacks on Indonesia’s government web sites and web links. At the peak of the attacks, about 3,000 Chinese online users who registered in its hacker community participated in the operation.25 In the overseas Chinese online commun ity, the response was different. On its special edition on Indonesia’s anti-Chinese riots, China News Digest provided all the 24 See editorial “Ethnic Chinese’s legitimate rights should be protected in Indonesia,” People’s Daily , August, 3, 1998, pg. 1. 25 This number was retrieved on April 5, 2005 from an online article titled “China’s Hall of Fame for Hackers” at .

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197 information on how to participate in the upcoming demonstration before Indonesia’s Embassy in Washington. A total of 25 Chin ese overseas students groups and another 16 groups of human rights organizations co -sponsored this “Washington Protest.”26 At the same time, large scale protests were held in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Boston in the United States, and in Canada , Australia, and some European cities.27 These highly coordinated and headline catching events would not have been possible if not for the online communication and In ternet-based organizations. China’s first phase of cyber nationalism development had an obvious mark of elitism. The campus location, the studentexpert body, and the high requirement for technological knowledge restrain ed the power and influence of its earlier development. In the second stage, however, both the Inte rnet community and the Chinese cyber nationalism displayed their grassroots poten tial. The great leap forward in China’s information technology in 1997 and 1998 made it much easier for the general public to surf online, to communicate with each other, and to form different interest groups. Moreover, the online technology’s borderle ss and limitless nature empowered those computer experts to turn thei r skills into lethal weapons. In other words, the online nationalistic rhetoric may be virtual, but the online nationalistic operations as well as their damages are nonetheless re al. As Indonesia’s anti-Chinese riot showed, the Internet a), broke through the information barrier established by the g overnment, sending the undeniable pictures and repor ts to people around the globe, and eventually forcing the government to clarify its policy stance; b), help ed organize people in different part of the 26 The detailed information can be accessed at . 27 See relevant report on this event by Fung Abby (Aug. 9, 1998), “1,000 rally against violence in Indonesia,” The Boston Globe , pg. B3.

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198 world for a common campaign; and c), enab led those who wanted to express their personal opinion to accomplis h it through an unconventional wh ereas effective measure. Not satisfied with only being able to “s ay no,” Chinese cyber nationalism began to flex its muscle. Case Study II: Cyber Nationalists and Indonesia’s Anti-Chinese Riot The delicate and unstable relationship between ethnic Chinese immigrated to Indonesia several hundred years ago and the indigenous people who are mainly Muslims could be traced well back to the colonial period when the Indonesia archipelago was ruled by the Dutch. During the 1960s, when China’s leader Mao Zedong projected to export the Communism revolution to I ndonesia, deep-rooted suspicion among Indonesia’s leaders and the general public toward ethnic Chinese group quickly erupted into an ethnic cleansing which left half a milli on people dead. As a bitter result of this conflict, China and Indonesia froze their di plomatic relationship for 23 years from 1967 to 1990 (Suhma, 2002). The riot in May 1998 tri ggered by the Asian financial crisis was yet another chapter of this repeated theme.28 However, one of the differences this time was that the Chinese people could have their irritated voice h eard via Internet. When the gruesome photos of those riot victims were posted on the Internet by anonymous sources, Chinese online communities, especially those Chinese hackers, were enraged and quickly motivated. The first wave of retaliation was carried out by those BBS users who used the simplest technique of sending large amounts of trash e-mails into Indonesia’s governmental web sites. This amateur-level online attack could only be 28 It is noteworthy that the Indonesia riot and the collapse of the Suharto’s dictator regime were partly attributable to the advent of Internet discussion and online communication in Indonesia’s online sphere. See relevant report “Indonesia revolt was Net driven” (Marcus, David, Aug. 23, 1998), The Boston Globe , pg. A1.

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199 effective if a large number of people partic ipated in the operation simultaneously. To coordinate the attack schedule and to call for more online participants, Green Force established an ad hoc online group: “Chinese Hacker Em ergency Meeting Center.” These highly cooperated online opera tions attracted as many as 3,000 Chinese hackers and general online users. They left their signa ture “Chinese Green Force” and nationalistic slogans on those defaced or blocked Indonesian web sites. In his review of Chinese hackers’ history, Min Dahong, the director of Digital and Internet Research Office at China’s Social Science Institute, saved one of the messages posted on the hacked Indonesia web site, “Your web site hacked by a group of hacker[s] from China!! Stop killing Chinese!!! MOB stopping atrocity!!! ” (Min, 2005). On August 7, 1998, almost all the governmental servers in Indonesia were attacked by countless e-mail bombs, and some were temporarily disrupted. Because Chinese hackers’ attacks were so intense, well-organized and highly coordinated, the Indonesian government could no t believe that these were the acts of a group of volunteers. It filed a strong-worded pr otest to the Chinese government in August 1998, accusing the Chinese government of sponsoring these operations. The spokesman of Indonesia’s electronic tec hnology ministry angrily denounced China in a statement, saying “we are confident that Chinese users were behind the e-mail attacks on our system in the past 30 hours. It is hard to believe that this is not an organized operation. If not for the lack of the air-defense warning, I would have believed that China had declared war against us” (Min, 2005). To be fair, this accu sation, or the popular thinking pattern that the Chinese government manipulated all kinds of foreign affair-related mass movements,

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200 bears some reasoning power twenty years ago, ten years ago, or even 5 years ago. In the online stage, however, this logic is deadly outdated. In a widely publicized online letter addre ssed to China’s senior leaders, including Party Secretary Jiang Zemin, Premier Zhu Rong ji, and Vice Chairman of Central Military Committee Zhang Wannian, a furious Chines e reader enumerated the humiliations suffered by Chinese people ever since the Opium War in 1840 and called for the Chinese government to take the following actions: fi rst, formally protest to the Indonesia government and require a timely resolution; second, reserve the right to send troops to Indonesia and to protect fellow Chinese; and third, if the above two requirements could not be met, then the PLA and the Chinese navy should consider using middle-range missile and navy forces to embargo Indonesia.29 This letter by no m eans represented the majority online opinion among the Chinese onlin e community at that time. However, its popularity and quick dissemination in the onl ine sphere did reveal the widespread dissatisfaction among Chinese on line users toward Chinese g overnments’ weak response to this issue. Regardless of the actual polic y consequences of these online activities, Chinese cyber nationalists did for the first time convey their message, articulate their stance, and showcase their potential power in front of the target a udience. This nascent change, as the subsequent events demonstrat ed, has far more historical significance on China’s overall policy decision making. 29 For a complete copy of the appealing letter, see “Suggestion Letter to Chinese Government and Chinese Army on Massive Rapes of Ethnic Chinese Women in Indonesia,” China News Digest , vol. 154, August, 3, 1998, at .

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201 Period III: Sino-U.S. Cyber Wars (1999.3-2001.9) In two and a half years, the Chinese online population experienced a twelve-fold expansion, growing from 2.1 million users in January 1999 to 26.5 million users by July 2001. During this time, “Have you gone online?” became the popular greeting remark in people’s casual conversations, especially among China’s youngsters. Meanwhile, on July 12, 1999 the first China-concept network stock: ChinaNet was successfully listed on the Wall Street NASDAQ stock market, paving the way for similar moves by other privately owned Chinese commercial network comp anies, including,,, etc.30 After this step, those commercial online portals not only clarified their identities as legitimate online news ca rriers and providers, but also swelled into formidable financial monsters thanks to the Wall Street venture capitalists. With the investment money continuingly pouring into China’s commercial network sector, they quickly improved their services , updated their marketing st rategies, and consolidated their power as leading online service provi ders. This transformation fundamentally changed China’s Internet landscape at least in the following three aspects. First of all, China’s Internet development had been linke d not only to the globa l virtual community via the online network, but al so to the global financial market via the ever-flowing venture capital. In other words, the succe ss of China’s Internet development was no longer a Chinese government’s or Chinese entr epreneurs’ issue, but a critical business concern among tens of thousands of share holders around the world. Second, to tame the financially empowered commercial online port als, the Chinese government, within a time span of three months, issued a series of re gulations to redefine the role, function, and 30 Data retrieved on May 5, 2005 at ir/2003/12/12/2003.htm .

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202 administrative structure of China’s Internet landscape. Among those regulations, the “Rules for Administering the Internet Information Services ” issued in September, 2000, “Interim Regulations for the Administration of Publishing News Materials on Websites” issued in November 2000, and “Regulations for the Administration of the Internet Electronic Bulletin Services” issued in November 2000, collectively drew the lines for China’s online sphere.31 Third, in a drastic move to compete with the commercial online portals, those state-owned onlin e media readjusted their ove rall marketing approach. The most telling example was the “Stron g Nation Forum” established by the People’s Daily one day after the NATO’s embassy bombing in cident in 1999. These new tendencies set the financial, political, and practical st age for the third phase of Chinese cyber nationalism. A rain of irritating events between the United States and China during this period predetermined the confrontational theme in th e bilateral relationship. At the beginning of 1999, accusations quickly spread across the Am erican media that China had secretly made political contributions to the Democr at Party’s presidential campaign, a charge which China vehemently denied and no conc rete evidence ever surfaced to support it. Immediately after this mishap, a report from the House Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Milita ry/Commercial Concerns with the People’s Republic of China (the Cox Committee) was made public, in which it accused China of years of spying and stealing U.S. nuclear and othe r high technology secrets. Against this unfriendly setting, China’s Prem ier Zhu Rongji visited the United States in April with a package containing “unexpectedly far-reaching concessions in agriculture, services 31 Ibid.

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203 (particularly in financial services), te lecommunications, and general market access” (Lampton, 2001, p. 58), in order to seal the d eal of China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Although China’s offer far exceeded the Clinton Administration’s expectation, President Clinton nonetheless postponed the actual signing of the agreement in the face of domestic political consider ations. That decision left their Chinese counterparts, President Jiang and Premie r Zhu included, extremely vulnerable to hardliners’ accusations. Then, just weeks af ter Premier Zhu’s disappointing trip to the U.S., five precision-guided missiles directly hit the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. Apparently, against this backdr op, it was hard for any ideological group in China to put a positive spin on this tragic incident. Deeply concerned that the humanitari an cause would trump the national sovereignty as a legitimate doctrine for international intervention in future conflicts, China, along with Russia, opposed NATO’s bo mbing of Kosovo from the very beginning of the air strike campaign. On May 7, 1999, a B-2 stealth bomber, flying unstopped from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, droppe d five precision-guided munitions on the pre-identified target. That target, the only one recomme nded by CIA during the 70-days bombing campaign and the only one bombed by a B-2 bomber flying from an American homeland base, turned out to be the Chin ese Embassy. The American’s explanation, which most Americans accepted without sec ond thought, was that “the embassy had been misidentified as a legitimate Serb military target, in part because U.S. and NATO targeters were having to hit so many ta rgets they got sloppy” (Lampton, 2001, p. 59). However, some of the hard-to-explain ev idence was left out by the American media.32 32 For the special investigative repo rt on this issue, see London Observer ’s article “NATO bombed Chinese deliberately” (Sweeney, J., Holsoe, J., and Vulliamy, Ed .), October 17, 1999. In this report, it said “Nato

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204 For example, the five bombs were purposely targeted the intelligence section of the embassy; just days before, senior official s in Milosevic’s govern ment, some suspected Milosevic himself included, visited the Chinese Embassy when all the other communication systems in Kosovo had been destroyed by NATO’s bombing campaign; months before, American diplomats had been to the embassy location that the administration asserted was not properly identified on the maps used for targeting; the CIA and other NATO intelligence agencies had been dutifully monitored the communication traffic from the Chinese embassy; on the “don’t hit” map, the Chinese embassy was correctly located at its current site , not at the old site as claimed by the U.S. government, just to name a few. Most Chinese people with some political consciousness believed, and still believe till today, that this bombing was an inten tional attempt, by the U.S. Department of Defense or maybe some lower-level officials, to humiliate China or to stop China’s intervention. The People’s Daily ’s online website was the first news organization in the world that published a detailed eye-witness report. China’s online sphere quickly boiled up with the news. Most China’s online BBSs were fille d with angry protesters and belligerent deliberately bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the war in Kosovo after discovering it was being used to transmit Yugoslav army communications. The story is confirmed in detail by three Nato officials –a flight controller operating in Naples, an d intelligence officer monito ring Yugoslav radio traffic from Macedonia and a senior headquarte rs officer in Brussels. They all confirm that they knew in April that the Chinese embassy was acting as a rebroadcast sta tion for the Yugoslav army after alliance jets had successfully silenced Milosevic’s own transmitters…Later, a source in the US National Imagery and Mapping Agency said that the ‘wrong map’ story was ‘a damned lie.’” The full article can be retrieved at,2763,203214,00.html . This story, like other similar reports conducted by Danish paper Politiken , received virtually no attention fr om mainstream American media. A media watch group ranked this story as one of “the top ten most censored stories for 2000” in the U.S. For relevant discussions on American media’s omission on this issue, see ; ; and . It is also worth noting that after American’s intelligence blunders on the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), the American’s explanation on the bombing mistake, though still hard to believe, bore some credibility.

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205 rhetoric. The People’s Daily ’s website grasped this hist oric opportunity, setting up a special forum named “Protest against NAT O’s Crime Forum,” and later changed to “Strong Nation Forum” ( Qiangguo Luntan ). In less than one month, a total of 90,000 postings were published on this forum alone.33 In retrospect, this was a historic and farreaching move by China’s most orthodox media. However, it also reflected the mounting public pressure accumulated online that need ed a common place to release. Meanwhile, several campus BBSs had already organized a large-scale demonstration scheduled for the next day before the U.S. embassy in Beijing. At 6 P.M., May 9th 1999, Vice President Hu Jintao (not Party Secret ary Jiang Zeminde or Premier Zhu Rongji, who had been widely regarded by the general public as too soft and too pro-American in the previous events34) delivered a rare emergent public speech on television, calling all the students and demonstrators to restrain their beha vior and safeguard the social stability. Nonetheless, the government’s warning di d not cool down the long oppressed antiAmerican sentiment among Chinese youngsters, wh ich in the end resulted in a battered American embassy in Beijing and a damage d relationship between the two countries. “Americans are sadly mistaken,” pointed out correctly by David Lamp ton (2001), if they think that the demonstrati ons “were simply government-managed riots. Rather, the government was, in part (and onl y in part), trying to surf a wave of popular anger” (p. 284). 33 See Meng Chao (2001.11). “China’s online forum’s future development,” an online article retrieved on August 6, 2002 at . 34 Rumors widely spread on the Internet since May 1999, that Zhu Rongji might have been forced to resign for his over-concession during the WTO negotiation with the U.S. Hong Kong’s stock markets plunged more than 7 percent on July 1, 1999 in the wake of the rumors. See relevant report by John Pomfret (July, 1, 1999), “China, Hong Kong stocks plummet on Zhu rumors,” The Washington Post , Section, Financial; pg. E02.

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206 However, it was much more difficult for the government to control cyber nationalists’ online actions. In less than 12 hours after the bombi ng, the web site of United States’ embassy in China had been h acked multiple times by Chinese hackers. On one occasion, the website’s home page was changed to a protest letter with the title “Down with the Barbarians.” The White Hous e’s official website was also attacked by Chinese hackers. In one of the web page de facements, the American national flag was changed to a skeleton flag. A spokesman for th e U.S. National Secur ity Council said that this was the first time the White House site ( ) had been knocked out by the sheer volume of correspondence.35 It was estimated that a total of 700 American governmental, educational, and military web sites fell prey to Chinese web hackers’ nationalistic anger in the days followi ng the embassy bombing (Min, 2005). The most important development in this cyber war might be the founding of the Honkers’ organizations. Hacker is the world-wide accepted name for online intruders or online attackers. When translated to Chinese, it means “black guest” ( hei ke ) or . Since “black” in Chinese culture also connotes the vi cious, unjust, and sinister meanings, Chinese hackers changed it to “red,” a word symbolizes victory, happiness and revolution. Therefore, a special name—“red guest” (Honker), or —was created. One day after the bombing of the Chinese emba ssy, the first Honker web site: “China Honker’s Homeland Unity Alliance” appeared on the Internet. Its organizer quoted on the front page a highly sensational remark given by young revolutionary Mao Zedong some 80 years ago, “The nation is our nation; th e people are our people; if we don’t shout 35 Stout, David (May 12, 1999). “China protests crash White House Web site.” The New York Times , section A, pg. 12.

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207 loudly, who else does? If we don’t act, who else does?” Within several days, the web site visits had skyrocketed to near half a m illion, and the web site linkage was enlisted on’s home page.36 What these Honker’s online organizations had accomplished during the cyber conflict was indeed phenomenal and instrumental. For example, most of these online communities had clear work assignments for different participants based on their sp ecialty and personal preference. Some were in charge of gathering relevant information of the potenti al web targets, some were responsible for training the rookie honkers with ba sic attack skills, some were in charge of coordinating the operation schedule, and some were responsib le for collecting all th e battlefield reports and releasing them to major news media. This wave of “cyber self-defense war” gradually died down after the U.S. government officially issued several rounds of apologies to the Chinese government and to the relatives of the vic tims, made compensation for the embassy reconstruction, and punished those who were allegedly responsible for the “mistake”. On July 9, 1999, Taiwan’s so-called “troublemaker” President Lee Teng-hui made a statement to Deutsche Welle that defined the cross-strait relations as “state-to-state or at least special state-tostate”. To Beijing, this assertion was ve ry close to the formal declaration of independence. However, before the CCP gove rnment took any concrete action, China’s honkers had already conquered Taiwan’s “Executive Council (State Department),” “National Security Council, ” “News Bureau,” “Supervis ory Council,” and “National Congress” in the cyber sphere. In respons e, hackers in Taiwan posted their proindependence slogans on the defaced front pages of China’s “Railway Transportation 36 See a general review of Chinese hacker history written by an anonymous author at . Information retrieved on April 4, 2005.

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208 Ministry,” “Stock Supervisory Committee,” an d other non-official we b sites (Min, 2005). In fact, this type of cross-Taiwan Strait cy ber war has been a recurrent phenomenon that accompanied almost every bump and hit in the cross-strait relationship. The cyber conflicts between the U.S. hacker groups and Chinese honkers once again reached the climax from April to May 2001 after the collision of an America’s spy plane with a China’s fighter jet in the South Ch ina Sea. As the U.S. crew in that downed surveillance EP-3 plane were still being held in China’s Hainan Island, U.S. hackers initiated their retaliation campaign, leavi ng messages such as “We will hate China forever and we will hack its sites” on hundreds of defaced Chinese sites.37 In response, several Chinese hacker organizations , “Honker Union of China (H.U.C.),”38 “Hacker Union of China,” and “China Eagle Union” took the leading role in this so-called “May Day Self-Defense Cyber War,” starting from May 1, the official Labor Day holiday in China, to May 7, the second anniversary of the bombing of Chinese embassy. In an online public statement called “Our Collect ive Mission,” the Honke r Union of China declared that their campaign was to “safe guard national unity, protect China’s national sovereignty, resist foreign bullies, and de flate the anti-China arrogance.” Among the hacking guidance, however, the organization di d specify that “honkers” were not merely “hackers,” but instead patriots who only make their nationalistic vo ice heard instead of destroying the target’s whole system.39 Despite the repeated warnings from the FBI on 37 See BBC’s online article “Truce in US-China hacking war,” May 10, 2001 at . Retrieved on May 8, 2005. 38 The web site of “Honker Unio n of China” is still available as of December 5, 2004 at . 39 See the report on CNN’s web site “China -US cyber war escalates,” May 1, 2001 at . Retrieved on May 8, 2005.

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209 the potential Chinese hackers’ strike and the extra security protection measures adopted by all levels of government agencies in the U.S., on May 4, 2001, according to a report by BBC’s online service, “President George W. Bush appears to be the latest victim in an online assault by Chinese hackers, as the White House website was unavailable for several hours early Friday.”40 From April 1st to May 8th, 2001, according to unverified reports from China’s various honker unions and American hacker organizations, a total of 1,600 U.S.-based web sites and 1,100 China-based web sites had been defaced, blocked or knocked out of service (Min, 2005). Several new factors in the 2001 Sino-US cyber wars signified an important transition of Chinese cyber nationalism. Firs t, the CCP government’s tacit approval and unprecedented tolerance of Chinese Honker’s onlin e activities, especial ly in the earlier stage of this movement, undoubtedly encouraged the spread of nationalistic sentiment among online users. Nonetheless, it is hard to tell whether this was a calculated maneuver by the government to use the public anger as ne gotiation leverage with the U.S., or this was due to the government’s concern that a ny oppression may result in grave political consequences, or the unchecked nationalism ac tivities were simply the sign of lack of online supervision. For one example, during the cyber wars, hosted some of the hottest hacking forums on its web site in a bid to attract page views. Interestingly, this web site was a joint ve nture co-sponsored by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and China’s party “throat & tongue,” the People’s Daily .41 40 See BBC’s online article “White House website a ttacked,” May 5, 2001 by Kevin Anderson at . Retrieved on May 8, 2005. 41 See the report on CNN’s web site “China -US cyber war escalates,” May 1, 2001 at . Retrieved on May 8, 2005.

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210 Second, China’s public opinion abou t Honker’s online activities was overwhelmingly positive. For example, accord ing to Min’s (2005) records, over 80% of the 197,284 respondents in one non-scientific online public opinion poll on May 8, 2001 supported Chinese Honkers’ online attacks, and 67% of the 16,354 respondents from another online poll conducted on the same day agreed that “Honker’s action greatly enhanced national spirit.” At the height of the Sino-U.S. cyber war in 2001, Honkers Union of China (HUC) alone claimed that it had 80,000 registered members and 65% of them were college students.42 Although the online public opini on poll was not a scientific method to gauge the overall public opinion, it nonetheless revealed, at least partially, the overall sentiment among the online populati on. Admittedly, the positive media coverage of the Honkers’ movement among China’s trad itional news media must have shaped people’s opinion. However, people’s enormous support of Honkers’ on line attacks as a legitimate means to express nationalistic fee lings indicated, on the one hand, the width and magnitude of nationalistic sentiment in China’s online sphere, and on the other hand, people’s recognition of the on line sphere as a powerful public opinion channel. This awareness may have historical importan ce to China’s foreign policy making. Third, the 2001 Sino-U.S. cyber war drew worldwide attention from traditional media, online media, politicians, computer scie ntists, and even national security advisory groups. For example, major newspapers in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Singapore, and China all paid close attention to this Sino-U.S. cyber war. In a report titled “Chi nese, US hackers’ c yber battle goes global,” 42 See the report “Largest hacker group in China dissolves” on February 21, 2005 at Xinhua News Agency’s online site. Retrieved on May 5, 2005 at

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211 The New Zealand Herald found that not only hackers from China and United States were involved, but hackers in other countries aligned with one si de or the other. “Pro-U.S. hackers are now supported by hackers from Saudi Arabia, Pakist an, India, Brazil, Argentina and Malaysia. Pro-China hackers ar e receiving support from others in Korea, Indonesia and Japan”.43 The Australian reported on May 22, 2001 that 164 South Korean web sites run by universities, co mpanies, research and private groups had been hit in the U.S-China crossfire.44 No wonder The New York Times named this online conflict as the “World Wide Web War I.”45 Some computer experts point to the danger of this type of cyber-vandalism. Since the source of the hackers is difficult to establish or trace, so there is no way to “distinguish state-sponsored te rrorism from bored teenagers from people who have compromised Chinese sites from people trying to impersonate these groups.”46 Moreover, the spread of computer worms by hackers can cause permanent damage to personal computers and to the overall Internet system. In other words, the hackers’ activities are not merely digital graffiti, but have national security consequences. When China’s People’s Daily finally stepped in, calling the unrestrained cyber attacks the “unforgivable We b terrorism,” Chinese Honker groups, as well as Chinese cyber nationalism, for better or worse, left their mark on the radar screen of Chinese public, Chinese decision-makers, and the global online community. 43 See “Chinese, US hackers’ cyber battle goes global,” The New Zealand Herald, May 4, 2001, section: News. 44 See “Korea hit in US, China crossfire,” The Australian , May 22, 2001, pg. C02. 45 See Craig Smith, “May 6-12: The First World Hacker War,” May 13, 2001, The New York Times , section 4, pg.2. 46 See a PC World report by Sam Costelloon on May 10, 2001, “Did hackers seed the Net with worms?” Retrieved on May 4, 2005 at article/0,aid,49689,00.asp .

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212 Case Study III: Embassy Bombing and Online Bombing While comparing the political consequen ces of the Tiananmen Movement in 1989 and NATO’s bombing of Chinese Embassy in 1999, David Lampton (2001) summarized his conclusion this way, “In short, if pow erful visual images of Tiananmen ended Americans’ honeymoon with China in 1989, power ful visual images of Belgrade ended what was left of that honeymoon for the Ch inese people a decade later” (p. 267). The news of the embassy bombing on May 7, 1999 was the spark that touched off this online prairie fire. In less than 24 hours,’s news commentary section had been filled with about 23,000 follow-up postings. Most of the online chat rooms witnessed the highest hits in the following da ys and some forums reported a record pace of one-posting per second.47 Many Chinese users set up their own online shrines to mourn those dead in the bombings. The late st news, reports, and photos regarding the bombing were quickly uploaded, download ed, e-mailed, printed out, and shared among online and offline communities. Foreign c ountries’ commentaries, editorials, and politicians’ speech on this issue were also se arched, gathered, compared, and translated into Chinese by Chinese students studying in those countries. One Chinese web user, Jiu Dawang’s online diary reflected the dominant sentiment among the online population during this period of time. He wrote, the night of May 8, 1999, was a sleepless night for countless Chinese Netizens. Ever since the advent of the Internet, no other event has such a power to impact a nation’s spirit. Though staring at the emo tionless computer screen, I nonetheless sensed the boiling patriotic feelings among my fellow Web friends. It is a speechless and memorable experience that we have all been consolidated in this special online sphere (as quot ed in Min, 2005, chap. 3). 47 See article by Lisa Hoffman (May 12, 1999), “China cyber attacks shut, stuff e-mail boxes,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania), pg. A-4.

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213 Whenever an American web site was hacked or defaced, the hackers were immediately welcomed in the chat rooms as heroes. The online bulletin board filled with complimentary comments, such as “Salute to our national heroes!” “Whoever serves his nation at the hard time, he is a hero!” or “Count me as one! My mother told me yesterday: you have wasted a lot of time on the computer, now it is time to contribute to your country.” Some Chinese military fans quickly found out that the bombings were carried out by America’s 509th Bomb Wing stationed in Missouri Whiteman Air Force Base. A wave of online attacks was directed against the web sites related to that military base. Another episode occurred during this peri od was especially revealing. China’s most popular military magazine is titled “Battleship Knowledge” ( Jian Chuan Zhi Shi or JCZS). It has over a million regu lar subscribers and a much larger readership in China. It publishes monthly the latest information on the state-of-the-art military technology and China’s weaponry development. On October 29, 1998 it established its own web site, the first magazine-sponsored web site in Chin a. In March 1999, an online posting titled “Does China need amphibious as sault battleships or aircraft carriers?” sparked a heated debate between pro-battleship military fans a nd pro-aircraft carrier military fans. Within a year, this thread of online discussion attr acted millions of online visits and over 50,000 follow-up postings.48 The May 7 embassy bombing in tensified this ongoing online debate. According to a Washington Post ’s report, a Chinese web surfer named “Sister Soldier” on May 8, 1999 made such appeal, “I am calling on Chinese around the world to unite and contribute to the c onstruction of the world’s larges t and most advanced aircraft 48 See a report on this matter at . Data retrieved on April 4, 2005.

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214 carrier to enhance our country’s defense capability.”49 The Henan Youth Daily, an official newspaper in Henan province answered the cal l, publishing a special fund-raising issue on May 12. One month later, more than 1.3 million dollar was collected from Chinese donors, even though this campaign was eventu ally called off by the central government. In May and June, 1999, slogans such as “D own with Americans” were the most popular online rhetoric in China’s growing cyber sphere. Ironically, exactly ten years ago, a group of Chinese demonstrators erec ted on the Tiananmen Square a statue resembling America’s Statue of Liberty, a hi storic moment that had visualized most Americans’ memory about China. Period IX: Post 9/11 Transi tion of Priority (2001.9—2003.6) Although the explosive growing pace of China’s “Great Internet Leap Forward” had slowed downed a little b it in 2002 and 2003, the total on line population still doubled from 33.7 million in January 2002 to over 68 million in July 2003, which made China the second largest online nation in the world, onl y after the United St ates. In the NASDAQ stock market, China concept network st ocks (led by Chinese portals,, and fu eled a return to dotcom mania among Wall Street investors in the first half of 2003.50 Meanwhile, evidence from many angles suggested that the CCP’s centr al government was determined to put a leash on the online rhetoric and online activities, including but not particularly aiming at cyber nationalism. In April 2002, the Internet Society of Ch ina, a self-regulatory organization with strong ties to the government, issued a public statement opposing all kinds of organized 49 See John Pomfret (June 23, 1999). “China’s surfers make waves; despite government regulation, free speech is flourishing online.” The Washington Post , pg. A15. 50 See relevant report by Matt Krantz (July 21, 2003), “Internet investors go all the way to China for latest boom;” USA Today , Pg. 3B.

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215 online attacks. In this announcement, it outlin ed the government’s a nd the organization’s stances on this issue. It partic ularly pointed to the fact that large-scale on line attacks can trigger a downward cycle, which may cause severe damage not only to the government, but also to the society as a whole. Therefor e, all kinds of organi zed online attacks are “irresponsible, immoral, unlawful and should be firmly prohibited.” 51 This tough-worded announcement effectively halted an anti-Japane se cyber war-plan sche duled for the Labor Day holiday week (May 1—May 8, 2002). In midJune, 2002, a fire in a Beijing Internet café killed 24 people; most of them were mi ddle school students. This tragedy triggered a nationwide crackdown on the unr egistered operators among China’s more than 200,000 Internet cafés. In September, 2002, Chinese authorities temporarily blocked the famous online search engine and diverted online users to a China-based search web site. According to the spokesman of Chin a’s Public Security Ministry, this measure was to fence off the “subversive and unh ealthy information” on the Internet.52 In spite of these restrictive measures, China’s Informati on revolution is a journey of no return. Here is a report filed on August 4, 2002 by the New York Times correspondent from Beijing, China. Among the many paradoxes of 21st-century Chin a, consider this one: It is actually easier and cheaper for the average Zhou in Beijing to hook up with the Internet than it is for most Americans. In many cities of this authoritarian Communist state, you don't even need to sign up with an Inte rnet service provider or pay any monthly minimum. From any modem you can just dial 95963, 95700 or a similar number reserved by an Internet company and dive directly into the World Wide Web—for charges of 36 cents an hour that are pa id with the phone bill. (Erik Eckholm, The New York Times , Aug. 4, 2002, section 4, pg. 5.) 51 The original announcement was retrieved on May 11, 2005 at /xhzz/xlwxh/200205/913.html . 52 See a report by Richard McGregor (Sept. 14, 2002), “China builds a great firewall to contain internet excesses,” Financial Times (London), pg. 22.

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216 However, from the perspectives of ge opolitics and foreign relations strategy, no events in this period can compare, even remo tely, with the 9/11 terrorist attacks that occurred on a deadly morning. The 9/11 terrori st attacks have been the single most defining event in the post-Cold War era. It not only altered the course of history but also changed overnight peopleÂ’s talking points as well as decision-makersÂ’ policy agenda around the world. As far as Sino-U.S. relations were concerned, the 19 terrorists not only hijacked four airplane s and turned them into missiles, but also helped divert a head-on collision between China and U.S., which had been deemed inevitable and imminent by the hawks in Washington and Beijing. In the following months, cooperation between the two countries in counter-terrorism issues overshadowed the rifts over ideology, human rights, the embassy bombing, a nd spy-plane collision, occurred just five months before. AmericanÂ’s strategic attention had been distracted by an urge nt threat from the Islamic terrorist groups, away from the remote dange r of the Red ChinaÂ’s rise. On October 19, 2001, President Jiang Zemin met with Presid ent Bush in Shanghai during the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit meeting. Four months later, President Bush paid a state vi sit to Beijing, and the two c ountriesÂ’ diplomatic relations quickly resumed to, and in some areas surp assed, the pre-spy-plan e collision level. In return, the external pressure on China as an ideological rival and strategic competitor had been greatly lessened, which decreased the confrontational sentiment among ChinaÂ’s general public. ChinaÂ’s online media played an instrume ntal role in disseminating the breaking news about the terrorist attack s in the U.S. and the subseque nt analyses. For example, 10 minutes (8:55 pm, Beijing Time) after the firs t plane hit the World Trade Center tower,

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217 posted the first report on its web s ite. In the next 24 hours, it published more than 590 items in the special section “U.S. Was Attacked by Terrorists.” The next day, September 12, 2001, the news channel of recorded the highest single-day online traffic by then, a stunning total of 80 million pageviews.53 Similarly, online media also outpaced and outweighed it s traditional media rivals in covering the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq. Though downgraded, Chinese cyber nationalism in general and anti-Americanism in particular were still visible in the post-9/11 era. The Washington Post ’s correspondent John Pomfret recorded the mixed reactions among general Chinese people toward what happene d in the U.S. “[w]hile average Chinese routinely approach Americans to offer condol ences for Tuesday's terrorist attacks, many others in their offices, schools and Internet chats have voiced satisfa ction at what they describe as a well-deserved blow against U.S. arrogance.”54 Though very few Chinese supported the terrorist’s suicide attack, in the chat rooms, mo st discussants felt that the America’s foreign policy and arrogant manne r toward other peoples, China included, deserved a wakeup call. “We’ve been bullied by America for too long!” said one typical message posted on the electronic bulletin board of Beijing University. “Finally, someone helped us to vent a little.” At first, the central governme nt took no action to censor these kinds of messages. However, things change d when American media began to quote those jubilant postings that had appeared in China’s chat rooms or online forums. On September 13, 2001, the CCP’s Publicity Ministry issued an “urgent notice” ordering the 53 Data retrieved on May 2003, at . 54 See the report by John Pomfret (Sept. 14, 2001 ), “In China, Anti-U.S. Sentiment Unfettered,” The Washington Post , section A, pg. A26.

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218 media, including Internet portals, “not to publis h anything that gloated about the attack or seemed to insult the United States.”55 Two separate events involving one of Ch ina’s most popular female movie stars, Zhao Wei, and one of China’s top male movi e stars, Jiang Wen, immediately distracted a large amount of Chinese online population’s attention from th e 9/11 attacks in the U.S. The September 2001 issue of Chinese version “ Fashion ” magazine on its cover featured a picture of Chinese actress Zhao Wei weari ng an outfit with a Japanese World War II Imperial Navy’s flag imprinted on it. Zhao shot to fame in late 1990s with her role in a television series HuanZhu Gege (My Fair Princess) and had been the most popular female star among Chinese youngsters. Imme diately after the publication of this magazine, some readers were offended by the sight of a Chinese superstar garbed in the most recognizable Japanese militarism sym bol. The outrage was quickly spread to the Chinese online community when the pictur e was posted online by some protesters. China’s major online media, including the official websites, ,56 and , and the commercial online portals, ,57 , in early December established a sp ecial section covering this issue. Meanwhile, hundreds of online chat rooms f illed with condemnations and nationalistic rhetoric over Zhao’s so-called “Military Flag Dress Scandal.” Most online posters criticized the lack of hist orical knowledge, cultural sens itivity, and national dignity awareness in China’s Hollywood-like entertainm ent circle, and some called for boycott of 55 See the report by John Pomfret (Sept. 15, 2001), “China Censors Anti-U.S. Reaction,” The Washington Post , section A, pg. A19. 56 See the special edition on the at . 57 See the special edition on at .

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219 all Zhao’s films and albums. On Decemb er 5, 2001 over 1,000 Nanjing 1938 massacre survivors posted online a public letter to Zhao Wei, calling her to apologize for the insulting and intolerable behavior.58 Zhao’s house in Wuhu city of Anhui province was reported to have been smashed by angry protes ters with bricks and bottles. On December 10, 2001, Zhao finally issued a public statement on to apologize for her “thoughtlessness, naivety, and insensitivity” in this incident and promised to strengthen her knowledge and personality.59 Under mounting public pressures, China’s Publication Bureau temporarily suspended the publication certificate of the Fashion magazine and the editor responsible for the September 2001 issue was forced to resign on December 10, 2001.60 For some Chinese, Zhao Wei’s apol ogy was not enough. At a New Year’s Eve event at Changsha City, Hunan Province, an enraged man named Fu Shenghua, jumped onto the stage where Zhao was performing, grabbed her by the neck, and smeared her with excrement before pushing her to the ground in front of thousands of audiences.61 It was later discovered that the perpetrator’s grandfather wa s beaten to death and his grandmother was raped by the Japanese o ccupiers in 1940s when Japan invaded China.62 58 See report on’s special edition. “A public letter to Zhao Wei from Nanjing Massacre Survivor,” (Dec. 6, 2001). Retrieved on May 8, 2005 at . 59 See the full apology letter at Retrieved on May 14 , 2005. 60 See report “Unintentional Assault” (Dec. 10, 2001), at . Retrieved on May 14, 2005. 61 See the report an d picture online at Retrieved on May 8 , 2005. Also see report “Chinese actor attacked on stage” (Dec. 31, 2001), The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec), pg. D6. 62 See relevant report about Fu and his revenge on the stage at Retrieved on May 14 , 2005.

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220 In June 2002, China’s top actor and director Jiang Wen was also in trouble. Jiang Wen was the leading actor of the 1988 Berlin Golden Beer award winning picture “Red Sorghum” (“ hong gao liang ”), a story about rural Chinese peasants’ resistance against the Japanese invasion in the 1930s, and the di rector of “Devils on the Doorstep” ( guizi lai le ), a black-and-white masterpiece about the Japanese occupation of a Chinese village in the 1930s that won the Grand Prix Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000. In an interview with a Japanese newspaper, Jiang revealed that he vi sited Japan’s Yasukuni Shrine several times prior to his filming of “Devils on the Doorstep.” Yasukuni is a shrine in Tokyo where Japanese worship thei r war dead, including the memorial tablets of dozens of executed A-class war criminals from World War II. It has been the most sensitive place for Japan’s domestic politics as well as for the Sino-Japan relationship. Although Jiang clarified that his visit wa s purely for research purposes, his act nonetheless stirred up heated deba tes online. South China Net ( nan fang wang ) interviewed several celebrities, supervisors, and historians to comment on this event.63 The People’ Daily ’s online web site opened a special section for the debate “Should Jiang Wen go to visit the Yasukuni Shrine?”64 The opinions online were highly polarized. For example, some believed that a director had th e right or even the n ecessity to visit the heart of Japanese militarism. Some argued that regardless of his personal intention, such an act would inevitably hurt the Chinese people’s feeling. Some criticized that Chinese nationalists and the Chinese media had b een overreacting to this type of event.65 63 wen/200207311377.htm. Retrieved May 12 , 2005. 64 See the special forum discussion on the at 7215/20020703/767401.html. Retrieved May 12 , 2005. 65 Ibid.

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221 In sum, throughout the Zhao and Jiang’s incidents, online media and online public opinion played an inseparable role in initiating, amplifying and escalating these events. Although ultra-nationalistic online rhetoric, such as calling for Zhao to commit suicide for her guilt, calling Jiang a traitor, and accusing Zhao of beautifying Japan’s comfort women policy during the World War II, were generally rejected, or ignored by the majority of online discussants, the nati onalistic appeal was n onetheless welcomed, supported, and winning the online debates hands-down. Aside from the geopolitical concerns, th e Chinese government’s low-key no-hassle approach during this period of time reflected the extraordinary precaution taken by the senior leaders for the upcoming trans ition of power in China. In the 16th pentannual Party’s National Convention he ld in November, 2002, Jiang Zemin yielded his post of Secretary General to the so-called core of the fourth generation of leadership, Hu Jintao. Also stepping down with Jiang were six of the seven politburo members, the highest level decision making body in China. In March, 2003, Ji ang gave his state title “President” to Hu in the annual National People’s Congress (N PC). This was the first peaceful, orderly, and complete power transiti on in the CCP’s history. The new leadership was younger, well-educated, and determined to make people prosperous and China strong. Although facing daunting tasks on multiple fronts, the first major challenge for the newly elected leaders was a flu-like epidemic that quickly burst into a global nightmare, the SARS. Just weeks before the historic NPC in Beijing, rumors about a mysterious fatal flu in Guangdong province had been quickly spread on the Internet. Jiang Yanyu, a retired military doctor was the first person who wrote a public letter online to Hu Jintao and other politburo members, pointing to the serious nature of this disease. Hu and his new

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222 administration reacted quickly and won th e general public’s support by dismissing the mayor of Beijing and the Minister of the Heal th Department for covering up the problem, publicizing the details of the di sease, and coordinating with wo rld health organizations to curb the spread of the epidemic. In sum, what happened domestically a nd internationally from September 2001 to June 2003 stimulated a wave of transfor mations and retrospections among cyber nationalists. Several developments in China’s online sphere underscored these transitions. First, the mania of “Cyber Wars” had retr eated. Ever since the public announcement by China’s Internet Society in April 2002, no large-scale cyber war had been carried out by China’s online users. The ebb of online conflict was due both to the reshuffle of political agenda at home and abroad, and to the increas ing negative backfires to this kind of cybervandalism from home and abroad. Second, th e United States, though still on the top three potential enemy list, was no longer an imminent target in online users’ discourses. For the first time since the collapse of the former Soviet Union, China shrugged off the burden as the chosen counter-weight to America’s supe rpower status. At least for now, China had neither capability, nor intention to play such a role. Actually, the fact that China had been singled out by the world’s only super power as a strategic competitor tapped, if not reinforced, people’s nationalistic nerve, gi ven the huge imbalance between these two countries’ military capabilit y. Once “Communist China” chan ged to the “Terrorist AlQaeda” in America’s political codebook, the momentum of Chinese cyber nationalism was redirected to other sources. Third, the merging of elite nationalism and grassroots nationalism online led to the marginalization of the pro-Western intellectuals and the rejuvenation of the anti-Western nationalist intellectuals. The vivi d examples would be

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223 the totally different online treatments receiv ed by Ma Licheng, a editorial writer for the People’s Daily who promoted new thoughts on SinoJapan bilateral relation, and by Wang Xiaodong, a former editor and professo r who took a radical nationalism stance on most foreign policy related issues (see th e following case study on these two prominent Chinese scholars and their thoughts on nationalism). This period is a phase of transition. In wo rld politics, the stage, the players, the backdrop, and the games, all changed after th e 9/11 attacks and the subsequent global war on terrorism. In China’s domestic areas, new leaders were selected, new regulations were established, and new philosophies were adopte d in the wake of China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the upc oming 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and the enormous economic challenges ahead. In China’s cyber sphere, the nationalism sentiment ebbed and flew, but never stopped its rattling. Case Study IX: Ma Licheng and Wang Xiaodong In December 2002, Ma Licheng, an editorial writer of China’s party newspaper the People’s Daily published a highly contr oversial article on the Strategy and Management , a Beijing-based scholarly journal which ha d tremendous influence in China’s elite academia circle. The paper was titled “New Thoughts on China-Japan Relations: Worrisome trends among Chinese public and Japanese public” (Ma, 2002). Ma began his article by reviewing actress Zhao Wei’s milit ary flag dressing incident and the public sentiment surrounding this issue. He asked poi ntedly, “When will we Chinese get rid of this type of irrational impulse?” (Ma, 2002, p. 41). After discussing what he saw during his first trip to Japan, Ma concluded that Japan’s traditional militarism has lost its ground due to the institutionalized democratic syst em, highly modernized society, and peaceful mindset among the general public. Therefore, “from a historical perspective, it is

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224 impossible to forever prevent a defeated c ountry from reclaiming its normal status. We should prepare for the general trend that Japa n will become a great political and military power” (Ma, 2002, p. 44). To do that, China should get rid of the “small-farmer parochialism,” cool down the “irresponsible na tionalism fever,” behave like “a victor and a great power,” and stop focusing on the past history. “Above all, the war has ended for 60 years. We should not be overly harsh on Japan (over the apology issue)” (Ma, 2002, p. 42-49). As to the popular nationalism that em erged in the 1990s, Ma pointed to the two negative factors attached to it. The firs t was “self-conceit,” and the second was “xenophobia.” According to Ma, those “say -no” nationalists and their arguments reflected their “ignorance and backwardness” (Ma, 2002, p. 47). Ma’s personal profile as the director of People’s Daily ’s editorial department, coupled with the strong government background of the Strategy and Management journal led many to think that Ma’s viewpoint must have represented the new administration’s policy design. In the next several months, Ma was interviewed by a couple of traditional mainstream media to further ela borate his “New Thoughts.” Meanwhile, Strategy and Management published four long papers written respectively by Shi Yinhong, a professor of International Relations at the People’s Un iversity of China, and a Japan expert, Feng Zhaokui from China’s Social Science Inst itute. These papers fu rther extended Ma’s viewpoint, suggesting that China should al ly with Japan to resist the American hegemony.66 However, in China’s online sphere, Ma and his “New Thoughts” had been completely and vehemently battered. Ther e was no public opini on poll to show the 66 Shi’s article can be accessed online at wk_wzdetails.asp?id=2226 ; and Feng’s article can accessed online at wk_wzdetails.asp?id=2588 .

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225 distribution of people’s reacti on toward Ma’s theory. Noneth eless, ever since the online media republished Ma’s paper, “Ma Liche ng” has become the synonym of “Chinese traitor” (“ han jian” ) and “Japan kisser” in China’s online vocabulary. Ma’s “New Thought” (“ xin si wei” ) was so notoriously famous that this three-word phrase was ranked one of the most frequently used phras es in online discussions in 2003. The top ranked phrase in 2003 was “SARS.”67 In January 2003, despite warnings from Chinese government, from the South Korean governme nt, and from other Asian governments, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited the Yasukuni Shrine, the third time during his term. The Sino-Jap an bilateral relationship quickly deteriorated as a consequence. Under these circumstances, to support Ma and his “N ew Thought” in a chat room was just akin to supporti ng Bin Liden’s cause in an Amer ican talk show program or to praise Hitler’s Nazi policy in an Israel salon. Ma’s address a nd telephone number were posted online by chat room discussant, and he receive d numerous death threats.68 In the summer of 2003, Ma requested and r eceived early retirement from the People’s Daily , and left Beijing for a commentary job in Hong Kong. One year later in September 2004, fake news still spread online that Ma was beaten by several Hong Kong patriots in the busiest Central Ring Avenue in Hong Kong.69 67 See a reference in Liu Ning’s “One year after ‘New thought on Sino-Japan relation.’” Retrieved on May 5, 2005 at . 68 See an online discussion at . Retrieved on July 4, 2004. 69 See an interview by Guo Yukuan (Sept. 2004). “Ma Licheng readdresses his ‘New Thought,’” South Wind Window (“Nan Feng Chuang”). Retrieved on May 11, 2005 at .

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226 Wang Xiaodong, an outspoken scholar on Chin ese nationalism, won his reputation as the “spokesman for China’s young radical nationalists” after the publication of the book China’s Road under the Shadow of Globalization in 1999 and a journal paper titled “On Chinese Nationalism” in 2000.70 Wang’s theory was mainly built up on the following arguments. First, the current nationali sm resurgence in China is not a deviation, but rather a return to the normal from the self-abusive “reverse-racism” thinking pattern prevalent among China’s intellectuals in 1980s. According to Wang, he borrowed the concept of “reverse-racism” from America to illustrate a widespread tendency among those pro-Western, pro-American Chinese in tellectuals who denigrated and demonized China and Chinese culture. This self-hatred tendency was the result of China’s “reform and opening up to the outside world” policy, a nd was directly respons ible for the tragic June Fourth Event in 1989. Second, China should be prepared, psychologically and physically, for the upcoming “Splendid Isolat ion.” Wang adopted here another Western concept to exemplify that China, because of its size, population, culture, and history, can never expect to forge alliances with Western countries. “C hina should rest its national security on the massive retaliation capabil ity, as well as the comprehensive cooperation with all the non-West c ountries in the world.”71 According to Wang, “Splendid Isolation” is not protectionism, or isolati onism. In contrast, this is the only viable policy that saves China from being isolated by the hostile West . Third, Chinese nationalism does not expel 70 Wang’s “On Chinese Nationalism” was published by Strategy and Management (2000), no. 5. The copy of the article can be accessed from Wang’s blog site at . Retrieved on May 2, 2005. 71 See Wang’s article “Splendid Isolation.” The full co py of the article can be accessed from Wang’s web page at . Retrieved on May 13, 2005.

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227 democracy. Instead, China should develop it s own form of democracy based on its distinctive culture and reality. Wang’s harsh criticism on the liberal fracti on of China’s intellectuals, coupled with his outspoken manner, offended the often meal y-mouthed peers in the academic circle and the narrow-minded propaganda officials. He was sacked from his post as an editor in the Strategy and Management journal, and as a profe ssor at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.72 In Wang’s own words, “my channels for publishing articles have been very few, and often publication has only been possible due to the use of personal relationships.”73 In China, the story of an unorthodox scholar usually ends here. However, it is no longer the case anymore in the online age. Despite his personal “splendid isolation,” Wang nonethel ess continues his intellectual career in the cyber sphere. He established his persona l web pages on dozens of commercial portals, posting all his previous pub lications online for review. 74 In the year 2002, Wang built up his own webblog journal at Ch ina’s largest blog portal , and his representative writing “On Chinese Nati onalism” has been read 16,252 times by online users as of May 5, 2005.75 Moreover, he actively particip ated in all kinds of online interviews, online debates, online chats, or salon discussions s ponsored by web sites.76 72 See an article about Wang Xiaodong by Martin Jacque s (March, 25, 2005), “The Future is China’s,” in The Guardian . Online copy retrieved on May 10, 2005 at a/stroy/0,7369,1445560,00.html . 73 Ibid. 74 See for example, ; . 75 See the linkage to the article at . 76 See for example, on February 18, 2003, Wang joined the online chat sponsored by on Anti-Iraq War campaign. Retrieved on May 13, 2005 at

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228 On February 13, 2003, Qatar’s Al Jazeera te levision network broa dcast an anti-war statement signed by more than 400 Chinese intellectuals.77 This was the first time that Chinese people voiced their opinion directly on the world stage. Wang was the leading figure and one of the organizers of this anti-Iraq war campaign. He was interviewed by Al Jazeera in the following day and elaborated the stance of Chinese intellectuals on the war in Iraq—a stance different from Chinese government’s ambivalent approach. Ma Licheng and Wang Xiaodong’s different experiences in China’s cyber sphere demonstrated the fundamental influence of online communication on the formation of China’s public opinion. Ma’s “New Thought” theory was suppor ted, at least initially, by the elite media and perhaps by senior official s. However, his suggestions were rejected, ridiculed, and accused by the mainstream cyber opinion. In contrast, although Wang’s “ultra-nationalism” had been criticized, and he himself had been marginalized by China’s elite intellectual circle, he regained massive support and respect from China’s cyber sphere. Interestingly, both Ma and Wang had wo rked in China’s official media (one for People’s Daily , and one for Strategy and Management ), and both went to Japan for study (Wang received his Master degree of busine ss management in Japan in late 1980s; Ma wrote his now famous article based on his short trip to Japan in 2002). Their sharply different receptions in China’s online s phere actually revealed the ongoing convergence of the Chinese elite nationalism and the Chinese grassroots nationalism. Their fate pointed to the future direction of Chinese cyber nationalism. 18/1833913132.shtml . His online discussion on “Shibai Forum” at . 77 See relevant report at Retrieved on May 1 , 2005.

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229 Period X: Direct Confrontations with Japan (2003.6 -2005.5) According to CNNIC’s 15th semi-annual report, by the end of 2004, China’s online population grew to 94 million, and nearly half of them used broadband to surf online.78 One significant feature of Chinese netizens is the age distribution. The 18 to 24 age group led all other age groups, and acc ounted for more than one-third (35.3%) of all the online population. The 25 to 30 age group ranked s econd, with 17.7%; followed by under 18 age group, with 16.4%. In sum, nearly 70% of China’s 100-million online users were under the age of 30. In other words, most of th em were born after th e devastating Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). When most of them r eached the primary school age, China had already begun its historic j ourney toward market economy an d globalization. Historically speaking, they were too young to witness Ma o’s revolutionary experiments and the subsequent chaos; yet politic ally speaking, they were too self-confident and independent to be restricted. In addition to the higher living standard, more career choices, and much more relaxed political atmosphere, on line technology added wings to the younger generation’s endless energy and imagination. On October 2004, Forbes and EuromoneyChina released thei r updated China rich lists, respectively. Chen Tianqiao, a 31-year old Shanghai citizen, was ranked second with a personal net worth valued at US$ 1.27 billion.79 Chen founded in 1999 China’s larg est online games company –Shanda Networking Group, a NASDAQ-listed company with a market value now over US$ 2 billion. As China’s billionair es became younger, their wea lth nonetheless grew bigger. 78 See relevant report at . Retrieved April 25, 2005. 79 See report by Alice Yan (Nov. 3, 2004), “Citic chairman tops Forbes’ China rich list.” South China Morning Post , Business post, pg. 1.

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230 For instance, EnromoneyChina has raised the minimum requirement for a spot on its China’s top-100 rich list from US$ 6 million in 1999 to US$150 million in 2004.80 If Zhao Wei’s military dressing incident in 2001 and Jiang Wen’s shrine visit controversy in 2002 showed a turn of tide in Ch ina’s online sentiment, in retrospect, they seemed to be just a short overture. The summer and fall of 2003 witnessed an unprecedented flurry of anti-Japanese activit ies across China, most of which were initiated, stimulated, or implemented online. “Diaoyu Islands are Chinese territory!” On June 22, 2003, 15 Chinese protestors shouted slogans, waved goodbye to friends, and then boarded a small fish boat in Yuhuan County, Zhejiang Province. Their destination wa s a group of small islands in East China Sea, a disputed territory claimed by China, Japan, and Taiwan si nce the end of World War II. This so-called “Pro tecting Diaoyu Operation” (“ bao diao xing dong ”) was the first voyage that was sponsored, organize d, and participated by Chinese mainland volunteers.81 Two Chinese web sites, “Patriot Alliance Net” ( ), and “Chinese 918 Patriots Net” ( ) were behind all the preparatory efforts, such as fund-raising, press releasing, pers onnel recruiting, and logi stic assisting. When Japanese coastguard forces disp atched six battleships and seve ral helicopters to stop these Chinese protestors near the Diaoyu Island, a di rect confrontation seemed inevitable. The back-up group at home reported this situation to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, and called for public support on their web sites. A small online appeal was quickly magnified by 80 See report “China’s richest stay on top of their game” (Nov. 6, 2004), in The Strait Times (Singapore), section: Asia. 81 See the complete coverage of this operation at Retrieved on May 15 , 2005.

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231 online communication’s immerse reach capabilit y, stirring up a gigantic response from China’s 70 million-strong online community. Hundreds of online chat rooms exploded with this news. The Chinese government, t hough not endorsing this kind of spontaneous activity by Chinese citizens, nonetheless took a tough stand in the wake of mounting pressure from China’s online community, tr aditional media, and the ever-formidable public opinion. The Chinese Foreign Minist ry formally sent a note to Japanese government, requiring it to ensure the safety of these Chines e citizens. After singing the Chinese national anthem and holding a sma ll ceremony to declare China’s sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands, 15 Chinese protesto rs returned home peacefully. They were welcomed as brave heroes by the millions online supporters as well as a few traditional media.82 On August 4, 2003, one Chinese died and more than 40 construction workers were injured when mustard gas was found at a cons truction site in Qiqihar, a city in the northeastern China. These mustard ga s bombs were among an estimated 700,000 chemical weapons left behind by the retreati ng Japanese army after its defeat in the World War II. Some 2,000 Chinese people ha ve died since 1945, after coming into contact with the buried or concealed weapons.83 The gruesome pictures of those victims and the Japanese government’s initial reaction of indifference sparke d widespread online protests in China’s cyber sphere. On August 15, 2003, seven Chinese web sites cosponsored an online petition demanding that the Japanese government apologize to 82 See a special edition of this activity at . Retrieved on May 15, 2005. 83 See BBC’s report on this topic. “China nets mill ion Japan protests” (Sept. 18, 2003), by Tim Luard, BBC News Online . Data retrieved on May 5, 2003 at .

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232 those victims, compensate Chinese victim s poisoned by those abandoned mustard gas, provide information about those buried chemical weapons, and clean them up.84 In one month, a total of 1,119,248 Chinese online us ers signed the onlin e petition and 12,518 web sites offered their mora l support to this campaign.85 On September 18, 2003, the 72nd anniversary of the “Mukden Incident” (a plo tted event used by Japan to justify its invasion and occupation of northeast China), online petition organizers presented over one million online signatures (4,000 pages) to the Japanese embassy in Beijing. Feng Xinhua, one of the petition’s organizers, told the BBC Online news, that “he was surprised and pleased by the number of signatories.”86 The Chinese Transportation Ministry was forced to reconsider its 12$ billion worth contract to Japan for the construction of world’s most advanced ma gnetic suspension bullet train linking Beijing and Shanghai (over 1,000 miles). A Chinese we b site organized an online petition to reject this plan for strategic and econo mic considerations. It collected over 90,000 signatories in ten days and sent those names to the Ministry of Transportation. As to the mustard gas incident, a Tokyo local court on September 29, 2003 issued a verdict, ordering that Japanese government pay 190 million Yen (1.8 million US$) to those victims in China.87 The Chinese government’s reaction toward this online petition was 84 These seven web sites were ; ; ; ; ; ; and . 85 For detailed information on this petition, see Retrieved on May 10 , 2005. 86 See BBC’s report on this topic. “China nets mill ion Japan protests” (Sept. 18, 2003), by Tim Luard, BBC News Online . Data retrieved on May 5, 2003 at . 87 For detailed information on this issue, see Retrieved on May 10 , 2005.

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233 interesting and noteworthy. It did not encourage, nor did it prohibit these spontaneous and well collaborative petitions. However, it was not clear whether this inaction was the result of political consideration, or merely due to technical difficulties. One example actually illustrated the delicate tightrope th at Chinese policy makers had been walking on. When Feng Xinhua and 50 activists applie d for a small public protest march in Beijing on the day of their signature submissi on, their request was immediately rejected by police.88 However, not all Chinese netizens suppor ted this kind of public online petition. One chat room discussant named “Lao Ya o” wrote sarcastically in his poster on September 17, 2003, “Protest? To whom we should protest? It was a shame that those Chinese victims could only petition online, lik e a crying baby appealing to his enemy. When Bin Liden attacked America in 9/ 11, did you see Americans file ‘million signatories’ petitions online? Petition is loser’s groan!”89 The mustard gas incident hadn’t subsided, another more humiliating event surfaced in Zhu Hai, a rising tour city in southern China. On the weekend of Se ptember 16-18, 2003, more than 300 Japanese tourists held an open orgy with some 500 lo cal Chinese prostitutes in Zhu Hai’s most luxurious hotel, Zhu Hai Inte rnational Conference Hotel. One outraged hotel resident was so disgusted by what he saw that he made dozens of calls to the hotel managers, local police, and the Zhu Hai government in the following days, but to no avail. One week later, when a newspaper finally picked up this story and put it online, this orgy instantly 88 See BBC’s report on this topic. “China nets mill ion Japan protests” (Sept. 18, 2003), by Tim Luard, BBC News Online . Data retrieved on May 5, 2003 at . 89 See the original post titled “Why I didn’t sign the petition?” (Lao Yao, Sept. 17, 2003) at . Retrieved May 18, 2005.

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234 became a “national humiliation” in China’s cyber sphere.90 The orgy sparked a national outpouring of fury and disgust, not only because of the scale of the scandal, but because it occurred on the 72nd anniversary of the 1931 Mukden Inci dent which led to the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. “September 18th” (or “9/18”) has been the most sensitive date to the Chinese people, just like “9/11” is to Amer icans. Since the late 1990s, it has become a ritual in many large cities that sirens will be set off on every September 18th to commemorate the war victims and atrocities. Intuitively, many Chinese saw this event as a deliberate act by Japanese to humiliate China once again. From September 26th, when this incident was firs t reported by online media, to December 29th, when the two major orgy organizers were sentenced to life in prison, a total of 27,000 entries were posted in Sina.c om’s special talking board on this issue.91 The most often used phrases included “Burn this hotel!” “Double National Humiliation!” “I have to give up my Chines e nationality, since I can not bear this any more!” “Kill those Chinese traitors” or “Boycott Japa nese goods!” etc. The Chinese central government took a tougher stance on this issue. The Foreign Ministry publicly denounced this orgy “an extremely odious criminal case, ” and required the Japanese government to “better educate” its citizen.92 The government also issued arrest warrants for three Japanese who arranged this event and sought their extradition through Interpol. As The Daily Telegraph ’s (London) correspondent Richard Spencer correctly pointed out, the life sentences for the two Chinese organizers , “far longer than any served by those 90 See the relevant reports on this event at . Retrieved on May 19, 2005. 91 The story thread can be accessed at . Retrieved on May 19, 2005. 92 See report “A city pays for its sins” (Dec. 26, 2003) by South China Morning Post (Singapore), pg. 7.

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235 Japanese war criminals who escaped the death penalty after the war, show the extent to which the Chinese authorities are prepared to give vent to nationalist feeling.”93 The anti-Japanese sentiment in China was so vehement that any small incident could become the trigger of an avalanche. In October, 2003, three Japanese students offended thousands of Chinese classmates duri ng a cultural festival at China’s Northwest University in Xi’an. The skit performed by th ese Japanese students was deemed obscure and insulting by their Chinese audiences. Se veral thousand Chinese students joined a large demonstration in Xi’an and some Japane se restaurants were stormed. This episode finally died down after the offenders posted a signed repentant letter on the university’s web site, acknowledging their “lack of unde rstanding of Chinese thinking, ethnicity, culture, manners and customs.”94 To add new injuries to the old wounds, Japanese Premier Minister Junichiro Koizumi visite d the Yasukuni shrine on January 2, 2004, his fourth visit as the top leader of Japan to the highly controversial site where 14 executed Class A World War II war criminals were venerated. When the Chinese government angrily protested and post poned the summit meeting betw een the two countries, the response from a senior Japa nese official stated: [W]hen, where and how the leader of a st ate chooses to honor the memory of that state’s war dead is the bu siness of that country, based on its own traditions and customs. It may arise as a source of c ontention among citizens of this nation, but foreign countries do not have the right to comment.95 93 See Richard Spencer (Decembe r 18, 2003), “Chinese jaile d for life over mass orgy,” The Daily Telegraph ’s (London), Pg. 16. 94 See report by Japanese newspaper The Daily Yomiuri (Tokyo), titled “Anti-Japanese protests continue in China,” Nov. 3, 2003, Pg. 2. Also reports in at . Retrieved on May 19, 2005. 95 See the editorial of The Daily Yomiuri (Tokyo), titled “China shouldn’t meddle in Japan’s internal affairs,” November, 23, 2004, pg. 4.

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236 As the consequences of the deteriorat ing bilateral relati onship, the political hostilities inevitably extended to other areas. For example, Japan’s largest motor maker Toyota and Nippon Paint had to withdraw two a dvertisements aired in China for insulting China’s cultural symbols of the “lion” and the “dragon.”96 The soccer Asian Cup final between the teams of Japan and China ended with a riot in Be ijing that the authorities had to send anti-riot police to dismiss thousands of angry soccer fans.97 In nearly every popular online chat room, an anti-Japanese talking thread usually attracted the most participants. For one example, the ne ws of Koizumi’s shrine visit in was followed by as many as 1341-page commentari es, with about 25 postings on each page.98 In stark contrast to the rampant poli tical animosity, the economic relationship between China and Japan has been thriving du ring the same period of time. China’s huge market and surging demand for industrial pr oducts propelled Japa n’s ailing economy out of its decade-long stagnation. In 2004, China re placed the United States as Japan’s largest trading partner in the world. Meanwhile, Ja panese investment and industrial exports helped speed up China’s modernization proce ss. According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, Japan has invested about 50 billi on US$ in China in the past decade and the bilateral trade between Japan and China reached a record 168.4 billion US$ in 2004. 99 96 See a report by Chua Chin Hon (Sept. 24, 2004), “Enter the dragon, and beware the consequences,” The Strait Times (Singapore), section: Asia. 97 See the report by Peter Alford (August 9, 2004), “Asian Cup shocker another kick in a sensitive region,” The Australian , section: world, pg. 11. 98 See the thread of th e online discussion at . Retrieved on May 9, 2005. 99 See a report by the Associated Press titled “New anti-Ja panese protests erupt in China” (April 16, 2005). Retrieved on May 1, 2005 at . See reference of the trade number released by Commerce Ministry at .

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237 This awkward, if not contra dictory, relationship of “cold in politics and hot in economics” (“ zheng leng jing re ”) posted a daunting threat to the CCP’s ruling credentials. On the one hand, the economic deve lopment has been the overriding goal for the ruling party in the past decades; on the other hand, no political party in China’s modern history ended up well if it sat against the nationalistic tide. With regard to the thorny Sino-Japan relationship, the only option left for the Chinese leaders was a tricky double-faced political maneuver. Publicly, the CCP government had to play hardball with the Japanese “right-wing militarism,” and stand firmly with the Chinese nationalist groups. Privately, however, the CCP’s approach was to speak softly with the Japanese “friends,” and at the same time tune down the uncooperative nationalis tic outcry at home. The following three examples demonstrated the government’s stealth strategy that had been applied to unruly Chinese cyber nationalists. Example I. After three failed attempts, on March 23, 2004, activists from “Chinese Civilians Alliance for Defending the Diaoyu Islands” zigzagged around Japanese coast guard vessels and successfully landed on the Diaoyu Island, an uninhabited island in the East China Sea claimed by China but administered by Japan.100 Hours later, they were arrested by Japanese authorities for illegal en try. This incident tri ggered a flag-burning protest in Beijing, a similar prot est by Japanese nationalists in Japan, and several days of tense confrontation over territo rial rights by the two government s. After China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs lodged nine diplomatic pr otests over the detentions, the seven activists were finally released. The Chin ese organization that organized this and the previous three voyages was an Internet-based civilian activist group. They raised money online, 100 See the relevant report by Anthony Faiola (March 27, 2004), “Isles become focus for old antagonisms,” The Washington Post , Section A, A13.

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238 recruited members online, and di sseminated their progress online.101 On July 19, 2004, when a regional branch of this organization wanted to repeat their voyages once again, the Chinese authorities at the last minute “s ent 20 to 30 plainclothes policemen and 10 cars” to block the sa il for “safety reasons.”102 Also in July, some online users discovered, rather accidentally, that phras es like “Defending Diaoyu” (“ bao diao ”), “Diaoyu Island,” “Safeguarding Diaoyu Island” (“ baowei diaoyu dao ”), and “Nanjing Massacre” were on the government’s secret list of “online uncivi lized words” that should be censored by the Internet Service Providers.103 This incident, though embarrassing for the Chinese government, was the telling evidence of the government’s cyber nationalism dilemma. Example II. On August 30, 2004, an emergent “call for help” letter was posted on many Chinese chat rooms or forums. The author of the post was “ hu nan pai zhang ” (Hunan Platoon Leader), the f ounder and director of one of China’s most active antiJapanese web site, “Patriot Alliance” (“ ai guo zhe tong meng ”) ( ).104 This web site was responsible for the firs t online petition in 2 003 over the construction contract of a high-speed ra il train between Beijing and Shanghai, which a Japanese company had an upper hand in the 12 billion US$ bid. Partly due to the online protest which collected about 90,000 on line signatories in ten days, the Chinese government postponed the final decision on the project. One y ear later, when this web site initiated a 101 See a report by David Fang (April, 13, 2004), “Diaoyu activist pushes boundaries of protest,” South China Morning Post , Section: News, pg. 7. 102 See a report by Shi Jiangtao (July 20, 2004), “Protesters barred from Diaoyus mission,” South China Morning Post , Section: News, pg. 5. 103 See an online discussion on this issue at . 104 See the letter “Special announcement on the suspension of Patriot Alliance Web site,” at , or . Retrieved on May 9, 2005.

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239 new round of “Chinese Railroad Built by China” online campaign, according to the organizer “Hunan Platoon Leader,” “some pow erful department sent out an unequivocal message moments ago requiring us to immedi ately halt this activity, and indicated the possible consequences if we don’t comply. We are on the verge of being shut down. However, our stances are: stick to the truth and stick to the course!”105 This message turned out to be the swan song of a once-popular nationalis tic web site. In an online talking thread on this incident, hundreds of Chinese online users e xpressed their outrage, disappointment, shock, and reflection. Roughly 90% of the postings were angry curses toward the central CCP government, such as “Our government is as weak as a sheep!” “Shit! How can the government shut down a patriot site?!” “History will prove the stupidity of our weak policy!” and “We are missing Chairman Mao.” A few others, however, pointed to the downside of irrationa l ultra-nationalism that might hurt China in the long run. But this kind of message was always submerged by more emotional protests.106 Example III. To quell the anti-Japanese se ntiment online, the Chinese government applied a communication channe l that was non-existent and almost unimaginable in the past. It was a type of informal online chat s between the officials who were directly responsible for the Sino-Japan policy making and the common online citizens who were interested in this topic. The purpose of this “internal public diplomacy” approach was to explain the rationale and complexity of the government’s policies. For example, on January 21, 2005, China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Wu Dawei participated in an online 105 Ibid. 106 See the online discussion threat on this topic at . Retrieved on May 9, 2005.

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240 forum discussion on the “Diaoyu Island Issue” wi th online users. He answered various questions raised by discussa nts in a two-hour time span.107 On April 23, 2005, the “Government Online” program of interviewed Bo Xilai, the Minister of Chinese Ministry of Commerce on issues of “boycotting Japanese products.”108 He emphasized the “mutual beneficial and comp limentary trade relationship between China and Japan.” According to Minister Bo, it wa s estimated that Japanese-funded companies in China absorbed some 9.2 million workers, and in 2004 paid a total of over 6 billion US$ taxes to China’s central government. “I n fact, against the backdrop of economic globalization, every country has to reposition its economy in line with the market rules and value principle. The world economy now is deeply intertwined and interdependent,” cautioned by Minister Bo.109 By the end of the choppy year of 2003, an interview with China’s ex-Ambassador to Japan, Yang Zhenya, was reported prominently by China’s major commercial portals.110 Ambassador Yang’s centra l position reflected the government’s overall concern on this issue, “t he two nations should learn from the past, but look to the future. Because Sino-Japan re lations are easy to destroy, but difficult to rebuild.”111 107 See the transcript of the online discussion on the official web site of China’s Foreign Ministry at . Retrieved on May 16, 2005. 108 See the transcript of the interview at . Retrieved on May 16, 2005. 109 Ibid. 110 See for example, at ; at ; and at . Retrieved on May 16, 2005. 111 Ibid.

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241 The government’s approach was a genuine attempt to reconcile the online public opinion with its foreign polic y toward Japan. However, th eir tactical maneuvers, both overt and covert, both persuasive and coer cive, were easily blown away by Japan’s antagonistic behaviors in the spring of 2005. Japan’s newly revised middle-school history textbook, its aggressive policy on Taiwan a nd Diaoyu Island, and its bid to be a permanent member on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), provoked the largest demonstrations in China since 1989, a nd the largest online pe tition in the world (see the case study below). Several new features of Chinese cyber na tionalism in this stage are noteworthy. First, the online nationalism discussions and activ ities shifted from the elite circle to the grassroots public, and from sporadic on line vandalism to well-organized online campaigns. For example, the new form of online signatory petiti on was a creative and effective strategy that virtually mixed together the elite na tionalists’ thinki ng, the general public’s enthusiasm, and online technology’s ch aracteristics. Meanwh ile, the nationalist activists formed a non-governmental national network to review their past strategies, coordinate their current acts, and formulate their future objectives. For one example, since 2000, the “Web & Patriotism Educationa l Seminar” has been held annually by China’s major nationalistic / patriotic web sites.112 Second, online nationalists were not satisfied with merely talking, chatting, or pe titioning; instead, they were utilizing the online network to inject influence into th e real world. For example, when the online petition against Japan’s bid for the permanent membership on the United Nations Security Council gathered mo re than 40 million signatories worldwide, not only the 112 The conference records could be retrieved at . Accessed on May 6, 2005.

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242 Chinese and Japanese governments, but also the United Nations and the world community had to pay attenti on to this online opinion. Thir d, the maturing of Chinese cyber nationalism complicated China’s fore ign policy making in general and the SinoJapan bilateral relationship in particular . Although the salient online public opinion offered the central government some legitim ate basis for its tougher policy, it nonetheless narrowed down the room for flexible diplomacy or secretive negotiation. To China and to the CCP, it was a new phenomenon, and it wa s the result of the cyber sphere. Case Study V: Anti-Japanese Protest and Petition in 2005 On March 21, 2005, Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Kofi Annan gave an important speech, “In larger freedom : toward development, security and human rights for all,” in which he formally outlin ed the long-awaited UN reforms and lifted the curtain for the highly contested perm anent member enlargement campaign.113 Japan, as the second largest economy in the world and th e second largest contri butor to the UN, has been the front runner in the race for the permanent membership on the UN Security Council. However, a small multi-ethnic group striving for Japan’s apology and reparation for its WWII crimes, the Alliance to Preserve the History of WWII in Asia (ALPHA) in Los Angeles, strongly opposed Japan’s propos al. In early March, they organized an online petition on their web site.114 Since the petition mainly targeted Asian communities in the United States, the initial response was not great. Three days later, when ALPHA found a Chinese partner , and translated their appeal into Chinese, things changed dramatically. Th e online signing traffic was so heavy that it eventually 113 See the transcript of the speech at itiatives/annan/2005/followupreport.pdf . Accessed on May 6, 2005. 114 See the official web sites of ALPHA at and “Historical Justice Now” at . Accessed on May 6, 2005.

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243 jammed and paralyzed the major service center of the web site. Unable to deal with the mountainous signing request, the manager Wu Zukang asked for help from those commercial portals.115 On March 23, 2005, China’s three major portals, , , and answered the call and established on their web page the mirror linkage to this petition. “At fi rst, we only allocated one service center to the petition, but it can not handle the tas k—one-to-two hundred signa tories per second, and over 10,000 within ten minutes,” reca lled by Liang Chunyuan, the News Chief of One day later, the total number of online signatories skyrocketed to one million. On March 27, the total number quickly reached a stunning 10 million. As of May 10, 2005, a total of 286 Chinese web sites volunt arily participated in the online petition signing service, and the newly upda ted total signatories reached 41,785,544.117 According to the petition organizers, they will present the online signatories to the United Nations General Assembly and Secretary-Ge neral Kofi Annan on September 15, 2005. The record-setting online peti tion in the virtual sphere reflected and was largely stimulated by what happened in the r eal world. On April 5, 2005, the Japanese government granted the publication of a hi ghly controversial middle school history textbook. This was the last stra w that broke Chinese online pe ople’s nerve. In this newly revised textbook, it portrayed Japan as a bene volent liberator who intended to salvage 115 See a report on the evolution of this online petition movement by Kan Lehao (April 1, 2005), “The unfolding of million-signatory online petition,” South People Magazine . Retrieved online at . 116 See a report by Cai Mingdong (March 30, 2005). “Million online petition against Japan’s permanent member bid,” The Waitan Pictorial . Retrieved on May 16, 2005 at . 117 See the total number, method of counting and calculating, and list of mirror linkage web sites at . Data retrieved on May 16, 2005.

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244 Asian people from Western colonization, rather than a brutal invader in the World War II.118 It also glossed over such historical events as the wartime “comfort women”— Korean and Chinese women forced to work as sex slaves for the Japanese military—and the Nanking Massacre in China, in which some 300,000 civilians in China’s then capital were brutally murdered, and an estima ted 20,000 women were raped in December 1938. The new textbook dismissed the Nanking Mass acre merely as a disputed “incident,” alleging that all nations without exception committed crimes during wartime. As Philip Cunningham correctly pointed out in an editorial on The Los Angeles Times , “This is an offense to Chinese sensibilities comparab le with Holocaust denial in Europe.”119 The first large scale street demonstra tion broke out on April 9, 2005 in Beijing. As many as 10,000 Chinese people marched through Beijing calling for a boycott of Japanese goods and opposing Japan’s bid for a permanent membership on the UN Security Council.120 The protest was mainly organi zed by Beijing’s college students through Internet communications. They poste d the demonstration announcement, protest route, slogans, and requirements on many Chin ese Internet chat rooms and universities’ BBS, after they got a tacit approval from the Beijing Police Bureau.121 Although thousands of municipal and ri ot policemen followed the de monstrators and guarded the Japanese embassy, scores of emotional protes ters turned violent, throwing paint and 118 See the discussion of the content of the new textbook at . Data retrieved on May 16, 2005. 119 See Philip J. Cunningham (April 11, 2005), “Japan's Revisionist History,” The Los Angeles Times, Editorial Pages Desk; Part B; Pg. 11. 120 See the report by Philip P. Pan (April 10, 2005), “Youth attack Japan's embassy in China,” The Washington Post , Section: A20. 121 Ibid.

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245 bottles at the Japanese Embassy and at Japane se restaurants and businesses en route. The official media, unanimously, didn’t cover this event, the largest demonstration in Beijing since the 1999 anti-NATO bombing protest. However, the numerous online chat rooms spread the news across the cyber sphere. The next day, when Japanese Foreign Minister summoned China’s ambassador in Tokyo to demand an apology and compensation for the protest in Beijing, some 3,000 Chinese demonstrators marched on the Japanese Consulate in Guangzhou and stag ed anti-Japanese demonstrations in Shenzhen, two of the largest cities in southern China.122 Meanwhile, beer consumers across China began to reject drinking Japanese beer Asahi and its Chinese partner beers, because the Asahi Corp sponsored Japan’s right-wing group which drafted the new textbook.123 In response to the online calling for a boycott of Japanese goods , an electronic supermarket in Zhengzhou, Henan province withdrew from its shel ves all the Japanese brand products.124 As if the tension was not bad enough, Japa n’s trade ministry announced on April 13, 2005 that it would allow Japanese companies to start drilling for oil and gas in the disputed area near Diaoyu Island.125 The Chinese government reacted angrily and warned that China “reserves the right to take fu rther reaction.” The Chinese online population, however, wasted no more time to “take further reaction.” Encouraged by Beijing’s model, online activists were busy planning a new wave of larger, broader, and nationally 122 See report by Norimitsu Onishi (April 11, 2005) , “Tokyo protests anti-Japan rallies in China,” The New York Times , section A, pg. 8. 123 See a report by at . Retrieved on May 16, 2005. 124 See a report by at . Retrieved on May 16, 2005. 125 See the report by David Ibison (April 14, 2005), “Japan drilling plan stokes tensions,” Financial Times (London), section: Asia-Pacific; Pg. 11.

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246 collaborated protests. In vari ous local community-based ch at rooms, the organizers discussed with fellow citizens about the genera l plan, time schedule, protest strategy, and other preparatory measurements. For exampl e, on a widely circulated “The detailed direction for the protest against Japanese right-wing activitie s (Shanghai Area),” it explicitly specified that the protests in Shanghai area would be held from 9:00 AM, April 16th, along three different routes toward the Japa nese consulate in Shanghai. It cautioned the prospective participants: bring water and food; don’t ta ke precious items with you; don’t throw stones or metal materials at the em bassy; bring a Japanese flag or Koizumi’s picture if you want to burn them; etc. It also called for cooperation with the policemen, and showing a rational, non-violent manner in line with Shanghai’s global city status.126 To prevent the online-organized anti-Jap anese demonstration from running out of control, the Chinese central government in late March had taken some precautious measures. It ordered China’s major universitie s to block outside access to their campus BBS, where in the past had hosted and br ed the fiercest nationalistic sentiment.127 Knowing that some online discussants called for a large demonstration on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on the weekend of Apr il 16, hundreds of police blanketed the large square in the heart of China’s capital. De fying government’s calling for restraint and stability, on April 16, 2005, the day when Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura arrived in Beijing for an emergent diplomatic visit, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in China’s financial capital of Shanghai, the municipal city of 126 This notice was deleted by most of the web sites af ter the demonstration in Shanghai. Retrieved on April 20, 2005 from Shanghai’s official web site of a global soccer club at . 127 See a report by Mark Magnier (April 19, 2005), “Chi na-Japan relations deadlocked as Tokyo’s envoy returns home,” Los Angeles Times , section A, pg. 3.

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247 Tianjin, and Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province. As many as 20,000 demonstrators in Shanghai marched thr ough main arteries, shouting slogans, and smashing the Japanese Consul ate with rocks and bottles.128 The next day, this wave of demonstrations extended to Shenyang, the larg est industrial base in northeastern China; Nanning, the capital of Guangxi Autonomous Region; Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province in southwestern China; Gua ngzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province in southern China, and other large cities including Zhuhai, Dongguang, Kunming, and Hong Kong. Facing the mounting domestic pressure, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, for the first time clarified China’s formal stance on Japan’s bid for the UN Security Council permanent member on April 17, 2005. In a blun t statement during his visit to India, Premier Wen said, “only a country that resp ects history, takes res ponsibility for history and wins over the trust of peoples in Asia and the world at large can take greater responsibilities in the international community.”129 One week later, during the APEC summit meeting, Japanese Prime Minister apol ogized for the suffering that Japan caused other Asian countries during the World War II.130 Until then, the Chinese government, through the edito rials on the People’s Daily , the announcement of the Ministry of Public Security, and a talking spree by a group of senior leaders with students, made clear that it would not tolerate any more anti-Japanese protests and urged Chinese citizens not to 128 See the report by Joseph Kohn (April 18, 2005), “No apology from China for Japan protests,” The New York Times , Section A, pg. 6. 129 Ibid. 130 See the report by Jim Yardley (April 23, 2005), “China moves to crack down on protests against Japan,” The New York Times , Section A, pg. 3.

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248 boycott Japanese products.131 After that, the first-wave of nationwide Internet-sponsored nationalistic protests began to quite down. However, the nationalistic sentiment still lingers in ChinaÂ’s ever-growing cyber sphere. RQ2: Characteristics of Chinese Cyber Nationalism Online Survey and Analysis From January 1, 2005 to January 5, 2005, an invitation letter containing the URL link to the web-page survey questionnaire was sent out to the 2,000 e-mail addresses sample compiled earlier.132 Two follow-up e-mail reminders were sent out one week and two weeks after the first e-ma il notice, and a thank-you note was e-mailed to the sample population at the end of the survey. A total of 456 e-mail addresses were found either out of service or nonexistent, si nce the e-mail contacts with th em failed repeatedly. By midFebruary, 358 respondents completed the onlin e survey questionnaire, which yielded a response rate of about 23.2%. Though lower than the standard for traditional survey response rate, this result was on par with or even better than the on line survey research with a similar design [for example, Koch a nd EmreyÂ’s (2001) research yielded a response rate of 16%, which was deemed acceptable]. The survey results were then input into the statistical software of SPSS and the following analyses were performed. First, the basic frequencies and means were calculated and then compared with the latest national survey data conducted by CNNIC. Second, the nationalism sentiment index (based on responses to the seven nationa lism-related statements ) and the leadership evaluation index (based on the five policy assessment scores) were summed after 131 Ibid. 132 The URL for the online survey questionnaire was at .

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249 checking the coefficient of reliability (Cronbach’s alpha “ ”). Third, to examine the relationships between the respondents’ online me dia usage, Taiwan debate participation, the nationalism index and leadership evalua tion, correlations were calculated. Fourth, hierarchical regression was conducted to ex amine the extent to which nationalism sentiment predicts leadership evaluation afte r controlling for demographics (age, gender, martial status, income, education, and party membership), and online media usage (Web age, daily online time, and online forum partic ipation). Fifth, base d on the standardized regression coefficients, a path analysis was employed to further illustrate and compare the total effects of different va riables in the overall model. Respondents’ profile and sample validation Out of the 358 respondents, 44.8% of them visited the state-owned online media outlet (including , and ) most frequently in the week prior to the survey, 36.3% visite d the commercial onlin e portals (such as , and ), and 18.9% chose others. More than half of the respondents (52.7%) had access to the Internet from home and 31.3% from their office. Over 55% of 358 respondents spent more th an three hours per day surfing online. Moreover, 68.2% had participated in various forms of online discussions at least once a week, and a large majority (79.1%) of those di scussions were about cu rrent events. It is noteworthy that more than 80% of those onlin e users believed that the online discussions would either “definitely” (36.8%) or “fairly likely” (43.3%) affect China’s overall policy decision making. Interestingly, more than one-fif th of those respondents had taken part in some form of offline activities sponsored by online organizers. The average Web age for the respondents was 5.51 years ( SD =2.07), and more than half of them (57.2%) chose online news sources (either traditional medi a’s online services or commercial online

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250 media) as their major source for informati on, as compared to 10.0% relied on national newspaper and 22.4% relied on national TV networks. As to the demographic distribution, 92% of the res pondents were male, 56.8% had a four-year college degree, the average age was about 29.4 years ( SD =10.2), 63.2% earned less than 2,000 RMB per month (roughly 244 US$), and more than one-f ifth were CCP members (see Table 4-2). Table 4-2 lists the respondent sÂ’ profile in this survey and the comparable numbers reported by the Chinese National Informati on Center (CNNIC) in January 2005 for its 15th semi-annual national survey. Table 4-2. Profile of respondents and nati onal survey results from CNNIC report Variables Online Survey CNNIC Jan. 2005 Report133 ( N =358) ( N =n.a.134) Gender Male 91.0 60.6 Age <18 3.0 16.4 18-24 29.8 35.3 25-30 20.4 17.7 31-35 19.9 11.4 36-40 7.5 7.6 41-50 12.0 7.6 >50 7.5 4.0 Education Below high school 12.4 13.0 High school 28.9 29.3 Some college 49.3 54.6 Graduate degree 9.5 3.1 133 Data retrieved on May 25, 2005 at . 134 CNNICÂ’s semiannual national survey report was ba sed on three multi-stage survey methods. The first online survey sample included 23,506 voluntary online respondents. The multiple-stage cluster sampling method was used for the provincial level telephone survey, with 1,600 respondents allocated to each province. The third sample frame was the national student rosters. The results of these three coordinated surveys were then weighted and combined into a final national dataset. See the description of the overall survey method at .

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251 Profession Students 21.6 32.4 Technician 25.9 12.4 Marketing & service 8.5 9.4 Civil servant 10.0 7.4 Business management 7.5 9.3 Education 6.6 7.0 Industry worker 7.0 5.0 Unemployed 6.7 7.0 Others 6.3 9.9 Income < 2000 RMB/month 63.2 80.6 Martial Status Married 45.8 42.8 Compared with the CNNICÂ’s national surv ey data, the sample of this study was apparently more male-dominated, slightly ol der, with fewer student s, and higher average monthly income. The disproportional gender dist ribution in this online survey might be the result of (1) Chinese male users are more lik ely than female users to visit and register in online communities; (2) male online users are more likely to provide their e-mail addresses and make it public in their onlin e registration account; (3) male online users check their e-mail box more frequently than fe male users do; and (4) male users are more likely to participate in survey research. To adjust the gender discrepancy in the following data analyses, the dataset was weighted in line with the gender distribution of the latest CNNIC survey. As to other demographic variables, including age, educat ion, profession, income , and marital status, this sample was consistent with the national dataset. Therefore, the weighted sample of this survey research was validated by ChinaÂ’s overall online population.

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252 Nationalism Sentiment Index (NSI) a nd Leadership Evaluation Index (LEI) As Chinese nationalism is a multidimensional construct, seven interrelated statements were employed to assess the multiple aspects of this core concept. On a fivepoint Likert-scale, respondent s were asked to indicate thei r level of agreement toward seven statements concerning Chinese nationa lism. The responses were coded as 5 for “strongly agree,” 4 for “sli ghtly agree,” 3 for “neutra l/no opinion,” 2 for “slightly disagree,” and 1 for “strongly disagr ee.” These seven statements are: “Chinese people are one of the smartest and most diligent peoples in the world.” (collective identity) “In essence, China’s Confucian-centere d civilization is better than other civilizations in the world.” (cultural identity) “I am proud to be a Chinese. If I were given a chance to choose again, I wouldn’t hesitate a moment to choose Chinese as my nationality.” (ethnic identity) “Chinese civilization will sure ly reestablish its past glor y and success in the near future.” (future expectation) “Most China’s atrocities and tragedies experienced in the past one and a half centuries were the results of forei gn exploitations and interventions.” (responsibility attribution) “China’s rise will pose no threat toward peace and prosperity in East Asia and the world.” (reciprocal positioning) “Generally speaking, the love for the CCP e quates with the love for China.” (grassroot nationalism vs. state-promoted patriotism) To check the internal consistency of these seven measures, Cronbach’s alpha was computed. The reliability coefficient for these seven statements was .80, a figure that is considered satisfactory in most social scien ce applications. In othe r words, these seven measurements were reliable and consistent in capturing the multiple aspects of Chinese nationalism sentiment. These seven statements we re then aggregated to create an index of Chinese nationalism sentiment ( M = 3.39; SD = 0.83). This composite nationalism

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253 sentiment index (NSI) was used as a key variab le in the next sessions of data analyses (see Table 4-3 for a summary of the seven statements). Table 4-3. Summary of responses to ward seven nationalism statements Statements Mean SD ( N =350) ( N =350) “Smart Chinese people” 3.79 1.28 “Confucian civilization” 2.75 1.31 “Proud to be a Chinese” 4.25 1.14 “Future renaissance” 3.91 1.22 “Past humiliation” 2.77 1.26 “Peaceful rise” 3.85 1.30 “Love CCP=love China” 2.44 1.38 __________________________________________________________________ Nationalism Sentiment Index (NSI) 3.39 0.83 (Cronbach’s = .80) Note: people’s responses to the seven statements were coded as following: “strongly disagree” with the statement was coded as “1”, “slightly disagree” as “2 ,” “neutral/no opinion” as “3,” “slightly agree” as “4” and “strongly agree” as “5.” Most of the respondents tende d to agree with the thir d statement about Chinese ethnic identity ( M =4.25, SD =1.14). More than three-fourth s of the respondents either “strongly agree with” (62.2%) or “slightly agree with” ( 15.5%) the statement that “I am proud to be a Chinese.” Also, the respondents’ overall reactions toward China’s future position (statement 4), peaceful image (statement 6), and collective identity (statement 1) demonstrated more favorable agreement with the statements. However, as to the statements about the superiority of the Conf ucian-centered civilization (statement 2) and the past humiliation memory (statement 5), mo re respondents seemed to reject the ethnocentered mindset and the xenophobi a sentiment. Most important, a moderate majority of the respondents recognized the distinction between “the love for the CCP” and “the love for China” (statement 7). Actually, about 64.6% of the respondents chose either “strongly disagree” or “slightly disagree” with the statement that treat ed these two affections as

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254 identical. This result suggests an underst anding among online users to separate or distinguish between state-promoted patr iotism and grass-roots nationalism. Just like the concept of Ch inese nationalism, online users’ evaluations of Chinese current leadership were also measured by fi ve interrelated factors. On a 100-degree thermometer, respondents were asked to rate China’s current leadersh ip in terms of its “overall performance,” “general performance in foreign policy issues ,” “performance in Sino-US relations,” “performance in Sino-Japa n relations,” and “performance in Taiwanrelated policies.” The Cronbach’s alpha for these five measurements was .88, a fairly satisfactory result. To grasp online users’ overall evaluation of Chinese leaders, a leadership evaluation index (LEI) was crea ted by summing the five measurements and then dividing the results by five (see Table 4-4 for a summary of the means and standard deviation for LEI). Online respondents rated Chinese leaders’ “overall performance” higher than any other four foreign policy-related areas. Si nce the “overall perfor mance” normally entailed domestic policy issues and fo reign policy issues, it could be inferred that Chinese online population was satisfied more with the leader ship’s domestic performance than with its performance in international arena. The rating for “Sino-Japan relations”—58.5 points out of 100 points—was undoubtedly a warning sign for the current leadership, whose Japanese policy had been widely denounced onl ine in the past several years. Meanwhile, the rating for “Sino-US relations” was much higher than “SinoJapan relations,” a perception gap underlying the shift of tens ion and public attention from the possible “Sino-US” conflict to the possi ble “Sino-Japan” conflict. Table 4-4. Summary of the thermometer scores for the evaluation of Chinese leadership Performances Mean SD

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255 ( N =341) ( N =341) “Overall performance” 74.20 15.75 “Overall foreign policy” 72.89 19.10 “Sino-US relation” 72.96 18.19 “Sino-Japan relation” 58.50 28.50 “Taiwan-related policy” 67.26 24.28 ________________________________________________________________ Leadership Evaluation Index (LEI) 69.11 17.77 (Cronbach’s = .88) Note: the respondents were asked to rate the perfor mance of China’s current leadership on a feeling thermometer ranging from 0 degree to 100 degree, in which “0 degree” stands for the most negative feeling and “100 degree” represents the most positive feeling. Correlations between online media usage and political sentiment The relationships between respondents’ online media use and their political sentiment toward the government and other policy-related issues are of importance in understanding the influence of the online sphe re. In Table 4-5, respondents’ online media usage, including the amount of time surfing online per day, their Web age (the number of years surfing online), their fre quency of participa ting online debates, and their times of chatting about the Taiwan related issues, were correlated with the political sentiment variables, such as the estima te of a possible Taiwan Stra it conflict before 2008 (from 0% possibility to 100% possibility), the degree of support for a military conflict over Taiwan (from 0% support to 100% support), and the NSI & LEI scores. Table 4-5. Correlations between online media usage and political sentiment Composite Index Taiwan Issue Factors NSI LEI 2008 War Support War Correlates ( r ) Online time -.10 -.09 .04 -.00 Web age .00 .02 .03 .08 Online debate .11* .08 .03 .07 Chat about Taiwan .21** .08 .37** .24** Age .00 -.13* -.02 .02 Income .05 -.15* .01 -.09 Education -.04 -.04 -.28** -.17**

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256 2008 War .18** -.05 Support of War .33** .09 * p <.05, ** p <.01, *** p <.001 (2-tailed). As Table 4-5 shows, demographic variab les such as age, monthly income, and education are not associated with the nati onalism sentiment index. In other words, the variance of the NSI score among online users la rgely ran across the boa rd, regardless of respondentsÂ’ social economic backgrounds. In co ntrast, evaluation of the leadership was negatively associated with age ( r =-.13, p <.05) and income ( r =-.15, p <.05). Interestingly, the NSI was significantly correlated with res pondentsÂ’ average number of online debates per week ( r =.11, p <.05), and the number of times th ey chatted about Taiwan-related issues online ( r =.21, p <.01). The more frequently peopl e went to online forums and discussed something related to Taiwan, the higher their nati onalism sentiment index score was. Likewise, the higher a personÂ’s NSI figur e, the more likely he or she would predict an across the Taiwan Strait conf lict before the year of 2008 ( r =.18, p <.01), and the more likely he or she would support this military conflict ( r =.33, p <.01). It needs to be noted that respondentsÂ’ education level was negativ ely associated with both the war prediction and the support for a military conflict. One of the major focuses of this research concerned with the relationship between respondentsÂ’ nationalism sentimen t and their evaluation of the leadership. In Table 4-6, the correlations between the NSI score and the overall judgment of Chinese new leadership are reported. As Table 4-6 indicate s, NSI was significantly associated with all of the leadership evaluation measurements. The higher a personÂ’s NSI score, the more likely he or she rated favorably the current leadershipÂ’s performa nce. This type of

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257 positive association was the strongest for the “overall performance” ( r =.44, p <.001) and the weakest for the “Sino-Japan relation” ( r =.22, p <.001). Table 4-6. Correlations between Nationalism Sentiment Index (NSI) and Leadership Evaluation Index (LEI) Nationalism Sentiment Index (NSI) (N=341) Correlates ( r ) “Overall performance” .44*** “Overall foreign policy” .33*** “Sino-US relation” .27*** “Sino-Japan relation” .22*** “Taiwan-related policy” .25*** ___________________________________________________________ Leadership Evaluation Index (LEI) .34*** * p <.05, ** p <.01, *** p <.001 (2-tailed). Predictors of nationalism and political sentiment What demographic factors would influen ce people’s nationalism sentiment? Which online media use habits would predict people’ s political judgments? To answer these research questions, hierarchical regression an alyses were employed. The first hierarchical regression was conducted to examine the exte nt to which online media usage habits predict nationalism sentiment after controlli ng for demographic variables. The predictors were entered as blocks. Demographic vari ables included gender (dummy variable, male=1), education, income, CCP membership (dummy variable, CCP=1) and age. The online media use variables included the amount of time surfing online each day, online user’s Web age, frequency of participati ng in online debates, and whether the online media were the primary news source for th e respondents (dummy variable, online media primary source=1). Demographic variables we re entered first, followed by online media use patterns. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that among all the variation in people’s nationalism sentiment, 5% could be e xplained by demographic variables [ R2=.05, F = (5,

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258 355) =2.53, p <.05)] and 10% could be e xplained after adding online media use patterns to the model [ R2=.10, F = (9, 352) =3.15, p <.001)]. While the CCP membership significantly predicted nationalism sentiment ( =.22, p <.01), the online userÂ’s age was another significant predictor of the sentiment result ( =-.16, p <.05) but in a negative direction. In other words, an online user with a CCP me mbership would be more likely to have a higher nationalism sentiment score. Meanwh ile, the younger an online user was, the higher their nationalism sentiment was. Howe ver, according to the regression results, a respondentÂ’s gender, educati on level and monthly income had no impact on peopleÂ’s nationalism sentiment index score. As expect ed, the online debate variable did have a significant impact on the overall nationalism sentiment after controlling for the demographic variables ( =.22, p <.01). For those online users who participated in the online debates more frequently, their nationalis m sentiment was more likely to be higher. Similarly, whether an online user chose the online media as his or her primary news source would positively impact the i ndividualÂ’s nationalism sentiment ( =.15, p <.05). However, respondentsÂ’ daily online time had a marginally significant negative impact on nationalism sentiment ( =-.12, p =.05)(see Table 4-7 for a su mmary of the regression results). Table 4-7. Summary of hierarchical regr ession analysis for variables predicting nationalism sentiment (NSI) Model 1 Model 2 ( ) ( ) Demographic Gender (male=1) .04 .05 Education -.06 -.02 Income .02 .04 Age -.13* -.16* CCP (yes=1) .22** .24*** Online media use

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259 Surfing time -.12* Web age -.04 Online debate .16** Primary source (online=1) .15* __________________________________________________________________ R2 .05* .10*** Adjust R2 .03 .07 * p <.05, ** p <.01, *** p <.001 The second hierarchical regression was c onducted to examine the extent to which nationalism sentiment predicts leadership ev aluation after controlling for demographic variables and online media usage patterns. The first block of independent variables included gender (dummy variable, male=1 ), education, income, CCP membership (dummy variable, CCP=1) and age. The sec ond block of online media usage variables included the amount of time surfing online e ach day, respondentsÂ’ Web age, frequency of participating in online deba te, and whether the online media were the primary news source for the respondents (dummy variable, online media primary source=1). The third block independent variable was the nati onalism sentiment index (NSI) score. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that among all the variation in peopleÂ’s leadership evaluation, 6% could be e xplained by demographic variables [ R2=.06, F = (5, 341) =2.96, p <.05)], 8% could be explained after adding online media usage patterns to the model [ R2=.08, F = (9, 339) =2.39, p <.05)], and 19% could be explained after adding the nationalism sentiment index into the model [ R2=.19, F = (10, 335) =5.56, p <.001)] (see Table 4-8 for a summary of all the regression results). Table 4-8. Summary of hierarchical regr ession analysis for variables predicting leadership evaluation (LEI) Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 ( ) ( ) ( )

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260 Demographic Gender (male=1) -.01 -.05 -.08 Education -.05 -.10 -.10 Income -.12 -.11 -.12 Age -.20** -.22** -.19** CCP (yes=1) .13 .10 .04 Online media use Surfing time -.08 -.05 Web age .05 .08 Online debate .13 .07 Primary source (online=1) .10 .15* Nationalism Sentiment Index .34*** _____________________________________________________________________ R2 .06* .08* .19*** Adjust R2 .04 .05 .16 * p <.05, ** p <.01, *** p <.001 Overall, the nationalism sentiment index pr oved to be the single most important predictor of leadership evaluation ( =.34, p <.001). The stronger an online respondentÂ’s nationalism sentiment, the higher score th ey would give to the current Chinese leadership. In addition to this most important predictor, online userÂ’s age was negatively associated with the leadership evaluation va riable, indicating that the younger generation tended to be more critical of the leadership than their se nior fellow countrymen were ( =.20, p <.01). Also, peopleÂ’s online media source preference was a predictor of the leadership evaluation after controlling for all the demographic variable s. It is noteworthy that the variation of leadership evalua tion could not be expl ained by demographic variables such as gender, education, income, CCP membership, and by online media use factors such as online surfing time, on line debate frequency and Web age. Path analysis Path analysis is a statistical techniqu e by which researchers can evaluate the accuracy of a conceptual model that specifi es the causal relationships among numerous

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261 variables. The literature review of this re search has illustrated that some demographic variables, including ag e, gender and CCP membership, mi ght directly affect Chinese online users’ choice of online news sources , the amount of time su rfing online, and the likelihood of participating in online debate s. Furthermore, because of the relative freedom of discussion provided by the online sphere and the overwhelming nationalism sentiment in online chat rooms, respondents’ online media usage patterns might lead to changes both in their overall nationalism sen timent and subsequentl y, in their evaluation of the leadership and other political judgments. Since the nationalism sentiment has been an overriding factor in people’ s judging of leadership perfor mance, it is assumed that the nationalism sentiment variable would directly lead to the leadership evaluation variable. Therefore, This multiple-step hypothetical model (demographic variables—online media usage patterns—nationalism sentiment index—le adership evaluation i ndex) was tested by running a series of least squa res regressions to calculate the standardized regression coefficients. The final path of causa tion is illustrated in Figure 4-1. As the diagram shows, the nationalism se ntiment was directly influenced by online debate participation, choice of a primary ne ws source, CCP membership, and the amount of time people spent surfing online. If an on line user is a CCP member, and frequently participates in online discussions, he or she is more likely to have a higher nationalism sentiment score. However, the choice of online media as his/her primary news source, and the amount of time surfing online had a negative impact on the overall nationalism sentiment. Although age, income, gender, a nd education had no direct impact on the nationalism sentiment, they did influence th e intermediate variables, such as online debate, online surfing time, and online s ource choice, respectively. The nationalism

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262 -.15* .34* ** .15* .12 * .31*** .16 .13* .24*** .15* .29*** .16*sentiment index served as the single most important item which influenced respondentsÂ’ evaluation of ChinaÂ’s current leadership. -.19* Note: all numbers are standardized coefficients Beta. Gender, CCP membersh ip, online source are dummy variables. * p <.05, ** p <.01, *** p <.001 Figure 4-1. Path analysis of nati onalism sentiment and its effects Some disguised patterns that were not lin ked by the arrows in this path analysis model were nonetheless significan tly related to the overall research question in this study. For example, it is rather revealing that the CCP membership didnÂ’t have any direct impact on the evaluation of the ruling part y leaders. Moreover, none of the major demographic variables, except for age, were directly correlated with the nationalism sentiment score, a fact indicat ing the across-the-board basis for the nationalism appeal in ChinaÂ’s online sphere. Online Content Analysis and Characteristics of Chinese Online Sphere Two types of online content were coded a nd analyzed in this research. The first type was the headline news on four major on line media in China. From December 1, 2004 to January 31, 2005, a total of 3,366 headline stories were coded into ten different issue categories (see Table 4-9 for the distribution of the news stories). Table 4-9. Online news distribution and issu e agenda on ChinaÂ’s four online media SN SH XH PD Total Rank A g e CCP Gende r Education Online Debate Surfin g Time Online Source Nationalism Sentiment Index Leadership Evaluation Index Income

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263 Issues Economy 128 122 268 163 681 1 Education 16 27 39 29 111 8 Health Care 36 37 36 37 136 7 Social Security 94 119 115 71 399 2 Political Reform 73 80 109 137 399 2 Taiwan Issue 51 64 39 44 198 6 National Security 79 82 91 61 313 5 Environment 10 12 25 17 64 9 Culture & Society 66 100 125 82 373 4 Others* 123 161 267 141 692 ______________________________________________________________________ Total 676 804 1114 782 3366 Note: “SN” denotes ; “SH” denotes ; “XH” denotes ; and “PD” denotes . * Most of the stories categorized as “Others” were international news that had nothing to do with China or the Chinese people. To preserve the consiste ncy of the ranking, the researcher didn’t include the “Others” into the final issue list. As Table 4-9 shows, the news stories on “Economy” led the issue agenda list for the online news report. Coincidentally, “Soc ial security” and “Political reform” both recorded 399 news stories during this peri od of time, tying for the second place on the issue agenda. “Education” turned out to be the second least reported issue on the online news media agenda, with 111 stories in a two-month span. “Environment,” which has become a major negative storyline of China’ s economic miracle, nonetheless ranked last with only 64 stories, averaging about one story per day across a ll four major web sites. The second type of online c ontent to be analyzed was the online discussions on the political forum on four targeted web sites. The four forums chosen as the analysis sample were the Shishi Forum on , the Baixing Forum on , the Fazhan Forum on , and the Qiangguo Forum on . From February 1st to February 28th 2005, a total of 200 (50 from each forum) online discussion threads we re selected by using a systematic random sampling method. Table 4-10 reports the majo r findings of the content analysis.

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264 Table 4-10. Summary of online di scussions in terms of topic, rationality, and political attitude Forums Shishi Baixing Fazhan Qiangguo (SN) (SH) (XH) (PD) Mean Word count 3178 885 1442 611 ( SD ) (4617) (1212) (2442) (1400) Readership 3434 880 337 45 ( SD ) (4746) (1226) (507) (87) Reasoning* 3.31 2.92 3.38 2.92 ( SD ) (1.38) (1.38) (1.41) (1.23) Emotion* 3.65 3.73 3.24 3.12 ( SD ) (1.11) (1.10) (1.08) (0.94) Responsiveness* 2.80 3.14 3.02 2.26 (2.11) (1.76) (1.65) (1.93) Criticalness of Gov.* 2.69 2.37 2.58 2.60 (1.12) (0.76) (0.88) (0.76) ______________________________________________________________________ No. of discussion threads ( n ): 50 50 50 50 Note: “SN” denotes ; “SH” denotes ; “XH” denotes ; and “PD” denotes . SD refers to standard deviation. * The scale of “Reasoning” ranges from “1” for very poor to “5” for very well; the scale of “Emotion” ranges from “1” for very low to “5” for ve ry high; the scale of “Responsiveness” ranges from “1” for very weak to “5” for very strong; and the scale of “Critical of government” ranges from “1” for very negative, “3” for neutral, to “5” for very positive. As Table 4-10 suggested, the Shishi Forum on recorded on average the highest word count as well as the largest readership for the discussion threads. The average word count of 3,178 for an initial message was a stunningly high number. The readership on Qiangguo Forum’s discussion thre ad was dramatically lower than the other three, largely because the forum design of Qiangguo facilitated a prompt conversation rather than the in-depth and thorough discussion.135 Nonetheless, when combined into 135 For example, all the other three forums are designed as the inventory of discussion threads. Discussants can participate in a discussion eith er by choosing from a long list of existing threads or by starting his talking thread. In contrast, the Qiangguo Forum has been designed as a message bulletin board where the front page keeps rolling over whenever a new message is posted.

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265 two online groups, the commercial online media (Shishi on SN and Baixing on SH) did attract significantly more viewers than th e state-owned online media (Fazhan on XH and Qiangguo on PD) did, F (1, 199)=28.54, p <.001. Similarly, although there was no significant difference between these two groups on discussion rationa lity, responsiveness toward the initial message and the critical ness toward the government, the commercial media group scored significantly higher in the emotion level than their state-owned online media counterpart, F (1, 199)=11.70, p <.001. In other words, the sentiment in the commercial media forum was less controlled, and more emotional. Overall, across the four forums, the attitude among the discu ssants was not that favorable toward the government ( M =2.56, SD =0.90, N =200). However, it needs to be noted that since online censorship was rampant on these discussion forums, these results may not be an accurate reflection of what had happened, but rather a reflection of what had been permitted to appear on the web site. With regard to the online forum accessibil ity, there was no specific restriction on peopleÂ’s participation of any forum discussion. However, to participate, discussants had to register an account, provide an online name , and a verifiable e-mail address. Once the registration process completed, a password would be forward to the designed e-mail address. This was a common procedure for all four online forums. However, andÂ’s forums sent out the passw ord immediately after the registration, but and waited for another day to pass out the password. Therefore, even if you wanted to join a discussion on the Qiangguo Forum, you had to wait for one more day to get the permission. The forum masters on the Qiangguo Forum seemed to be th e most visible and proactive in terms of

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266 monitoring the discussion. A small portion of the postings in the forum actually were discussants’ protests of th e web master’s deletion of th eir earlier messages. Among the 200 talking threads, 12 included pictures pos ted by discussants. In one discussion, the initial message actually contained more than 30 pictures portraying th e hardship of living for those laid-off workers and children living in the impoverished regions. This thread attracted 23,785 visits from the viewers. More than 10% ( n =22) of the threads mentioned Chinese leaders, with six mentions of the former CCP Chairman Mao Zedong, four mentions of the current CCP Secretary General Hu Jintao, and two each for Deng Xiaoping, Zhou Enlai, and Zhu Rongji. The overall evaluation of these Chinese leaders was tended to lean in more posi tive than negative direction ( M =3.62, SD =1.36, n =22). RQ3: Consequences of Chinese Cyber Nationalism The Cognitive Consequences: The Issue Agendas Before synthesizing the in-depth persona l interview results, a comprehensive analysis of online survey re spondents’ issue agenda, online discussants’ talking agenda, and the online media’s news agenda is need ed. Traditional agenda setting research suggests that the issue importance rank orde r presented by the mass media would highly likely influence the audience’s judgment of issue importance and their choice of discussion topics. To apply this assumption to the current research, an online media news agenda was established by compiling the head line news of four major online media during a two-month period from Decemb er 1, 2004 to January 31, 2005. Meanwhile, from mid-January to mid-February, 2005, an online survey was conducted to gather the information about people’s online media us age patterns and pub lic opinion. Among the survey questions, the respondents were particul arly asked to answer “What is the most important problem facing China today?” This public agenda, which was gathered six

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267 weeks after the beginning of the online headli ne analysis, is compared with the online media agenda. Moreover, the online discussion an alysis also generated an agenda for the discussants in China’s major online forums from February 1 to February 28, 2005. To facilitate the data analysis, the online news agenda was further divided into two different groups, namely, the commercial online media news agenda ( and ) and the state-owned online news agenda ( , and ). Aside from the public’s overall issue agenda, the survey respondents were further re-categorized into two different groups , one group that had reported relying on the commercial online medi a as their major news source, and the second group relying on the st ate-owned online media as major news source. Table 4-11 summarizes the issue rank order of the above mentioned variables. Some of the findings in Table 4-11 are noteworthy. For example, the issue of “Economy” was ranked as the top issue not only by the overall online news medi a, but also by most of the online survey respondents. Similarly, the issue of “Politi cal Reform” was ranked second by the online media overall and by the survey correspondents as a whole. Interestingly, though rated as the fifth or even the least important issue, “National Security” prove d to be the hottest topic on the online political forums. Table 4-11. Summary of the online media’s issue rank or der, online public’s issue agenda, and online discussion agenda Online news agenda Online survey agenda Forum agenda Total SS XP Total SS XP Total Issues Economy 1 1 1 1 1 3 3 Education 8 8 8 3 3 2 6 Health Care 7 7 7 5 5 5 8 Social Security 2 2 4 8 9 6 7 Political Reform 2 5 2 2 2 1 2 Taiwan Issue 6 6 6 4 4 4 4 National Security 5 4 5 9 8 8 1

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268 Environment 9 9 9 6 6 7 9 Culture & Society 4 3 3 7 6 9 5 ______________________________________________________________________ Time line: 12.01.04—01.31.05 01.15.05—02.15.05 02.01—02.28.05 Note: “SS” denotes and ; “XP” denotes and . To obtain a statistically accurate analys is, the researcher ran the nonparametric correlations among these several rank orde rs in SPSS to calculate the Spearmans’s Rho . The commercial online media’s agenda was sign ificantly correlated wi th the state-owned online media’s news agenda (Spearman’s rho =.88, p<.005), and the survey respondents who relied on commercial online media as th eir primary news source ranked the issue importance similar to the respondents who re lied on state-owned online media for news (Spearman’s rho =.82, p<.01). However, no significant relationship was found in the direction revealed by the traditional agenda setting research conducted mainly in the Western countries. For example, there wa s no significant relationship between online media’s news agenda and online users’ issue importance agenda (Spearman’s rho =.38, p<.31), or between online users’ issue agenda and online forum’s discussion agenda (Spearman’s rho =-.13, p<.73). The Political Consequences: The In-depth Interviews One-on-one in-depth interviews were used to help gauge the social and political consequences of Chinese cyber nationalism from the perspectives of those who had direct experiences of it.136 Those interviewees could be categor ized into three groups. The first group included some insiders working in China’s foreign policy decision making bodies. A former spokesperson (Mr. S) of China’s Fo reign Ministry who had more than 20 years 136 According to the guidance and invitation letter, all interviews would be anonymous unless the interviewee desired otherwise. While quoting or paraphr asing their remarks in the following section, the researcher will use the initial of the interviewees’ surname.

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269 of work experience agreed to talk with the researcher on the condition of anonymity. Similarly, a minister-level senior leader (Mr. C) in the CCP’s International Department answered the researcher’s questions in a de tailed e-mail. Their insider views provided a much-needed perspective for evaluating the co nsequences of Chinese cyber nationalism. The second group of interviewees included China’s online opinion leaders and web masters. Among them, Wu Zukang, the founder of China’s most famous nationalist web site— —talked about his understandi ng of the cyber nationalism movement and his web site’s stance. Als o, Wang Xiaodong, China’s leading nationalism scholar revealed his philosophy and personal we b surfing experiences. The third group of interviewees involved Chinese discussants on online political forums . A total of eight online survey respondents agreed to be interv iewed. Most of the interviews lasted about half an hour and the interviews were conducted between March and June 2005. The interview questions were very similar to th e online survey questi ons, except for some causal conversations and follow-up inquiries. The interviewees were asked to introduce their online experience, medi a usage patterns, opinions on cyber nationalism movement in China, and their personal background. Consequence: from the persp ective of policy maker Talking about China’s fast growing cyber sphere and cyber nationalism sentiment, both Mr. S and Mr. C. mentioned its evid ent impact on both China’s foreign policy decision making process and the final out come of China’s foreign policy. Their comments could be summarized into three as pects. First, China’s “people’s diplomacy” tradition has been revitalized by the Inte rnet technology and online sphere. Second, online nationalism, if left unrestricted or misguided, may hurt China’s interest and

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270 strategy in the long run. Third, China’s foreign policy decision making body have developed various means to study an d synthesize online public opinion. First, China’s “people’s diplomacy” trad ition has been revitalized by the Internet technology and online sphere . As Mr. S put it, China’s diplomacy has long been defined as “people’s diplomacy” or “people first diplomacy.” The CCP’s decision makers have always put the Chinese people’s interest as the top priority of our pol icy consideration. However, not until the advent of Internet technol ogy, we didn’t have a real gr ip of what this “people’s interest” means. As the Internet te chnology entered common citizens’ bedroom, people’s ability to participate in the pr ocess of foreign policy decision making has been realized, or drastically empowered. He used the online petition against Ja pan’s bid for the UN Security Council permanent membership as an example, “the Chinese government’s position has been validated and greatly reaffirmed in front of the online petition signe d by millions in the Chinese online population.” Mr. C traced back a nd discussed the origin and structure of China’s foreign policy making by stating: China’s diplomacy is the socialist diplom acy, which contains three interrelated components, the official diplomacy, semi-official diplomacy, and civilian diplomacy. In the information age, the br anch of the civilian diplomacy becomes more important and salient. For example, online media break through the physical borders that separate people in different countries. At the same time, our citizens’ behaviors, manner, and comments on the c yber sphere may directly affect our national image or influence our countr y’s decision making. In other words, diplomacy is no longer the business only for diplomats. As Mr. S further pointed out, “although th e online sphere is borderless, every online user still has his or her own homela nd. Online citizens’ c onsideration of our country’s foreign policy c ontributed to the succes s of those policies.” Second, online nationalism, if left unres tricted or misguided, may hurt China’s interest and strategy in the long run. Mr . S particularly commented on the online discussion about whether China’s foreign policy was “too soft” in the past few years:

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271 As a diplomat for our country, I am certain ly a passionate patriot. However, being passionate is different from being emotiona l. We have to from time to time pursue the maximum interest for our country, sometimes even to run the risk of being viewed as “soft.” All in all, foreign policy is the extension of internal politics. If our country is an aggressive or arroga nt country, our foreign policy might be militarized and bullying. That is not ou r stance. Softness or toughness can never properly summarize the complexity of diplomatic issues. Mr. C expressed similar feelings toward the widespread criticism online about China’s foreign policy being “too soft,” When former leader Deng Xiaoping set the principle for our country’s foreign policy, he said that we should bide our time, and never claim leadership. This strategy reflects our country’s current positi on in the world. China is a fast growing country. However, in terms of per capita income, China is still an underdeveloped country. The first and foremost priority for us is to safeguard a peaceful environment for our economic development. It is both unnecessary and unwise to pursue an aggressive and provocative foreign policy. Both the two diplomats emphasized that the online nationalism trend was a good sign of Chinese people’s concern and cari ng for the country’s foreign affairs. Nonetheless, over-responsiveness may result in unfavorable consequences in the long run. Third, China’s foreign policy decision making body have developed various means to study and synthesize the online public opinion. “I wish I had more time to surf online,” said Mr. S. “An office in our ministry ha s been assigned to collect online people’s opinion on foreign policy related issues and submit a memo to senior leaders. Our Ministry’s official web site has a BBS wh ere people from everywhere can talk about China’s current foreign policy. When we work on some policy issues, we will take into consideration some of the online suggestions.” Mr. C pointed out that his department had used online sources as a platform to in form people about the government stance and consideration. “In the Foreign Ministry,” Mr. S introduced, “from the Foreign Minister to the spokesperson, we have all in some occasi on served as the guest speaker in the online

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272 forum organized by our web site or by other online media. Fo r example, our Minister Li Zhaoxing answered more than 40 questions ra ised by online users during an online forum held by the ‘Diplomacy Forum’ in 2003.” Both diplomats agreed that the Internet drew close the relationship between the decision maker and the common citizen. “Don’t forget: I am an online citizen too,” Mr. C concluded. Consequences: from the perspective of opinion leaders Wu Zukang, a 58-year old retiree, doesn’ t seem to march the stereotype of the “Chinese cyber nationalist” very well. He wa s born in Shanghai, but was sent to China’s remote northeastern rural area in 1968 to work as a commune worker. After the Cultural Revolution, Wu returned to Shanghai and work ed as a senior manager in a state-owned small factory. Since 2000, his re tirement time has been tota lly dedicated to the founding and daily operation of one of China’s most famous and influential nationalism web site: . “The motive of setting up a web site, which exhibited Japan’s invasion of China in 1930s and the horrible atrocities the Japanese army committed in China, was to refresh the memory among China’s young generation of what their ancestors had suffered and what they should do to make their country st ronger in the future,” recalled by “Old Wu” ( lao wu ). To the surprise of Wu Zukang, his personal web site quickly became the cradle of China’s online anti-Jap anese movement, including the “Protecting Diaoyu Island Campaign” in 2003 and the ongoing online petition against Japan’s bid for permanent membership in UNSC. He said: It is necessary and beneficial to our country ’s interest to have a civil cyber sphere that presents people’s voice and dema nds. The spontaneous online nationalism movement built a bridge connecting the pa rty’s foreign policy and general public’s concerns. In the end, this new channel can not only amplify the people’s voice in foreign policy making, but also offer our government some leeway in negotiations.

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273 For example, in the case of Japan’s bi d for UNSC membership, our government is in a much better position to uphold a tough st ance on this issue, given the gigantic support shown in the online sphere. “However, the civil cyber sphere should be an auxiliary and complimentary instrument. Otherwise, it may disrupt or cau se trouble to our count ry’s larger design,” pointed out by Wu Zukang. Though a passionate pa triot, Wu doesn’t ag ree with some of the manners and behaviors of young c yber nationalists. He emphasized: Nationalism should become an inspiri ng power, guiding our country’s final renaissance. Most of China’s online pe ople are youngsters or college students, lacking in-depth understanding of society and politics. Online sphere provides them with a place to vent whatever opinion they have anonymously. However, some irrational and irresponsible rhetoric may hurt the frie ndly relations between two peoples or two countries. We should rememb er history, but we also should cherish peace. As to the practical tactics, Wu suggested that the orga nizers of online nationalism movement should inform and consult with the government for understanding and cooperation. As he said, “We may deceive th e Japanese government, but we should never deceive our own government.” In return, according to Wu Zukang, the government should have a clear and transparent attitude toward some crucial issues, such as the Diaoyu Island dispute. Moreover, “the official department should readjust their mindset, offering more participation and less arbitr ation. Blocking or censoring a web site is neither a long term nor a cost-efficient ma nagement strategy.” Facing various problems such as lack of funding, lack of support fr om mainstream media and government policy, Wu is still optimistic and forward-looking. “I am an old revolutionary,” he joked, “I am in shortage of everything but confidence and patience.” On their web site, an appeal to the fellow Chinese patriots was prominent: We call on all our patriotic brothers: we should keep in line with our country’s overall foreign policy, safeguard a civilized national image before the world

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274 community, refrain from the undisciplined emotion, and avoid causing trouble and in-fighting to our beloved country. Wang Xiaodong, a former editor of the Strategy and Management , one of the most influential and provocative intellectual journa ls in late 1990s, came to prominence in China’s ideological circle because of his unorthodox argument on nationalism and his hard-line stance on issues related to Chin a’s national security. According to Wang, Nationalism has lost its position and sali ence after the CCP came into power in 1949. Because the official ideology is Marx-Leninism, there was no room left for the so-called “provincial a nd parochial” nationalism. Be lieve it or not, until I was 30, I hadn’t heard of the word “nationalism, ” nor had I had any idea of what this word meant—let alone being a flag-car rier of Chinese modern nationalism. As to the widespread notion in Western intellectual circles that the CCP had purposely used nationalism to replace th e waning Communism, Wang dismissed this argument as “couldn’t be any further from th e truth.” Instead, Wang argued that the CCP has never given up the Communism ideas. T actically, the economy -minded ruling party right now doesn’t want to stimulate an anti -Western nationalism to interrupt the ongoing reform. According to Wang, the nationalists in China could not find a place to express their thoughts. “There are very few channels fo r me to publish my paper, and most of my publications about nationalism were through private relationships ( si ren guanxi ).” However, this situation changed dramatica lly when the Internet—which Wang called it “a powerful ally to China’s na tionalism”—landed in China. Interestingly, Wang’s web life could be traced back to 1991, three years before China was officially recognized as an Internet -linked country. “I was a visiting scholar in Canada at that time. The technology was primitiv e, but we still used it to talk about political issues with fellow friends working in mainland China’s computer lab and

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275 students studying in Europe and U.S.”137 According to Wang, Chin a’s “liberal faction” was still in control of the actual foreign policy making and implementing, which was too pro-American, pro-democrac y, and pro-materialism. The Internet provides both a birth bed a nd rich nutrition for China’s nationalism. The resurgence of Chinese nationalism occu rred largely as a reaction toward what I called “Chinese reverse racism” prevailing in late 1980s. At that time, China’s elite intellectuals were too shocked by the deve lopment of Western countries and they began to denigrate the Chinese nationali ty. The 1989 Tiananmen Square tragedy was the direct aftermath of such a mania. Wang had studied in Japan and Canada for se veral years, and read a wide variety of Western classic works on democracy. Nationalism is not contra dictory with democracy. I myself have supported democracy all along. The question for China is not whether we should have democracy, but how and when we should ha ve it. From 1990 to 2000, in merely ten years, more than 100 million Chinese peasants became urban citizens. This urbanization process is faster than an y other nation-state in human history. Moreover, this speed will surely accelerate in the future. The real threat to the world peace and stability is not an undemo cratic China, but an unstable China. Wang passionately pointed out, China’s rise is both a threat and an oppor tunity to the world. China’s development is unstoppable. It is true economically, polit ically, and militarily. In the next several decades, Chinese people have to work hard and honestly to exchange for vast amount of natural resource in the world. If this proce ss is stalled, then China’s survival as a nation is directly challeng ed. Some of the challenges, such as oil consumption, are eminent. Both Chinese and Westerners should work together to deal with the gigantic effects brought by the fast modernization of 1.3 billion people. What China wants to do and surely can do is not shock the world, but help shape the world. Wang’s similar arguments have been pos ted on his personal webblog or web links, drawing regularly tens of thousands of readers.138 137 Wang’s account of his communicating with computer users in mainland China as early as 1991 was fascinating. If what he revealed is true, then Ch ina’s earlier Internet history should be revised. 138 See for example, ; , and .

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276 Consequences: from the perspectives of online users Eight online survey participants agreed to be interviewed for this research. Their age ranges from 20 something to over 50. Thei r professions include student, manager of privately owned advertising company, newspa per reporter, factory worker, and retired civil servant. All the interview questions centered on the major thread: How have the Internet and the online nati onalism movement influenced them as an individual and China as a nation? Their answers were t oo diverse to be synthesized into some straightforward categories. However, some general themes stood out, illustrating the influence of China’s historical tr ansition at the individual level. First of all, online technology has cha nged not only common people’s approach toward political issues, but also government’ s control of information and public opinion. As one anonymous interviewee pointed out, Since Qin Dynasty (B.C. 221), China’s author ity has been successf ul in controlling people’s mind. The CCP’s slogan of “guiding the public opinion” was a disguise of its control of people’s freedom of speech. Prior to the advent of Internet, all the information people can get is, without exception, from various CCP’s propaganda organs. The flow of information in Ch ina had been unidirectional and tightly controlled. The emergence of the Internet was a big Gospel for the common Chinese. It drastically changed the rela tionship between people and information. People can get the information they want; they can express their opinion relatively freely; they can form various political organizations, and even hold election online. One retired worker responded to the resear cher’s questions by saying, “if not for the online technology, how could it be possibl e for me, a retired worker living in Helongjiang Province, to have a chance talking with you?” One interviewee summarized three political impacts brought about by the In ternet. First, people can distinguish the difference between party, nation, and the ruli ng class. In traditional indoctrination, the party’s interest is said to be identical with nation’s interest and pe ople’s interest. But the reality revealed by the Internet pointed to the other direction. Second, people now can

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277 have a more rational understanding of the soci alism system. The collapse of the social welfare system after the market reform e xposed the absurdity of the current system, where no reliable social welfare system, su ch as education, employment, health care, pension, etc. existed. Third, the Internet gradually became the hotbed for system transition. Because of the Internet, the discus sion about China’s polit ical reform was no longer a question of feasib ility, but a question of intensity and extensity. Second, Chinese cyber nationalism is a doubl e-edged sword. It may help China to unite, and it may disrupt China’s peaceful rise. It is powerful, but it is only a part of the overall driving force. All of the inte rviewees knew something about the cyber nationalism movement in the past few years. Some dismissed it as “youngsters’ aimless fooling-around,” and some calle d it “worrisome.” One newspaper reporter pointed out the discrepancy between China’s o fficial policy stance and onlin e people’s opinion. He said: The foreign media always tried to highli ght the most radical portion of China’s online nationalism. That image will contra dict China’s government policy and hurt China. Some rhetoric online gave those Ch ina-bashers a reason to defame China. One company manager viewed this issue from his personal experien ce. He recalled: For example, the anti-Japan demonstration this year in Beijing was different from the anti-U.S. protest in 1999. The participan ts were composed of a lot of people in their 30s. Some drove their cars to follow the parade. Some hailed a cab to catch up with the protesters. On the other hand , although many people didn’t participate in the demonstration in person, they nonethele ss took some concrete actions. As far as I know, some companies in our office plaza explicitly forbad their employees to purchase any Japanese made goods for o ffice stuff or electronic appliance. All in all, most interviewees tended to agree that China’s online reality was too complex to be summarized under one concept. Nonetheless, an overwhelming sentiment among the interviewees was that a China-on-lin e has become dangerously unpredictable.

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278 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION As Ethridge (2002) succinctly put it, “political resear ch usually begins with a ‘hunch,’ an educated guess that so me phenomenon is caused by some other phenomenon” (p. 12). This research began with “an educated guess” that a new phenomenon of “Chinese cyber nationalis m” was caused by a variety of social, economic, political, and technological factor s, and this new phenomenon of “Chinese cyber nationalism” is going to cause more so cial, economic, political, and technological phenomena in China’s historical transiti on. There will always be uncertainty in understanding a phenomenon as complex as Ch inese cyber nationalism. However, as revealed in this research, there is strong ev idence that Chinese cyber nationalism has been forming, evolving, and increasi ng its power to shape China’s future. The evidence put forth in the current research comes from a tria ngulation approach via a historical analysis of the evolution of the Chinese cyber nationalism, surveys of Chinese online users, content analyses of online di scussions on China’s online forum, and one-on-one in-depth interviews with those who had personal obs ervation and experienced its impact. To put this evidence into perspective, in this chap ter, the researcher reviews some of the major findings and discusses the theoretical, practic al, pedagogical implicati ons of the findings, as well as the limitations of this research. Theoretical Implications As the core concept of this research, Chinese cyber nationalism is composed of three major theoretical constructs, namely, Chineseness, cyber s phere, and nationalism.

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279 In line with the theoretical construct shown in Figure 2-1, the theore tical implications of the findings were examined accordingly. Chineseness (Chinese Cyber Sphe re and Chinese Nationalism): Chineseness is a concept that illustrates the uniqueness of Chinese as a people, as a culture, as a society, and as a political entity. At the heart of it, the “victor vs. victim” complex, ancestor-respect and Chinese-style pr agmatism, and writing as a way for formal communication distinguish it from other cult ures and peoples. Partly because of the unique cultural and political background, th e development of China’s cyber sphere exhibited some distinctive patterns. For ex ample, the three evol ution phases, the coexistence of three different online media por tals, and the dynamic atmosphere in China’s online sphere, all of these f eatures actually reflect the underlying cultural and political basis. Similarly, Chinese grass-root nati onalism is different from the governmentpromoted patriotism, although they both re garded Taiwan issue as a non-negotiable problem. The above mentioned ch aracteristics are the theoreti cal arguments that had been built upon the previous literature. In this research, some of these arguments were examined against the backdrop of Chinese cyber nationalism. The evolutionary process and characte ristics of Chinese cyber nationalism documented in this research were used to validate the major theoretical arguments listed above. For example, the development of Ch inese cyber nationalism demonstrates the tremendous desire and commitment among co mmon people to communicate with fellow citizens about past humiliations (actress Zhao Wei’s Japanese military dress scandal) and current victories (the heroic storyline of the Chinese “honkers”). The Taiwan issue has accompanied and sometimes dominated the online sphere development (i.e., Li Tenghui’s controversial visit to the U.S. in 1996, Ch en Shuibian’s 2000 presidential election

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280 victory). On the other hand, as the online surv ey revealed, there was an across-the-board strong nationalism sentiment among Chinese onl ine citizens. This se ntiment, which was measured by seven interrelated questions on Chinese ethnicity, culture, collective identity, love of the CCP, past humiliation memory, etc., proved to be a consistent and reliable index to assess China’s nationa lism tendency. Moreover, as some of the interviewees disclosed, China’s distinctive cultu ral and political struct ure gave rise to a more distinctive pattern of online sphere development, foreign policy making, and political transition. In sum, Ch ineseness is a substantial fa ctor for understanding not only the pre-Internet era China, but also China in the information age. Cyber Sphere (Chinese Cyber Sphere and Cyber Nationalism) According to Jürgen Habermas (1989), a genuine public sphere is a space accessible to all the public in a society but independent from both state control and economic power. Within this sphere, participan ts engage in public, ra tional, and critical discussions that help form the public opinion. The results of the discourses will be judged by the merit or the validity of the argument rather than by manipulation, coercion, or social status. The success of a public sphere will be evaluated by both the quantity and the quality of the discussions. The core featur es of the public sphere can be summarized into nine characteristics, including incl usiveness, accessibility, autonomy, rationality, interactivity, criticalness, commonness, privacy, and soci al integration. Although still restrained by the government, Chinese cyber sp here offered the general public a platform to communicate with each other on issu es of common concern. China’s online atmosphere is dynamic, creative, and critical . The government has tried hard to contain the online sphere’s ever-growing influence. But according to Mars hall McLuhan (1997),

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281 a new medium is a new message by its own ri ght. What is the new message brought to China by the online sphere? Is it a new version of nationalism? The fact that more than 100 million people have leapfrogged from the pretelephone age directly to the online information age in 10 years is unprecedented. As the findings in this research sugge st, the real change lay in not only the quantitative numbers, but also the quality of comm unicative discourse. For example, more than two-thirds of the survey respondents had participated in va rious forms of online discussions at least once a week, and about 80% of those discussi ons was about current events. Over 90% of respondents either “strongly ag reed” or “somewhat agreed” that people can engage in “rational and critical discu ssions online.” Meanwhile, more than 80% of those online users believed that the online discussions w ould either “definitely ” (36.8%) or “fairly likely” (43.3%) affect China’s overall policy decision making. This dynamic online sphere also contributed to the resu rgence of nationalism sentiment online ( =.16, p <.05). Moreover, based on the historical review of the cyber nationalism development in China, it appears that the online sphere had been transformed into an information center (the spread of online news about Indonesia’s anti-C hinese riot), an or ganizational platform (online petition and demonstra tion in 2005), and an execution channel (cyber wars during the Sino-US spy-plane collision incident in 2001) for the new generation of cyber nationalists. As Wang Xiaodong stated, “you may like the right of the freedom of speech, but you may not like the result of the fr eedom of speech.” Although no conclusive evidence is available to declar e that the cyber nationalism is the message brought about by the online sphere, but the current research sugges ts that it is fair to say that in terms of

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282 foreign policy issues, the cyber nationalism se ntiment has been the dominant message in ChinaÂ’s cyber sphere. Nationalism (Chinese Nationalism and Cyber Nationalism) Nationalism, as a formidable political id eology and social movement, first emerged on the world stage in Western Europe some twoto three-hundred years ago. It was the result of a series of historical occurrences , including the spread of the idea of public sovereignty, the formation of m odern industrial socie ties, the cyclical interstate wars, and the advent of mass communi cation technology. Nationalism, by its origin, nature, and purpose appears to be a super id eology. It is an exclusive ideo logy, but it is not a statusquo ideology. On the one hand, it grows out of unsatisfied desire and can quickly turn into a social and political movement if pr ovoked by external pressures. However, it also can be used by governments to solidify all the political groups under a common banner, and it also can be used by the opposition groups to overthrow a government deemed weak by its people. ChinaÂ’s new wave of na tionalism was not the result of the CCPÂ’s political maneuver, but the resurgence of an undercurrent that has shaped ChinaÂ’s political landscape in the past century. Ch inaÂ’s state-led nationa lism and grass-roots spontaneous nationalism are two distinctive hist orical consequences. The Taiwan issue is the touchstone of Chinese nationalism. No other issue in China has aroused so much emotion among so many people for so long a time. It symbolizes ChinaÂ’s past humiliations and demonstrates ChinaÂ’s future glory. This research examined and verified so me of the statements listed above on nationalism and Chinese nationalism. One of the most important findings suggests the strong correlation between the na tionalism sentiment index an d the leadership evaluation score ( =.34, p <.001; see Figure 4-1 for reference). Th is linkage, which was the strongest

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283 among all the variables, even surpassed th e variables such as CCP party member’s loyalty, people’s income, and education. Fr om cyber nationalism’s evolutionary path, these characteristics were also evident. Fo r example, the different treatment received online by neo-nationalist Wang Xiaodong, and Si no-Japan relation expert Ma Licheng, revealed the exclusive nature of nationalism and its overriding status. Similarly, the story of Wu Zukang’s nationalism web site and the nationwide anti-Japanese protests in April 2005 also exposed the potential power of th is online nationalism movement. According to the online survey, 64.4% of the respondent s either “somewhat disagree” or “strongly disagree” with the statement that “the love of the CCP is equal to the love of China.” In other words, Chinese nationalism is the prem ise for the existence or legitimacy of the CCP, not the other way around. Interviews with Chinese foreign policy decision makers further validated th is understanding. Agenda Setting (Agenda Sending or Agenda Selling) The theory of agenda setting was not the ma jor focus of this research. Nonetheless, the findings from the content analysis and online survey might have some significance for future study that focuses on a government-controlled media system (China’s traditional media) or a semi-government-controlled media system (China’s online media system). The mass media, however powerful that they may seem to be, are but one step in a long chain of social and political assemb ly line. Instead of merely focusing the correlations between the media agenda and th e public agenda, more effort should be made to discover the function of “setting,” or “selling,” or “sending,” especially in culturally, politically, and economically different social settings. It needs to be pointed out that the lack of significant relationship among several age ndas in this research doesn’t necessarily mean that there was no agenda setting effect in China. On the one hand,

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284 online research methods, such as online survey and online content an alysis, are still in their explorative stage. More needs to be done to increase and safeguard the validity of results and the reliability of sample. On th e other hand, China’s unique political system and dual-ownership media order posted a new ch allenge to the traditional agenda setting logic. For example, how can we use the ma instream media agenda as the accurate reflection of the media agenda if the gene ral public has developed its own sources and strategies to gather informati on and to verify news? In other words, if people are used to taking whatever information published by the ma jor news outlets with a grain of salt, then how can we expect that th eir daily talking points will be consistent with the “media agenda”? Actually, China’s transitional real ity offers a rich source for examining and expanding the agenda setting theory in a cult urally and politically different domain. In summary, Chinese cyber nationalism is a non-government sponsored ideology or movement that has originated, existed, and developed in China’s online sphere over the past decade (1994-2005). It is a natural extension from Chin a’s century-long nationalism movement, but it is different from the CCP’s official version of patriotism. Taking advantages of the online technology, Chines e cyber nationalism has been utilizing the Internet as a communication center, an orga nizational platform, and an execution channel to promote the nationalism causes am ong Chinese nationalists around the world. Politically, it focuses primarily on those inte rnational issues involving China and strives to retain China’s historical position as a re spectable power in Asia and in the world. The combination of China’s distinctive culture and tradition, online technology’s reach and power, and nationalism’s broad appeal and id eological approach made it a powerful and unpredictable force in China’s po licy decision-making process.

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285 Practical Implications (China Policy, Media Research, and Public Opinion) In an article titled “A survey of China” in the Economist , James Miles (2002) concluded that “If public sentiment had to be judged by the outpourings on the country’s numerous Internet bulletin board s, it would appear alarmingly chauvinistic and bellicose. In reality, nationalist sentiment in China is not demonstrably st ronger now than it has been for decades. What has changed is the ab ility of ordinary Chin ese to express it” (p. 15). Miles was right in pinpointing the cha nge of people’s abi lity to express the nationalistic feelings in the online era. However, this new wave of nationalism sentiment expressed online is not only “demonstrabl y stronger,” but it also has practical implications on China’s overall media sy stem, public opinion formation, and policy decision making. As to the online media system, there is a strong tendency that the state-owned online media had been appealing to the grass-roots nationalism sentiment. The Qiangguo Forum (Strong Nation Forum) of the CCP’s official newspaper People’s Daily was a telling example of such a move. Although there was still a gap in te rms of the intensity and freedom of arguments between the comm ercial online forums and the state-owned online forums (see Figure 4-1 for reference, th e online source is significantly associated with the nationalism sentiment index, =-.15, p <.05), it was a sign of advancement rather than a sign of warning. Since for the first ti me in the CCP’s ruling history, people can search a non-government media source for info rmation and participate in an online forum for policy discussion. This demand from 100 million or so information consumers may not create a full-fledged free press system, but it definitely serves to drive the overall Chinese media system toward a more dynamic, competitive, and open-minded direction.

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286 As to general public opinion, cyber nationalis m has become a salient and frequently mentioned topic in China’s cyber sphere. Lao Ying (or “Old Ea gle”), the founder of China’s largest hacker group “Eagle’s Uni on,” reviewed what they had accomplished during the Sino-U.S. cyber war like this, “W e have already created history. Virtual or real, we left our footst ep of thinking and exploration in hi story. Like it or not, if you type in ‘Eagle’s Union’ in , you will find our name on the top of the result list.”1 The implication is absolutely more than a list of searching results in google. The over 40 million online petition signatories and the nationwide anti-Japan demonstrations underscored the scope and power of this feel ing. As Mr. S, the spokesperson of China’s Foreign Ministry, confided in his interview, “China’s diplomacy has long been defined as ‘people’s diplomacy’ or ‘people first diplom acy. But not until the advent of Internet technology, we don’t have a real grip of what this ‘people’s interest’ means.” More important, the online sphere witnessed and la rgely facilitated the convergence of elite nationalism and grass-roots nationalism. For example, Wang Xiaodong’s passionate arguments about Chinese nationalism would have been his swan song if not for the online publication channel. As to China’s policy making process, the impact of Chinese cyber nationalism has been noteworthy. The strong correlation betw een the nationalism sentiment and the leadership evaluation highlighted this polit ical mandate. As the historical analysis suggests, on many occasions, the CCP senior leaders had to alter their proposed policy design to satisfy the mounting public pressure (see for example, the government had to make clear its stance on Indonesia’s anti-C hinese riot in 1996; in 1999, Premier Zhu 1 Lao Ying, “Because of the past, we have the future” ( mei you guo qu jiu mei you wei lai ) (online article). Retrieved on May 16, 2005 at howthread.php?t=98391 .

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287 Rongji had to swallow the public backfire on his failed trip to the U.S.; after 9/11, the government had to make public statement to counterbalance the onlin e discussions that had gone too far; in 2005, facing tremendous public indignation, the government had to take a tough stance on Sino-Japan relations, et c.). Although not being elected directly by the public, the CCPÂ’s senior leaders nonethel ess took public opinion se riously, especially regarding foreign policy issues . A democratically elected gov ernment is legitimate, but it is problematic to think that only a democratic government can be legitimate. In ChinaÂ’s political philosophy, regime legitimacy is a multifaceted issue. Over the last four millenniums of history, Chinese philosophers and thinkers developed many sophisticated theories of political legitimacy, such as mandate of Heaven ( tian ming ), rule by virtue ( ren zhi ), popular consent ( min ben ), and legality ( he fa ) (see for reference, Guo, 2003). Therefore, the cyber nationalism sentiment and public movements might have more influence on ChinaÂ’s foreign policy decision making than the public opinionÂ’s influence in a democratic country. Western scholars on ChinaÂ’s online sphere development or ChinaÂ’s political reform have tended to focu s more on the issues of online censorship or the online dissident groups. Compared to th e vast undercurrent of the cyber nationalism and its tremendous influence, their curre nt emphasis seems misdirected, if not misleading. Moreover, Chinese cyber nationalis m, like other types of nationalism in the world, is reactive and reciprocal . Its growth and development not only reflect ChinaÂ’s rise as an economic and political power, but also re flect the exterior pressure and ideological hostility aimed toward China. Profiling Ch ina as a Communism threat does no good to integrate China into the world community. In stead, this type of Cold War mindset may nurture the aggressive branch of Chinese cyber nationalism.

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288 Another major policy implication of Chin a’s emerging cyber nationalism concerns with those countries that tr aditionally have problems in d ealing with China. No matter how well or how poorly you understand China’s pa st, the advent of cyber sphere and the formation of cyber nationalism have consider ably shook or even redrawn China’s social and political landscape. Although it is still too early to dr aw a final conclusion on the historical role of Chinese c yber nationalism, its policy-settin g potential and its unsettling characteristics added to the difficulty of dea ling with China as well as the necessity of understanding this new online movement. For on e example, there are actually three types of public opinions in current China. The firs t type is the public opi nion articulated by the official media; the second type is the public opinion of the silent ma jority; and third type is the public opinion vented in the cyber sphere by the onl ine population. These three are very likely to be totally di fferent regarding certain issue. In the case of Sino-US online cyber war in 2001, the official media first praised those “auto nomous patriotic activities” and then criticized those c yber nationalists as “irresponsible.” In the meantime, those Honkers were widely hailed as heroes in Ch ina’s online sphere. However, as to those general public who has no computer to experien ce the cyber battles or has no interest in political affairs, what happened in the cybe r sphere was simply irrelevant. Taking any one of these three public opinions as China’ s only version of public opinion would be misleading and problematic. Pedagogical Implications Communication is human activity. It happens among people with different demographic backgrounds, such as educati on, income, religion, nati onality, and ideology. It also occurs against a series of social a nd historical backgrounds, such as time, location, language environment, political system, and communication tec hnology. It is always

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289 helpful to use a microscope to discern the nuances and delicacy of one media outlet, one single media event, or one media effect . However, no matter how detailed our documentations are or how significant our stat istical results seem to be, we should not forget to put what we found into a larger perspective. By doing that, we make our findings not only meaningful for one time and one place, but also meaningful across time and across countries. In the history of comm unication research, established researchers, like Walter Lippmann, Bernard Cohen, Marshall McLuhan, Jürgen Habermas, etc., have successfully put the communicative activities back to a grand picture in order to examine and explain the role and consequences of mass media. Their approach exemplifies a valuable pattern of thinking and an important way of doing research. The current research about Chinese cyber nationalism is a small attempt in that direction. At the beginning of this research process, while trying to apply some eventsensitive or culture-centered th eories to China, a culturall y, politically, and economically different country, this research er constantly felt lost and he lpless. For a country that has had 26 dynasties (if the current CCP government is counted as one), more than 500 kings, emperors, or Chairmen, and countless political philosophies, it is literally possible to find evidence to support whatever theories that ex ist in the world. Likewise, one can also find convincing evidence to denounce all the “va lidated” theories. Communication theories are no exception. How should a researcher who is interested in the concept of “Chinese cyber nationalism” start from there? The an swer to this question was the underlying rationale that defined the overall philosophical structur e and methodological design of this study.

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290 In a paper titled “How do we know if Ch ina is unstable?” Lyman (2000) presented a very instructive argument. He stated: China is not now like it was twenty-five y ears ago, fifteen years ago, or even five years ago. As rapidly as things seem to move in the present, it is difficult to bear in mind how far things have come…. In th is light, contemporary trends may be ambiguous in their longer-term import. Fragmentation may turn out to be pluralization; corruption may be commer cialization; and disintegration may be decentralization. (p. 24-5) To prolong the life of any argument or theory about China, one needs to look things from a long-term orientation, summarize patter ns with a historical perspective in mind, and examine the findings from multiple angles and sources. This is true not only for China, but for all countries and societies in the world. Similarly, this is valid not only for communication research, but for all the social science research disciplines. Limitations and Future Research The limitations of this study are basically tw o-fold. One is structural and the other is methodological. The structural limitations derived from the theoretical construct of the concept. The methodological limitations we re the combination of the inherent weaknesses of each of the research methods applied in this study. The Structural Limitations The core concept and major focus of this research is “Chinese cyber nationalism.” This research design and orientation inevita bly precluded, or at least downplayed other online ideologies or movements in China’s online sphere. For one example, online pornographic materials have swamped many onl ine chat rooms and cyber spaces. It had caused a lot of problems among youngsters and tremendous concerns among parents. Actually, the government stepped in at the end of 2004 to shut down over 1,000

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291 pornographic web sites operated in China.2 Other online activities, such as the dissident groups’ anti-government campaigns, the online protests organized by the religious cult “ Falun Gong ,” the government’s crackdown on pro-democratic groups online, etc. had been largely omitted in the current research. This omission was not the result of personal bias or manipulation, but based on the judgm ent of comparative significance to China’s overall transition. However, the lack of sufficient an alysis of the contemporary movements in China’s online sphere might ha ve overplayed the role and exaggerated the influence of Chinese cyber nationalism. Another structural limitati on was the time span covered by this research. The tenyear period (1994-2005) was too short a time for any historical research. Although during this decade, China has experienced sea-changes in virtually every area, this time span can hardly contain all the possible variations and characteristics of Chinese cyber nationalism. Compared to China’s history, the evolution of Chinese cyber nationalism was still in its infancy. Moreover, the data collection period of this research coincided with the pinnacle of China’s nationwide anti-Japan movement in spring 2005. This overlap had the potential of magnifying na tionalism sentiments, especially those regarding the Sino-Japan rela tions. This overlapping was une xpected and largely out of the control of the researcher, but the con tinuing observation and follow-up research in this regard is highly warranted. As Habermas once pointed out (1989), the result of a public opinion poll doesn’t equate with public opinion. Public opinion is fluctuant, flexible, and elusive. But the 2 See for a report on December 22, 2004, “China shut down 1,129 pornographic websites and received about 100,000 reports.” Retrieved on May 12, 2005 at .

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292 design of a public opinion poll is usually static, pre-catego rized, and simplified. In this research, when one interprets the statistical results of people’s “nationalism sentiment index” or “leadership evalua tion index,” this differentiation between the public opinion out there and the survey results on the pape r should be considered accordingly. The Methodological Limitations Any research about the cyber sphere or any research using online methods to collect data should be cauti oned against overgeneralizati ons. At this stage of its development, the cyber sphere and Internet technology poses a unique set of problems in guaranteeing a random sample of respondents or contents. In this research, the online survey sa mple was gathered from the online users’ registration account information, which did not constitute a representative sample of the overall online population. Meanwhile, th e 23.2% response rate, although deemed acceptable by a lowered online response rate standard, was nonetheless a source of concern. While applying the findings to th e entire Chinese online population or to Chinese people as a whole, one should keep in mind the sampling problems inherent in the online survey method. Similarly, the onlin e content analysis faced the limitation of representativeness too. For exam ple, the online headline news agenda collected in this study might not be the only possible headline news agenda, since most of the news web sites updated their daily h eadline news regularly. In addition, the online forum discussion, due to the heavy censorship in those state-operated forums, might not accurately reflect all people’s concerns and thei r attitudes toward certain issues or certain leaders. Another methodological limitation of this study was embedded in the research methods of case study and one-on-one in-depth interview. For example, the way of

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293 choosing which case to be studied tended to be subjective. The manner of conducting indepth interviews differs from one interviewer to another interviewer. These limitations, although not severe enough to i nvalidate the findings, need to be pointed out. In the past decade, a lot of research ha s been done on topics related to ChinaÂ’s political transition and ChinaÂ’s online sphe re. However, as to the emerging phenomenon of Chinese cyber nationalism, this research is so far the most comprehensive attempt to explore this concept theoretically and empi rically. Having said that, this study only opened a small window toward complete understanding of this very important phenomenon. Future research should look into the following areas that havenÂ’t been fully examined here. First, how did the CCP govern ment react toward this cyber nationalism and what measures did the central government take to weather its influence? Second, in terms of the nationalism sentiment, how did the traditional media respond to the online mediaÂ’s challenges? Third, how did the onlin e nationalism sentiment influence peopleÂ’s offline behavior? Fourth, how did the rationa l faction of ChinaÂ’s online population react to emotional cyber nationalists ? How should we evaluate the impact of rational-critical discourse in a nationalistic de bate? Fifth, the replication and further validation of some of the research design, especially by using a larger sample or combining some traditional survey methods, would be helpful and welcomed. Final Thoughts In human communication history, few inventio ns have altered the path of social transition as fundamentally as online technol ogy. Similarly, in world politics, few events have the power of shaking and shaping the curr ent world order as dramatically as ChinaÂ’s modernization process, which dragged 1.3 bi llion people and a 5000-ye ar old civilization onto a fast-speed lane. Against this gra nd backdrop, Chinese cyber nationalism is by no

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294 means a domestic concern only relevant to Chinese people or Chinese communication scholars or Chinese political scholars, but al so an important research question that has profound and lasting significance. The purpose of the current research wa s to examine a new phenomenon termed “Chinese cyber nationalism.” All of the proceed ing pages in this dissertation have aimed at bringing an initial understanding of the vari ous components that contribute to this new phenomenon (refer back to Figure 1-1). If one were to crystallize or attempt to simplify what the researcher has attempted to underscore in this effort, it can be captured in the works of McLuhan and Habermas. If the medi um is the message, as declared by Marshall McLuhan (1997), and if the public sphere is the necessary path toward social modernization and political democratizati on, as suggested by Habermas (1989), then what is the message brought about by the onl ine public sphere to China? Based on the literature review and findings from the empirical research in this st udy, it is fair to say that as far as China’s foreign policy is concerned, the message seems to be the Chinese cyber nationalism. This powerful social move ment and political ideology have helped shape China’s policy decision making in the pa st decade, and will definitely be shaping China’s policy decision making in the near future . What we have seen in the past decade is only the end of the beginning, rather than the beginning of the end in terms of Chinese cyber nationalism. What this researcher has been trying to do is to point out how important this issue is and how little we know about it. What is re ally revealing and impor tant is not what we learned from this study, but what we don’t know and those unanswered research

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295 questions lying ahead. That curiosity and a sense of urgency not only inspired this researcher, but hopefully will motivate more sc holars to join this stream of research.

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296 APPENDIX A ONLINE SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE (conducted from January 1st – 20th, 2005, the original version is in Chinese) This is an online survey research conduc ted by a graduate student in the College of Journalism and Communications at the Unive rsity of Florida. He would like to know something about your daily media use pa ttern, your socio-economic data, and your opinions on some political i ssues about China. Your partic ipation of th is study is voluntary and anonymous. The data collected in this survey will only be used for scientific purpose and your answers will be confidential. You can quit anytime during the process or skip the questions you don’t want to answer. It will take you about 5 minutes to fill up this questionnaire. Thank you for your time and cooperation. Part A. Media Use Pattern 1. Among the following web sites, which one did you visit most frequently during the past week? Others 2. What is the major reason that you vi sit the web site (multiple choices)? online news/information online hot topic forum/online chat online game/ shopping e-education others 3. Usually, where do you logon to the Internet --Home; Office; School; Internet Café; other places.

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297 4. How many hours per day do you usually spend surfing on line? Within one hour 1—3 hours over 3 to 5 hours over 5 hours no answer 5. Have you ever participated in any form of online forum discussion/chat room discussions? Yes, at least once a week. Yes, about once a month. Yes, about once a year. No, never. No answer 6. If you participated in the online BBS (Bulletin Board System) or chat room discussions in the last month, what wa s the topic of that discussion? (please choose one) Political events Economic issues Sports Making online friends Online game or entertaining Others No, I haven’t participated in any online discussions. 7. Based on your personal observations, do you agree or disagree that people can engage in serious, rational, and meaningful discussions on some common-interested topics online? Strongly agree Moderately agree Moderately disagree Strongly disagree Not sure/ no opinion 8. If you have participated in online di scussions (BBS, chat room), have you ever contacted with those discussants off line or participated in any kind of offline activities, such as party, gathering, etc. with those people? Yes, I had contacts with some of them (e-mail, phone, etc). Yes, I had contacts with them and we also held some activities offline. No, I had no contacts with those discussants.

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298 9. In your opinion, what are the major be nefits for online discussions (multiple choices)? Inclusiveness Accessibility Autonomy Rationality Interactivity Criticalness Commonness Privacy Integration 10. Do online discussions have impacts on China’s current policy decision making? Yes, they have impacts on both domestic and foreign policy issues. Yes, but they have impacts only on domestic issues Yes, but they have impacts only on foreign issues. No, not at all. 11. How long have you been an online citizen (since you first used the Internet)? Less than one year >1, <2 >2, <3 >3, <4 >4, <5 >5, <6 >6, <7 >7, <8 >8 years 12. How many hours per day do you read newspaper? never Less than 1 hour 1—3 hours 3---5 hours over 5 hours 13. How many hours per day do you watch the news on television usually? never Less than 1 hour 1—3 hours 3---5 hours over 5 hours

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299 14. Which medium is the primary source for you to get the national and international news? national newspaper & magazines local newspaper national TV channel local TV channel online newspapers online commercial portals foreign media others Part B. Political Opinions: 15. What is the most important issue facing China today? Economy (job, income-gap, financial reform, etc.) Education (tuition, education reform) Health Care (insurance, epidemic, etc.) Social Security (crime, working conditions, etc.) Political Reform (governi ng capability, corruption) Taiwan Independence Foreign Policy in general (anti-Terro rism, sino-US, sino-Japan relations) Environment (pollution, water, energy) Cultural & other social issues (sports, entertainment, celebrities, etc.) None of the above, specify___________________________. On a feeling thermometer ra nging from 0 to 100, please ra te your overall attitude toward the following issues. (While 100 indi cates the strongest approval, 0 reflects the strongest disapproval). 16. Your feeling toward the newly elected Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership ( ) 17. Your feeling toward the CCPÂ’s overall perf ormance on foreign policy ( ) 18. Your feeling toward the governmentÂ’s Sino-U.S. b ilateral policy ( ) 19. Your feeling toward the governmentÂ’s Taiwan policy ( ) 20. Your feeling toward the governmentÂ’s policies to ward Japan ( ) 21. Generally speaking, how concerned are you about the Taiwan issue? very much concerned a little concerned not at all concerned never concerned

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300 22. Generally speaking, from which channel do you get the information regarding the Taiwan issue? print media TV news online media / online forum friends books others 23. Recently, did you participate in any kind of online discussions regarding Taiwan issue? No. Yes, but I only took a look at thos e discussions. Yes, I posted my opinion too. Yes, I often go to those BBS and talk a lot. 24. Have you ever log on to those Taiwan-based web sites recently? No. Yes, but I only took a look at those discussions. Yes, I posted my opinion too. Yes, I often go to those BBS and talk a lot. 25. How do you evaluate the Taiwan situation in the past half year? Improving Remain the same Deteriorating Don’t know 26. Who should be responsible for the current Taiwan problem? Chinese people as a whole CCP leaders Taiwan leaders Taiwan people Foreign powers (US, Japan) All of the above None of the above 27. If the newly elected Taiwan leaders stay on the current course of “gradual independence” to test mainland China’s bottom line, how likely do you think that Chinese government will use force to unify Taiwan in the next four years (before 2008 Olympic games in Beijing)? No possibility not exclude such possibility somewhat possibility moderate possibility

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301 large possibility No answer / refused. 28. Considering the potential prices (for example, the setbacks on domestic economy, human casualties, deterioration of foreign relationships with other countries, Sino-US conflict, etc.) China ha s to pay if it uses force to reunify Taiwan in the future, how likely do you support the use of force? no support slightly support conditionally support largely support very much support unconditionally support No answer / refused. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? 29. “Chinese people are one of the smarte st and most diligent peoples in the world.” strongly agree. slightly agree. no opinion. slightly disagree. strongly disagree. 30. “Chinese culture / traditional value (Confucianism) is superior to other cultures / civilizations in the world.” strongly agree. slightly agree. no opinion. slightly disagree. strongly disagree. 31. “I am proud of being a Chinese. If I have another chance to choose my nationality, I will not hesitate a moment to choose to be a Chinese again.” strongly agree. slightly agree. no opinion. slightly disagree. strongly disagree. 32. “China will reestablish its past glor y and success in the near future.” strongly agree. slightly agree. no opinion. slightly disagree. strongly disagree.

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302 33. “Most of China’s atrocities and tragedies in the past century were caused by foreigners.” strongly agree. slightly agree. no opinion. slightly disagree. strongly disagree. 34. “China’s rise as a major political a nd economic power in the world posts no treat to its neighbors and will benefi t the world peace in the future.” strongly agree. slightly agree. no opinion. slightly disagree. strongly disagree. 35. “Love for the CCP is equal to love for China.” strongly agree. slightly agree. no opinion. slightly disagree. strongly disagree. 36. Among the following concepts, which one do you think is the most important that China should pay special attent ion to in its future development? development modernization democracy nationalism culture tradition equality peace stability freedom don’t know / refuse to answer. 37. In terms of political belief and ideol ogy, which two of the following groups do you think you belong to (select two choices)? Communist/Marxist conservative idealist individualist internationalist libertarian

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303 liberal nationalist neo-Marxist pacifist patriot realist traditionalist Buddhism Confucianism Christianity Atheism none of the above Part C. Background Information: 38. How old are you? under18 19—25 26—30 31—35 36-40 41-45 46-50 above 50. 39. What is your highest education? 1, Under High School 2, High School 3, Some College 4, Undergraduate 5, Graduate 6, no answer 40. Are you married? Yes No. 41. Your profession – Professional / technician Student Financial Research /education Various Service Media/marketing Civil servant

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304 Manufacturing Agriculture Military Others 42. Your monthly income: Under 130 $ 130-260 $ 261-380 381-500 501-620 621-740 More than 741 $ 43. Your gender: male female. 44. Are you a CCP member? Yes No Thank you for your participation in this survey research. Your time and effort are highly appreciated. The data collected in this survey will only be used for scientific purpose. If you have further qu estions regarding this study or you want to discuss with this researcher on the questi ons listed above, please cont act: Xu Wu, Ph.D. student (Research Assistant), College of Journalism & Communications, Univer sity of Florida. 2041a Weimer Hall, PO Box 118400, Gainesvi lle, FL 32611-8400. Tel: (352) 846-5403, E-mail: .

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306 APPENDIX B ONLINE DISCUSSION CODE SHEET 1. Coder Initial: _________ 2. Poster Track ID: ___________ 3. Source of Posters: (Coder reliability score=100%) o 1, Shishi Forum on; o 2, Baixing Forum on; o 3, Fazhan Forum on; o 4, Qiangguo Forum on 4. Time of the poster: _____________ (100%) 5. How many follow-up postings were in this thread ______________ (92%) 6. What is the topic of this thread? (84%) o Economy (job, income-gap, financial reform, etc.) o Education (tuition, education reform) o Health Care (insurance, epidemic, etc.) o Social Security (crime, working conditions, etc.) o Political Reform (ruling capability, anti-corruption) o Taiwan Independence o National Security (Sino-US, Sino-Japan, and foreign policy in general) o Environment (pollution, water, energy) o Cultural & Social Issues (sports, entertainment, celebrities, etc.) o None of the above, specify_______________. 7. Word count of the initial message: ____________ (95%) 8. On a 1—5 scale where 5 represents very we ll and 1 represents very poorly, please rate how well the participant presented conditions of valid ity, reasons, or evidence to support his argument? (82%) 1 2 3 4 5 very poor very well

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307 9. On a 1—5 scale where 5 represents very strong emotion and 1 represents very little emotion, please assess to what degree that the discussant made his appeal with personal prejudice, emotion or aes thetic judgment? (80%) 1 2 3 4 5 very little very much 10. On a 1 to 5 scale, please rate how str ongly were the follow-up postings related to the initial message or the overall thread of the messages? (88%) 1 2 3 4 5 very weak very strong 11. What was the overall sentiment among the discussants toward the current government or current policy? (77%) 1 2 3 4 5 very negative neutral very positive 12. Did the discussants mention the name of any Chines e leader? (95%) o Not at all o Yes, they are _______________________________________. Overall Evaluation: (the following section wi ll be coded by the c oder each time after he/she finish coding all the chosen postings for that coding period). 13. Does the forum require formal registrati on to participate in the discussions? Yes No (go to 18) (100%) 14. How long normally can a participant get th e approval or password from the forum master after registration? _________________. (record the exact time) 15. How long normally will it take to publish a posting on the forum? (a trail posting will be sent to the forum, and the time lag will be recorded). ___________________________________. 16. Does the forum master try to intervene or lead any of the sample discussions? YES NO (86%)

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308 APPENDIX C DEPTH INTERVIEW INTRODUCTORY LETTER Invitation Letter Name Dear : I am a Ph.D. candidate in the College of J ournalism & Communications, at the University of Florida. As a part of my dissertation research on Chinese cyber sphere and ChinaÂ’s nationalism online, I am conducting an expl oratory study on the political and social implications of Chinese cyber nationalism in the past decade. I hope to gather information about the evolution, characteristic s, and political imp lications of Chinese cyber-nationalism from the perspectives of policy de cision-making, online media management, and online public opinion form ation. You are selected as a possible participant in this study because you posse ss unique knowledge (pos ition / experiences) on this topic. I obtain your contact information from th e official web site of your department (online media / e-mail). Your part in this study would consist of a 30-minute to one-hour one-on-one depth interview on the phone or via online chat room at a time that is convenient for you. I will ask you questions about your career, media use habit, online experience, and your opinion on ChinaÂ’s online public sp here development. I will be taking notes as we are talking, and these will be summari zed with data gathered from other participants. In the final report on this topic, no detailed information will be provided that would allow identification of you as an individual or your agency. Your par ticipation is totally voluntary. At any point of time during the interview, you can e ither terminate the conversation or refuse to answer any partic ular questions if deem ed inappropriate or harmful. Your identity will be kept confid ential to the extent provided by law and your identity will not be revealed in the final manuscript. There are no anticipated risks, compensatio n or other direct benefits to you as a participant in this interview. This topi c on ChinaÂ’s cyber nationalism is of great importance not only to ChinaÂ’s future develo pment but also to foreign countries and researchersÂ’ understanding about China. If you ag ree to participate in this research, please respond to the correspondence address provided below, so we can set up an interview time. Thank you for your consideration, and I am looking forward to talking with you soon. Sincerely,

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309 Xu Wu Ph.D. candidate College of Journalism & Communications University of Florida 2041a Weimer Hall, PO Box 118400, Gainesville, FL 32611-8400. Tel: (352) 846-5403, E-mail: . Project supervisor: Dr. Marilyn S. Roberts, Associate Professor Department of Advertising, College of Journalism & Communications, University of Florida, 3054 Weimer Hall, PO Box 118400, Gainesville, FL 32611-8400. Tel: (352) 273-1090, E-mail: .

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326 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Xu Wu is a Ph.D. candidate in the Colle ge of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. Wu received his B.A. degree in Journalism from the PeopleÂ’s University of China in 1992 and his M.A. degr ee in mass communication at University of Florida in 2002. Prior to his graduate study, he worked in China as a reporter at Xinhua News Agency in Beijing, and as a medi a consultant in Beijing and Shenzhen.