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Unquestioned beliefs on both sides of US-China divide

2015-05-04 08:54:42       source:The Interpreter

May 3, 2015

"China and the US have both been described as countries that consider themselves to be exceptional. China, so much so, that some analysts argue it sees itself as 'uniquely unique'. What this means in China is that most Chinese understand themselves to be part of a culture that no-one else can truly understand, let alone ever be a part of.

This sense of 'us versus them' is politically expedient, and serves to build and reinforce a powerful sense of national identity. Indeed, so strong is the adherence to an exceptionalist national identity in China that when I was doing my PhD research on Chinese foreign policy, I seriously considered using the methodological approaches offered by the anthropology of religion to analyse and interpret my findings."

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