Chinese patriotic education in post-Cold War years, however, is not merely about cultivating people’s sentimental ties and devotion to the motherland, despite the importance of “the century of humiliation” China suffered at the hands of Western and Japanese imperialists. Love of the nation can prove to be dangerous for the ruling regime if not combined with love of the state, as demonstrated by the struggles the ruling regime had in controlling anti-foreign demonstrations over the last two decades. Great efforts have been made to collapse the boundaries between love of the nation and love of the state. This paper particularly discusses how textbooks, newspaper articles, and TV programs exploit the multiple meanings of the central concept of patriotism, Guo, which in Chinese simultaneously means empire/nation/state/dynasty. By doing so, the communist party-state and its propaganda machines not only effectively direct people’s carefully cultivated loyalty to the nation toward the ruling regime, but also manipulate people’s fear of “losing the country” to achieve the ultimate goal of contemporary patriotic education: to maintain party rule and avoid political instability.
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