A “Century of Humiliation”

Peter Hays Gries

in China's New Nationalism

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780520232976
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931947 | DOI:
A “Century of Humiliation”

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This chapter focuses on China's century-long national humiliation. It describes Xia Ziyi's 1996 painting The Awakened Lion with calligraphy which states that “the sleeping lion has awoken, erasing the national humiliation.” Xia explained that China's past national humiliation at the hands of Western imperialism can be erased with an “angry roar.” The chapter suggests that the re-emergence of this victim narrative in China has had real consequences for Sino-American and Sino-Japanese relations, and that many Chinese nationalists are primed to view American or Japanese actions as aggressive.

Keywords: China; national humiliation; Xia Ziyi; Awakened Lion; Western imperialism; victim narrative; Sino-American relations; Sino-Japanese relations

Chapter.  3767 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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