In this book, the author undertakes a postcolonial analysis of identities the Chinese state uses to confront world politics and globalization. Because these identities are created at the confluence of Western modernity and Confucian tradition, two elements that are continually reinterpreted themselves, the result is an ambiguity regarding the identities best suited to explain Chinese behavior. The author argues that this uncertainty is not a new condition but one that reaches back to end of the nineteenth century. It is by understanding this ambiguity surrounding identities that will in turn help present -day authorities predict the future course of Chinese behavior in world politics.

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