Imperial Qing Ideology and the Rise of Modern Chinese National Identity in the Early Twentieth Century
- Gang Zhao
This article uses both Manchu and Han sources to interrogate the relationship between Qing and China. After toppling the Ming reign, the Qing rulers identified their state with China as their eighteenth-century campaigns in Inner Asia redefined what China was. By the early twentieth century, educational institutions had facilitated the Manchu efforts to gain the hearts and minds of the Han intellectual elite, who embraced the idea that China was a multiethnic state. Although Manchu rule ended in 1911, the Chinese people never returned to the position that “China” was the property of the Han people: China’s modern identity would be that of a unified multiethnic state. In other words, the Qing legacies to modern China include not just the country’s vast territory but also a new concept of China that laid the solid foundation for the rise of its national identity.