Does empirical evidence support treating “nationalism” and “patriotism” as separate concepts in China and is there a relationship between strong nationalist/patriotic attitudes and foreign policy preferences? To analyse the construction of Chinese national identity, Chinese university students (N = 1346) took part in a survey in Beijing in spring 2007. The data supported the assumption of a conceptual separation between nationalism and patriotism. CCP members and students from rural backgrounds were more nationalistic than non-members and students with urban upbringings. Moreover, nationalism had a stronger link to foreign policy preferences than patriotism, and respondents with a greater degree of nationalism were less likely to favour international cooperation and more likely to prefer protectionist policies. The associations of nationalism and patriotism with foreign policy attitudes, and the contribution of other potential explanatory factors to the relationship between nationalism, patriotism and policy attitudes were explored with linear regression models.
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