The recent upsurge of anti-Japanese sentiment in China should not be reduced to elite instrumentality, the Chinese Communist Party merely fomenting nationalism to legitimize its rule. Anti-Japanese sentiment in China today has deeper popular roots in evolving narratives about China's national past and in debates over the very meaning of being "Chinese" at the dawn of the 21st century. These popular sentiments, furthermore, are increasingly constraining China's elite as they seek to make China's Japan policy.


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