Various definitions are used in research on Chinese nationalism and patriotism, and scholars often distinguish between different types of both. While such research has provided important insights, it pays scant attention to how political actors use terms such as patriotism. This article, by contrast, focuses precisely on how patriotism is used discursively by various Chinese domestic actors in seeking to further their political agendas by promoting their preferred understandings of the term. The article argues that such discursive contestation and struggle is a key aspect of Chinese identity politics that should not be ignored.


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