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The 1999 anti-U.S. student demonstrations that broke out in major Chinese cities following the U.S.-led NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade have been popularly regarded as a Chinese government-sponsored activity. This research shows that during the demonstrations many Beijing students were in fact very suspicious of the government’s involvement and avoided joining demonstrations that they regarded as government controlled. Much of the government effort during the demonstrations went into bringing the protests under control, which led to frequent student-government conflicts. The study shows that, as long as the international environment is reasonably favorable to China, radical anti-U.S. student nationalism will flourish there only with difficulty, and the Chinese government is unlikely to be able to rely on nationalism for survival.