China: globalising or nationalising?

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McDonald’s in Beijing, Starbucks in Shanghai… The popular image of “modern” China emphasises how the country is globalising, and how globalisation has affected it. But this emphasis masks the importance of nation-building. For every Starbucks or McDonald’s, there are hundreds of Chinese chain restaurants. Recently-built road, rail, and telecommunications infrastructure now link the country tightly together. Chinese citizens travel around their country much more than before, and use national dialect to communicate with compatriots from different parts of the country much more than before. These 'nationalising' changes have affected life in China much more than 'globalisation'.

Andrew B. Kipnis

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Updated:  11 January, 2015/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team