Han cybernationalism and state territorialization in the People's Republic of China
journal contributionposted on 23.11.2020, 19:47 by James Leibold
© 2016, The Author(s) 2016.
Leibold J. Han cybernationalism and state territorialization in the People’s Republic of China. China Information. 2016;30(1):3-28. doi:10.1177/0920203X16631921
Han majority nationalism poses a significant yet under-theorized challenge to state sovereignty and territorial integrity in China, especially in the era of the Internet. By shifting our focus from minority secessionist movements on the ground in Xinjiang and Tibet to a group of Han nationalists active in cyberspace, this article probes the friction between three distinct yet interrelated ideologies of spatiality in contemporary China: the processes and practices of state territorialization; counter-narratives and geographies of Han cybernationalism; and the transnational flows of the Sinophone Internet. It argues that the Internet empowers yet ultimately blunts the threat of Han nationalism, rendering it largely impotent when faced with the hegemony of state territorialization.