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Chinese Nationalism in Social Networks and its Influence on FPDM

Student: Natalia Drachuk

Supervisor: Mikhail Karpov

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: Socioeconomic and Political Development of Modern Asia (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2017

Both the rapid economic growth of China and its increasing political influence in the region can be attributed to the rise of nationalism at the end of the 20th century. Newly emerging social networks within China allowed people to freely discuss foreign affairs with little fear of retribution. This created a dilemma for the Chinese authorities who were unable to control the online sentiments being expressed. The online world attracted a new and fervent body of political commentators that became emboldened by the fact that they could freely express their views on a wide range of foreign policy issues, often openly condemning the government’s inaction in the political arena, to a growing and influential audience. As a result of this widespread public discussion, much pressure was put on the Chinese government and the process of Foreign Policy Decision Making. This study aims to examine the manner by which the internet, through online public opinion, influences and pressures the government organs responsible for the process of FPDM. The case studies included in this thesis, the United States, Japan, Taiwan, the ASEAN countries and cyber activism, provide examples of how nationalist protests can give rise to international conflicts.

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