Sinocentrism (1) – The Geopolitical Structure of Greater China

In mainland China, the priority given to one’s local province is only a sporadic sentiment, usually generated from impulsive sentiments than systematic theories. Few people can view the world from local or provincial perspective. What most Chinese think is how to maximize his profit from such highly totalitarian and centralized system.

If you ask the following question, such as: “If the Peoples’ Republic of China melts down and its provinces declare independence, how will you face the new environment?” For example, how to achieve strategic self-protection, to prevent invasion from foreign countries (in this sense, neighboring provinces), how to maintain economic sustainability, say to maintain trade relations among Fujian, Jiangsu and Taiwan, and how to gain military support? Should they possess nuclear weapons? Which political system to adopt? Should conscription be implemented?

No one ever thinks about it. Everyone prays for the People’s Republic of China to last forever than to disintegrate. No one has the confidence to handle the situation after its disintegration. The sporadic sentiments to the local homeland or province are not an ideal to put the local or provincial interest as the first priority. At most, it can only be called a “Provincial Identity Complex” (省籍情結, sentimental affection to one’s homeland/province).

In most cases, everyone still views things from the perspective as a “Chinese” as a whole. If there are unresolvable conflicts, they comfort themselves by viewing China as a whole. For example, Province A was a thriving province in economy at the time of the founding of the state, but declined with lapse of time. The inhabitants of Province A seldom think that the imperial system is the reason. They usually blame on the “main trends”, “government policy” (such as to say, the economic depression of our province is due to central government’s preferential treatment to other provinces. If such treatment is abolished, our economy can revive.), or “Let some people get rich first, then it will be our turn”, or “It is worthwhile if China becomes powerful, even though our province becomes weak”.

Few people will think to the point on the conflicts of interest between the province and the “People’s Republic”. The logic of the majority is: when the “People’s Republic” becomes powerful, then the province will become powerful, then the city will become powerful, then the town and village will also become powerful. When “People’s Republic” becomes powerful, all problems are solved.


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