Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Chinese Identity
(2,237 words)

In many ways, the construct of a Chinese identity rests upon assumptions which few Chinese would have shared a mere 150 years ago. Alleged traditions in fact were often introduced only in the more recent identity-creating processes. In 20th-century China, as well as in Western Chinese studies, the thesis of the existence of a cradle of Chinese civilization in the bend of the Yellow River , from…

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van Ess, Hans, “Chinese Identity”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 01 March 2024 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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