Cyber nationalism or cyber conservatism? The incident of "Fu Yue and Golden Horse Film Awards

Iam Chong IP

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsConference Paper (other)Other Conference Paperpeer-review


In November 2018, the Taiwanese director, Fu Yue, expressed her wish that “our country to be seen as a truly independent entity” when she received the Award for Best Documentary at the Golden Horse Film Awards ceremony. Her remarks aroused a number of Chinese stars’ protests by reasserting their Chinese national identity and even chanting the slogan of “China, not a single dot missing”. The controversy further blew up online in Chinese societies. Fu’s further comments on Facebook drew tens of thousands of comments from Chinese netizens to criticize, insult, and even post threat to her. The similar phenomena, often happening over the past ten years, are usually regarded as Chinese cyber-nationalism and youth engagement. This perspective adequately attends to the rise of China as a state-capitalist power and its influences on the world. Yet it overemphasizes the nationalist theme and overlooks the uniqueness of the
political overtones and affective power behind the online abuse. The assumption of the existence of a
group of raging youth also contradicts the fact that contemporary Chinese youth remain politically calm over the past few decades. They are radically different from their counterparts who led a nationwide protest in 1989 or the lower-class people who have engaged in sporadic civil unrests spawning in small villages and towns since the 1990s. This paper focuses on the tens of thousands of online comments on Fu Yue’s posts and examines the discursive dynamic involved. I will further discuss how it is related to the fields of power at large. I argue that in the seemingly aggressive comments and national claims, there was a conservative and agonizing voice which grows louder than any official-nationalist drumbeat. It is a desperate attempt to rescue a sort of pop nationalism, regarded as the status quo, from the tensions in the cross-Strait relationship.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
EventInter-Asia Cultural Studies Society Conference 2019: Fluid Circuits: Cultures of Knowledge After the Digital Turn - Silliman University, Dumaguete City, Philippines
Duration: 1 Aug 20193 Aug 2019


ConferenceInter-Asia Cultural Studies Society Conference 2019
Abbreviated titleIACS 2019
CityDumaguete City
Internet address


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