From “the Moon Is Rounder Abroad” to “Bravo, My Country”: How China Misperceives the World

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For a long time, since China’s opening to the outside world in the late 1970s, admiration for foreign socioeconomic prosperity and quality of life characterized much of the Chinese society, which contributed to dissatisfaction with the country’s development and government and a large-scale exodus of students and emigrants to foreign countries. More recently, however, overestimating China’s standing and popularity in the world has become a more conspicuous feature of Chinese public opinion and the social backdrop of the country’s overreach in global affairs in the last few years. This essay discusses the effects of these misperceptions about the world, their potential sources, and the outcomes of correcting misperceptions. It concludes that while the world should get China right and not misinterpret China’s intentions and actions, China should also get the world right and have a more balanced understanding of its relationship with the world.




Huang, H. (2021). From “the Moon Is Rounder Abroad” to “Bravo, My Country”: How China Misperceives the World. Studies in Comparative International Development, 56(1), 112–130.

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