Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Sue Fawn Chung

Number of Pages



The primary thesis of this study is that beginning with the pre-Tiananmen Square incident of 1989, American popular and institutional images of China focused on the reformist nature the government, but following the military crackdown in June 1989, this optimism dwindled and resulted in the creation of an ambivalent cross-cultural atmosphere toward the Chinese for the next half decade. When Chinese leaders decided to undertake military exercises in the Taiwan Strait in mid-1995, America's perception of the PRC swung even further in a distinctly negative direction; an event that marked the outset of a three year period during which Chinese military modernization and economic expansion were viewed as a direct threat to the international political hegemony of the United States. Although cultural depictions of China cast an unsavory light over Beijing's long-term intentions, the liberal-democratic philosophy that guided the formulation of these stereotypes was culturally reconfigured to meet the demands of a global economy. Hence, America's ideological structure acquired a dynamic of international applicability; a development that reaffirmed the political superiority and validity of liberal-democracy and the free-market system.


American; China; Democracy; Images; Liberal; Perceptions; Popular; Tainted

Controlled Subject

Ethnology; International law

File Format


File Size

3911.68 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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