Academic journal article Current Politics and Economics of Northern and Western Asia

Does Patriotism Raise Shanghai's Cooperation with Hong Kong?

Academic journal article Current Politics and Economics of Northern and Western Asia

Does Patriotism Raise Shanghai's Cooperation with Hong Kong?

Article excerpt

Intercity cooperation and competition are both the developmental goals and trends of globalized cities (Walker 2005). At the citizen's level, the cooperation occurs in the citizen's working with people and purchasing goods and services coming from another city (Douglass 2002). Accordingly, globalization facilitates the import of talent, goods, and services to establish organizations and businesses in the host city for local citizens to join and patronize. Such cooperation is supposedly a key to economic growth, because of the joint effort toward the common good of cities involved (Dreher et al., 2008). Intercity cooperation is also favorable to sustainable development, by reducing wastage and environmental depletion through economic integration (Douglass 2002). Despite the supposed benefit, citizens may not be as cooperative as expected, when they reject people, goods, and services from other cities. The rejection is commonplace when citizens regard people and things coming from other cities as threatening and at least different from or incongruous with the citizens' group nature (Bobo and Hutchings 1996).

A belief supposed to augment citizens' sensitivity to group nature is patriotism, which means loving, attachment to, or identifying with a country (Mummendey et al., 2001). If it were the case, the citizen's patriotism would sensitize the citizen to reject people and things coming from another country, even culminating in conflict and war (Federico et al., 2005; Ishii 2009). Although patriotism appears to erode international cooperation, its impact on intercity cooperation is uncertain, especially when the cities involved are within the same country. This is the case of the cooperation of Shanghai with Hong Kong, both of which are metropolises in China. The uncertainty about whether a Shanghai citizen's patriotism increases or reduces the citizen's cooperation with Hong Kong in work and purchase signifies the prime question for the present study to address. This uncertainty arises because patriotism can either increase or reduce the cooperation, depending on different reasons. Accordingly, patriotism would increase the cooperation if the citizen were aware that Hong Kong, as well as Shanghai, is part of China. In contrast, patriotism would reduce the cooperation if the citizen were cognizant that Hong Kong is incompatible with China.

To be fair, the study examines the impact of patriotism on cooperation with Hong Kong along with perceived threat from Hong Kong, contact with Hong Kong, and other background characteristics. The perceived threat refers to harm expected from Hong Kong to living in Shanghai, caused by job displacement and indecent goods and people from Hong Kong. Contact with Hong Kong refers to work or residential experience with Hong Kong through oneself or indirectly through one's acquaintances. In all, the study aims to clarify the impacts of patriotism, perceived threat, and contact with Hong Kong on the Shanghai citizen's cooperation with Hong Kong in work and purchase. The clarification would show the way to substantiate or revise speculations about intercity cooperation within China.

Impact of Patriotism on the Cooperation of Shanghai with Hong Kong

The government of China speculates that the indoctrination of patriotism in the populace raises solidarity and cooperation among compatriots (Wang 2008; Ying et al., 2013). This speculation is in need of empirical clarification in intercity cooperation between Shanghai and Hong Kong, in view of the uncertainty whether patriotism increases or reduces the cooperation. Essentially, promotion of patriotism is a Chinese national policy to boost cooperation and harmony within China, as well as other countries (Biswas 2002; Wang 2008). This policy is to replace the previous policy that emphasizes class struggles and breeds conflicts within the country. The policy is vital for legitimizing state practice and performance as a means to reap the common good for all people in China. …

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