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Article Title : From Confucianism to Chinese Nationalism: A Performance Analysis of the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics
Author(s) : Ling Lyu
Corresponding Author : Ling Lyu
Keywords : Chinese Nationalism; Codes of Behaviour; Confucianism; Morality; 2008 Summer Olympics.

This essay analyses the Opening Ceremony of 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. With the aid of the official documentation video, the study provides an insight into the established codes of morality and behaviour in Chinese society. Through reviewing various features of the ceremony, including literary rhetoric, narration of camera, staging, and the audience, the study presents an example of the brilliant and sophisticated deviation of the Chinese ruling power in its current manipulation of nationalism. Nationalist rhetoric has long been a significant political device in modern China. Instead of a forthright attempt in preaching the Chinese nationals to be patriotic, the new stage of nationalist rhetoric absorbed many elements of Confucianism to better consolidate the party’s rule. It uncovers the government’s intention in building a morality-centred narrative, which persuades the Chinese people to believe that the loyalty and reverence to China and the government is part of leading an upright life. This thorough reading of the event investigates how the Chinese central government, by utilising and appropriating various elements of Confucianism in a certain way, has evoked nationalistic sentiments. And how it was instrumentalized and was performed in the service of stabilising the Chinese Communist Party’s regime.