2012 New History
P. O. Box 1-44, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan, R. O. C.
02-2782-9555 # 226

Imagining the Nation-State in a New World:
“Hua-Hsia” Consciousness in Early Imperial China

 Chien-wen Wang

Department of History, National Cheng Kung University

“Hua-Hsia” consciousness was transformed to become the new basis for the state after the First Emperor of Ch’in (Ch’in-Shih-Huang) united the Hua-Hsia world to replace the old aristocratic clan enfeoffment system with a bureaucratized empire.  This marked a new era in which the people should construct a new world order under rulers who worked to create and maintain the unification of the empire. This article makes two key arguments: first, that the officers of the empire possessed free movement within it, marking its effective scope; and second, that the “Man-Yi-Jung-Ti” “barbarians” were recognized to be the eternal “other” outside of the empire. Thus did a new “Hua-Hsia imagination” take shape in early imperial China.


Keywords: nation-state, Hua-Hsia, early imperial China, world order, the other, ethnic imagination