China has been caught in the web of national and global forces of ‘opening up’ since the late 1970s.1 In contemporary China, the interplay of these national and global forces exists as a political and cultural reality. These forces sometimes converge, but at other times clash. Most signifi cantly, the twin forces, among other things, represent a new direction in China’s strategic engagement with the outside world. Ultimately, this engagement is to combine socialism with global capitalism in order to elevate China into an economic superpower on the world stage. Steadily, the engagement has constituted not only a potent agent for augmenting a renewed sense of national signifi cance and pride, but also renewed tensions between global/local and modern/traditional conceptions of Chinese identity. Many Chinese cultural traditions are thus threatened by a formidable global discourse. These tensions are deeply concerned with one fundamental question: how can an ‘authentic’ national Chinese identity be preserved in the face of China’s opening up to global practices that seek to extend their dominion.