There is little doubt that the collapse of the Soviet Union, democratization of Russia and economic liberalization in China have been the most important historical developments in the second half of the twentieth century. With some qualifications, these developments may be seen as a part of the ‘third wave’ of democratization: Russia representing a transition to ‘unconsolidated democracy’, and China undergoing ‘creeping democratization’, whereby economic reforms undermine the authoritarian political structures. Both the creeping democratization in China and the consolidation of democratization in Russia have confronted the national identity question and the rise of nationalism. 1