In 1954, the Marxist historian Fan Wenlan argued that China had achieved nationhood at the Qin unification of 221 B.C.E. (Fan 1957, 2, 6-7). He applied Stalin's four criteria of nationhood derived from a discourse on nation popular in early twentieth century. According to the Stalinist canon, nationhood was a "bourgeois" phenomenon. Fan's misuse of this paradigm was therefore heretical, the sin of national vanity. It does not suit the author to settle this controversy here. What concerns me is how Chinese discussants of "nation" appropriated Western nationalism as a system of concepts, symbols, and organized sentiments at the tum of the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries.