As an example of what I meant by “ethnic/patriotic assertiveness,” I note
that as part of their training for dealing with foreigners, Chinese govt.
officials are taught to fend off questions about Chinese rule over Tibet by
pointing out the true fact that the Tibetan language and the Chinese
language belong to the same family. As an argument, of course, this is
laughable: equivalent to the assertion that Jews have a right to
sovereignty over Arabs (both languages Semitic), or Norwegians sovereignty
over Iran (both Indo-European), or Samoans sovereignty over Madagascar (both
Austronesian). I have heard it offered in all seriousness, though, three or
four times, by Chinese govt. spokespersons.