China has always been a civilisation unto its own. Its isolation at one end of the Eurasian continent is perhaps the reason that it is the only one of the four great ancient civilisations that have persisted to this day. The Middle Kingdom mentality is deeply embedded in the national psyche.
The onslaught of the modern Western industrial civilisation shattered its hitherto unquestioned sense of superiority. But at the same time, it has planted in the national psyche the burning desire for renewal, resurgence and regaining its past grandeur.