As scholars look deeper into China’s approach to the world around it, what they are finding there is sometimes surprising. Rather than the veiled product of a centralized, disciplined Communist Party machine, Chinese policy is ever more complex and fluid—and shaped by a lively and very polarized internal debate with several competing power centers. There’s a clear tug of war between hard-liners who favor a nationalist, even chauvinist stance and more globally minded thinkers who want China to tread lightly and integrate more smoothly into international regimes. And the Chinese public might be pushing a China-first mentality more than its leadership. Scholars believe that the boisterous nativism on display in China’s online forums appears to be a major factor pushing Chinese foreign policy in a more hard-line direction.