This issue comes out during a continuing global pandemic, carrying a mixed sense of hope, despair and frustration. As we are witnessing the surge of a new COVID-19 variant, world politics cannot have been more polarised. China is at the centre of many contemporary political debates, including quarantine measures, telecommunication security, human rights, and international relations. How do we understand this historical moment when opportunities and challenges coexist for Chinese communities across the world? If China and Chineseness are among some of the keywords for Chinese studies, what does Chinese studies have to say about the current moment? We invited Chinese studies scholars to reflect on the issue of “Chinese identity” at this historical juncture and have been delighted with the enthusiastic responses from our readers and contributors, in particular the range of submissions from across the globe, ten of which are included in this issue. They are preceded by five research articles which once again speak to the breadth and diversity of our discipline, starting with the winning article of the 2021 BACS Early Career Researcher Prize, Coraline Jortay.