The formation and construction of a modern nation-state in China is a topic that practically all disciplines in the humanities and social sciences have addressed. But some questions remain largely unanswered. For example, in China's transition from empire to republic, how did the concept of the nation-state enter into the realm of society? How did regions inhabited by so-called minority nationalities come to know and imagine the new and modern body politic of the republic, which was not a new Chinese imperial dynasty? The aim of this research plan is to answer questions such as these. In contrast to previous textual studies that placed emphasis on ethnic identity or ethnic origins, and in contrast to abstract or conceptual research on minority nationalities, this research will involve both deep historical analysis and broad assessments of trans-regional and trans-cultural phenomena related to the nation-state in modern China. It will address the governing policies of dynasties and central governments, changes in the social and cultural formations of minority nationalities, as well as the motive power of their cultural self-awakening. The ultimate goal of this research is to understand how the concept of the nation-state was transmitted to minority nationality areas, and how minority ethnic groups explained and formulated the abstract concept of the nation-state that had come from the political and intellectual elite. I also seek to understand how the concept of the nation-state became concretized in the language and practice of everyday life, and how it became formalized in texts, signs, and actions which could be comprehended or imagined through sensory experience.