This paper examines Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s discourse of China’s position in the family of nations in the context of the intellectual atmosphere of modern China. Sun first described the Chinese in 1907 as slaves of both the Manchu government and the imperialists in 1907 („double slavery” – shuangchong nuli). Then he thought China as a „half-independent country” (banduli guo) in 1919, and he returned his theory of the Chinese as the slave of the imperialists in 1923. Although Sun formulated different discourses, his basic concern was how to promote the nationalism of his fellow countrymen and how to make them support his revolution. The author also proposes that our studies of Sun Yat-sen’s theory of nationalism should take the approach of “ideas in context”, so we can look at it from a different perspective.