Since the 1990s, the Chinese government has implemented an extensive Patriotic Education campaign in the military, government organizations, mass media, public sites, and most noticeably, the nation's schools. The campaign has sought to foster the dual spirit of "love for the nation" and "love for the army" and has led to a revision of school textbooks to highlight China's "humiliating" modern history of foreign incursions. Schools have organized mandatory trips to Patriotic Education bases and have also introduced compulsory military training sessions in order to imbibe "national defense values" and foster the ability "to resist foreign incursions" among ever younger children. How do contemporary Chinese adolescents respond to these messages? Has the Patriotic Education campaign contributed to the rise of militant nationalism among a present generation of PRC youth? The present paper seeks to address these questions by drawing on the results of a field study conducted in 2016-2018 among senior middle-school students of rural and urban backgrounds in China. The discussion explores youth perceptions of "patriotic" and militant themes in class teachings and school activities, while paying particular attention to the role of geographic location and socioeconomic background in the formation of youth attitudes towards their nation, its military and armed conflict. By so doing, the study aims to offer updated empirical evidence regarding the implementation process of the Patriotic Education campaign and its impact on students' values, while contributing to our current understanding of the forces and counter-forces that shape Chinese youth nationalism today.