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Modern Chinese History Studies【Font:Small Big

No.2 (2015) Abstract

Author:       Update Time:2015年06月02日

 

The State Affairs Masonic Society and the National Assembly in 1911         Sang Bing ()      

Yang Du, Wang Jingwei and others established the State Affairs Masonic Society just when the battles between the Revolutionary Army and the Qing Army had reached a stalemate. Academic circles have long maintained that the Society was unpopular and therefore short-lived, but researchers did not have many details about its organization or membership. By carefully comparing various new and old historical data, we can not only probe and check the identities and activities of members of the State Affairs Masonic Society and the complicated relationship between the Society and the political transformation of 1911, we can also explore the steps in the evolution of the National Assembly and its profound effects on the construction of the modern Chinese political system. Though the Society existed for just a short time, the themes of state and political systems it raised touched sensitive nerves of parties in both the South and the North. It advocated using majority decisions of the National Assembly to resolve important disputes over state affairs. This not only became a key point in the endless entanglement of peace negotiations between the South and North, it also exerted far-reaching influences on the development and evolution of the structure of China’s political system since the establishment of the Republic of China.

 

 

The Inside Story of Japan’s Investigation into the Ownership of Jiandao, 1905-1909

                                                                Li Huazi ()

In order to stir up the “Jiandao issue,” Japan sent surveyors to inspect Changbai Mountain, and pointed out that the ditch to the east of the monument (Huanghuasong Ditch) had been connected with the Songhua River, which actually proved that the Tumen River and Duman River were two different rivers. In addition, Japan appointed “contractors” to carry out research using historical documents, and suggested that the Tumen River and the Duman River were actually the same river. At the time of the border inspection during the reign of Emperor Guangxu (1875-1908), Korea accepted the plan to take the Duman River (now known as the Tumen River) as the border, thereby renouncing ownership of Jiandao. Although Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs concluded that the argument that Jiandao belonged to Korea was weak, in order to contain China and advance negotiations, it insisted that the Tumen and Duman Rivers were two different rivers and maintained that the border settlement in the 13th year of Emperor Guangxu (1887) was invalid. Finally, Japan used the admission that Jiandao belonged to China as a bargaining chip both to obtain the right to establish a consulate there and also to obtain benefits in the “five cases in three provinces of Northeast China.”

 

 

Sino-American Negotiations before the Pearl Harbor Incident      Yang Tianshi ()

The USA had for a long time been selling a great deal of steel, oil and other strategic materials to Japan, which increased Japan’s ability to carry out aggression against China. In July of 1939, Chiang Kai-shek sent a telegram to Roosevelt suggesting that the USA take measures to weaken Japan’s economy and fighting capacity. Later in the same month, the American government announced it was annulling the US-Japan Commercial Treaty and imposing economic sanctions on Japan. In April of 1941, in an attempt to ease the pressure of American sanctions through negotiations, Japan proposed the US-Japan Memorandum of Understanding. In order to keep the USA from prematurely falling into the unfavorable situation of fighting simultaneously in the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, Roosevelt proposed a program of concessions and compromises, seeking to relax the economic blockade on Japan for a certain period of time. Chiang Kai-shek rigorously opposed this change in American policy toward Japan. He angrily condemned the American government on the basis of “international morality and justice” and “human morality,” while Hu Shi and Tse-ven Soong also actively negotiated with the Americans on this issue. Ultimately, the US policy toward Japan returned to a comprehensively tough policy after a period of limited compromise, and negotiations between the US and Japan broke down. Japan accused the USA of simply becoming Chiang Kai-shek’s mouthpiece, and in early December it suddenly carried out the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, at which point the Pacific War broke out.

 

The Participation of the Common People in the Country’s Tax Administration—Negotiations between the Government and the Common People in the Process of Collecting Income Tax in Modern China                     Wei Wenxiang ()

In the late Qing and early Republican periods, as the government was preparing to collect income taxes, it often failed because of frequent opposition from the common people. Until 1936, the Nationalist government took strong measures to carry out the complete collection of taxes, in order to prepare its finances for the fight against Japanese aggression. During this process, the government and common people constantly debated the legality and reasonability of income tax collection; these debates climaxed around 1936. The Nationalist government legislated the income tax through the system of Party and government administration, and all classes in the society expressed their complaints through measures like writing opinion columns in newspapers and magazines, submitting written petitions, and submitting group appeals. In coordination with professional groups, taxpayers such as businessmen and freelancers asked the government to revise the law in order to postpone tax collection or to decrease the amounts required. Scholars and media also participated in these debates. Official institutions such as the Executive Yuan, the Ministry of Finance and the Legislative Yuan directly responded to these complaints and provided society with explanations, while at the same time setting the propaganda machine in motion in order to gain public support. On the basis of the obligation to pay taxes, taxpayers obviously became more conscious of their rights, and the people’s expressions of tax rights affected the revision of tax laws and administration practices to some degree, but the government’s established policy did not waver, and it still held the power to tax the people. In the mechanism for negotiation between tax collectors and taxpayers, comprised of the public opinion space and legal professional groups, the pathway for the internalization of expressions of public opinion was still lacking.

 

Did Dao Anren, Member of the Dai Nationality and the Alliance Society (Tongmenghui), Suffer an Injustice?

                                                    Zeng Yeying ()

 

The Origin, Evolution, and Reconstruction of the Central Narratives of Modern China—Comments on Reinventing Modern China: Imagination and Authenticity in Chinese Historical Writing by Huaiyin Li                    Zhao Qingyun ()

    Huaiyin Li’s Reinventing Modern China is a relatively clear examination of the origin and evolution of the central narratives of modern China, as well as a deep analysis of the trends in political thought and changes in the times that dominate such narratives. The book’s research methods and perspectives are enlightening, but it also has some shortcomings that are difficult to overlook. First, the discussion of “disciplinary institutionalization” is not fully developed. Second, if we combine the history of historiography with political struggles in order to perform analysis, and probe the context of the power struggles behind historiography to analyze problems, we can indeed uncover some overlooked aspects. However, it is very difficult to completely attribute the divergences in historiography to power struggles. Furthermore, the connections between academic ideas and power struggles are subtle and often difficult to confirm, so we must be very cautious when performing research in order to avoid, as much as possible, imposing our own opinions on history. Thirdly, by using the parallel development and confrontations of the narratives of “revolution” and “modernization” to explore the writings of modern Chinese history in the 20th century, the author obscures the disagreements and tensions within these “revolutionary” narratives. It is necessary to further trace the understandings and narratives of modern Chinese history in both the CCP and the Guomindang, and to differentiate between the narratives of “national revolution” and “class revolution.” If we pay attention to the changes in the “class” and “nation” concepts within the narratives of “revolution,” we can give a more appropriate explanation of the evolution of the central narratives of modern Chinese history.

 

Chen Li’s Position, Origin, and Purpose in Writing Comment on the Imperial Examination Sites

                                                      Yu Meifang () 

 

The Chinese Empire Reform Association of Canada (Baohuanghui)’s Establishment, Development, and Trans-national Activities, 1899-1905—Textual Research Based on New Historical Data from North America                    

                                                 Chen Zhongping ()

 

The Publication of A Concise History of 1898 and Zhang Jian’s Complex of Constitutional Monarchy                                        Li Yongsheng ()

 

A Summary of the Symposium on “Hot Topics and Leading Theories of Modern Chinese History Studies”                                    Zhang Deming ()

 

 

English Table of Contents and Abstracts

 

 



Institute of Modern History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

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