Intellectual preparedness: Dr. Hu Shih, Lake Forest College, and Chinese diplomacy during World War II
Abstract：The summer of 1941 was a critical juncture in WWII history. As the war intensified and threatened the security of the United States, the American people were sharply divided into two opposing political camps, one sympathetic to interventionism and the other in favor of isolationism. Frightened by the recent memory of WWI and the reality of a worldwide economic depression, many Americans believed that their country should separate itself from troubling events in the world, thereby refuting President Roosevelt’s call for America to intervene against Hitler’s aggression in Europe and Japan’s atrocities in Asia. Against this historical background, Dr. Hu Shih, Chinese ambassador to the United States, came to Lake Forest in Illinois, the center of the isolationist movement, in the summer of 1941 to deliver a speech at Lake Forest College’s Sixty-Third Annual Commencement. This article uses various archives to reveal an untold story about Dr. Hu’s speech-diplomacy during his ambassadorial career. Tied to this event was a drama conveyed via multiple layers of historical accounts and contextualized by a series of political discourses ranging from the rise of isolationism in America to China’s use of soft-power diplomacy in the international arena, in which Dr. Hu played a significant role.
Keywords: American isolationism, Dr. Hu Shih, WWII, Chinese diplomacy
The state in the shadow of war: reexamining Zhang Junmai’s thoughts on democratic politics and state building
Abstract：In the shadow of the Sino–Japanese War, Zhang Junmai presented his solutions to China’s problems in a time of emergency. Using nation instead of class as his frame of reference, Zhang called for the rise of national self-consciousness and integrated his opinions on science, life, and epistemology in his blueprint for a new China. After examining the limits of democratic politics in wartime, Zhang articulated his version of democracy designed for a time of emergency, namely Revised Democratic Politics, which emphasized prompt governmental decision making, centralization of power, mass mobilization, and the cultivation of citizens as political, moral, and economic subjects. Placing Zhang’s political thought against the backdrop of the democracy versus dictatorship debate, this article will illustrate the inner complexity of Zhang’s “scientific” planning of democratic politics. This article argues that, echoing Carl Schmitt’s theory of the state of emergency and his concept of true politics as solving difficult problems, the formula of Revised Democratic Politics equates the issue of sovereignty with administrative efficiency within the bounds of legislative regulation. In addition, this article explores Zhang Junmai’s construction of the Way of State Building and state philosophy in addition to his theoretical configuration of China as a Gemeinschaft (ethical community) in a time of emergency.
Keywords: Zhang Junmai, time of emergency, democratic politics, state building, state philosophy
Partnership across the Pacific: Sino–American collaboration in maritime transportation during World War I
Abstract：After the outbreak of WWI, the urgent demand for shipping troops and war materials led to a shortage of warships and civilian steamships. The subsequent German unrestricted submarine warfare further reduced the number of ships at sea. As a result, shipbuilding became a booming wartime industry. Due to their common need, the United States and China struck several deals and forged partnerships during the war. The cooperation between the two sides involved not only the private sector and exchanges of technology, but also diplomacy. These interactions demonstrated China’s intent to take advantage of a relatively friendly United States, in order to expand China’s shipping business across the Pacific and to show off its new shipbuilding industry. The interactions were also an attempt by the United States to increase its influence in China and East Asia by participating in commercial and maritime shipping aspects of China’s industrialization. When the Jiangnan (Kiangnan) Dock received American contracts, China as a member of the Allied nations in effect contributed to the war against Germany.
Keywords: Pacific shipping, Sino–American relations, Jiangnan Dock (Kiangnan Dock)
Coping with parallel authorities: the early diplomatic negotiations of Soviet Russia and China on the Chinese Eastern Railway, 1917–1925
Abstract：This article explores the evolution of Soviet diplomatic policies with respect to the disputed ownership of the Chinese Eastern Railway and the responses of the three Chinese political authorities in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Fengtian from 1917 to 1925. It unveils a “parallel diplomacy” on the Soviet side and the roles the three Chinese authorities played in this grand diplomatic game. From the October Revolution in 1917 until the death of Sun Yat-sen in 1925, Moscow’s contacts with Beijing, Guangzhou, and Fengtian were initiated almost simultaneously with a different purpose in each case, namely political legitimacy, justification of ideology, and practical leverage, respectively. In response, the Beijing Government took a relatively active approach toward reclaiming the ownership of the railway, whereas Sun in Guangzhou was somewhat passive in dealing with Soviet claims. Fengtian warlord Zhang Zuolin’s responses were quite ambiguous, as he was suspicious of Moscow yet willing to cooperate with it. In general, this study reveals a balance between propaganda and national interests in Soviet diplomatic policy making, and it evaluates the effectiveness of Chinese politicians’ responses to Soviet Russia.
Keywords: China, Soviet Russia, Chinese Eastern Railway, diplomacy
“Historical research is like retrying an old case”: an interview with Shen Zhihua, June 17, 2015
Interviewee: Zhihua Shen & Interviewer: Wennan Liu
Oral history studies in contemporary China
“Intellectual circles” in late Qing and Republican China (two volumes), by Zhang Qing, Beijing, Social Sciences Academic Press, 2014, 882 pp., ISBN 978-7-5097-5709-3
Nanping Cao (曹南屏)
The transformation of Confucianism and the new mission of culture: Kang Youwei and Zhang Taiyan as foci, 1898–1927, by Peng Chunling, Beijing, Beijing University Press, 2014, 511 pp., ISBN 978-7-301-23998-8
Yifeng Xie (谢一峰)
From counselors to officials: the transformation and predicament of the outer administration in the late Qing, by Guan Xiaohong, Beijing, SDX Joint Publishing Company, 2014, 646 pp., ISBN 978-7-108-04619-2
Lu Yu (余露)
Managing Beijing: the Beijing Police Office under the Beiyang Government, by Ding Rui, Taiyuan, Shanxi People’s Publishing House, 2013, 492 pp., ISBN 978-7-203-08344-3
Shichun Tang (唐仕春)
China’s political–business relations: Yu Qiaqing and his era, by Feng Xiaocai, Beijing, Social Sciences Academic Press, 2013, 283 pp., ISBN 978-7-5097-4931-9
Qingqing Sha (沙青青)
Costly peace: a study of the peace negotiations between imperial Japan and the Qing dynasty in Shimonoseki, by Ji Chen, Beijing, SDX Joint Publishing Company, 2014, 394 pp., ISBN 978-7-108-05107-3
Hairong Zhang (张海荣)
The Paris Peace Conference and Beijing’s internal–external struggles: China’s diplomatic disputes and the interests of political factions in 1919, by Deng Ye, Beijing, Social Sciences Academic Press, 2014, 260 pp., ISBN 978-7-5097-6368-1
Zhongjun Hou (侯中军)
Studies on the reform of the Guomindang in Taiwan (1950–1952), by Feng Lin, Nanjing, Phoenix Publishing House, 2013, 307 pp., ISBN 978-7-5506-1895-4
Wanrong Yang (杨婉蓉)