Journal of Modern Chinese History
VOLUME 12 NUMBER 1 June 2018
Special Issue: Cross-Boundary Practices in Modern China
The Conférencier in the Purple Robe: Chen Jitong and Qing Cultural Diplomacy in Late Nineteenth-Century Paris
ABSTRACT: The establishment of Chinese legations abroad in the late Qing coincided with the emergence of a number of learned societies and transnational knowledge communities in the late nineteenth century. To what extent did the Chinese diplomats residing in Europe engage with these organizations in their interactions with the West? This paper examines an understudied aspect of late Qing foreign relations by tracing the activities of the diplomat-writer Chen Jitong (1852-1907) in several learned societies in 1880s and 1890s Paris. While serving as a secretary at the Qing legation in Paris, Chen also became a member of several Parisian learned societies (sociétés savantes). By enthusiastically participating in the meetings of these societies, contributing to their official journals, and delivering speeches at international congresses organized by these groups during the 1889 World’s Fair, Chen established a presence for Qing China in several nongovernmental international organizations. While the intellectual foci of these learned societies ranged from folklore studies, to architectural preservation, to ethnography, Chen contributed his own unique perspective and sensitivity as a Qing literatus in his representation of Chinese society and culture, which he also successfully fused in his writings about China for a French audience. I argue that Chen’s participation in the French and international learned societies should be understood as a form of late Qing cultural diplomacy, where at stake were not political sovereignty but the right of Chinese self-representation and contending notions of civilization.
KEYWORDS: Chen Jitong; late Qing; cultural diplomacy; foreign relations; international congresses; world’s fair
Loyalist, Patriot, or Colonizer? The Three Faces of Zheng Chenggong in Meiji Japan and Late Qing China
ABSTRACT: This article examines the transformation of Zheng Chenggong’s image in Meiji Japan and late Qing China. Prior to the mid-nineteenth century, Zheng Chenggong was often depicted as a Ming Dynasty loyalist in Chinese narratives and as a Japanese hero adventuring in a foreign land in Japanese narratives. The two groups of narratives converged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, transforming Zheng Chenggong into a patriot, an anti-imperialist hero, and a conqueror and developer of Taiwan. Underlying the convergence of Chinese and Japanese narratives of Zheng Chenggong was surging nationalist sentiment in response to different forms of imperialism. This study aims to show how different nationalist agendas activated efforts to recreate Zheng Chenggong’s image in China and Japan at the turn of the nineteenth century.
KEYWORDS: Zheng Chenggong, historical writing, literary writing, Meiji Japan, Qing China
Austro-Hungarian Refugee Soldiers in China
ABSTRACT: This paper deals with the problem of the Austro-Hungarian prisoners of war in World War I who were captured by the Russian Army and who then escaped from Siberian detention camps and ultimately found asylum in China. The Tianjin German Relief Fund (Tientsin Hilfsaktion) was a leading nongovernmental charitable organization that provided aid for these captives and refugees. It operated successfully in China until that country’s decision to join the war on the side of the Allied Powers forced the organization to close. A local German and Austro-Hungarian civilian network of middlemen also helped the refugee soldiers passing through, and the Chinese authorities set up camps in Manchuria for these soldiers, where they were interned until their repatriation after the war. This paper also introduces some individual cases to show how certain Austro-Hungarian POWs attempted to deal with their life in China. The author argues that China had a role and agency in World War I, that the refugee soldier question was the last episode of the nineteenth-century-style Concert of Europe, and that the POWs had a role and agency in shaping their own destinies.
KYEWORDS: Austro-Hungarian Prisoners of War; Tianjin German Relief Fund (Tientsin Hilfsaktion); Manchurian Refugee Internment Camps, Ladislav (László) Hudec; Rolf Geyling
A Journey to Mars: John Dewey’s Lectures and Inquiry in China
ABSTRACT: Instead of the framework of “influence – acceptance” commonly used in previous studies, the author reexamines John Dewey’s visit to China from the perspective of “interactive experience” based on new sources. This study presents Dewey’s lectures in China as the result of interrelationships among Columbia University, different hosts and audiences, the media, all levels of the Chinese government, the domestic situation in the United States, the international situation, and Dewey’s expectations and work, against the general background of China’s New Culture Movement and new educational reforms. Dewey’s speeches on democracy, science, and new education were remarkably successful in the first year of his visit to China but began to meet with resistance from some students beginning in June 1920. Because of the Red Scare in the United States, Dewey had to stay in China. In the second year of his visit, he gave warmly welcomed lectures on the same topics in Jiangxi, Fujian, and Guangdong Provinces. With a deeper understanding of China, Dewey not only identified himself with reform plans but also began to pay more attention to China’s economic problems. His inquiry into the problems confronting China is a good example of what he advocated in his lectures: seeing democracy, science, and new education as a way of thinking and carrying out actions and making intellectual choices while moving forward.
KEYWORDS: Dewey’s visit to China; The Correspondence of John Dewey; interactive experience; the New Culture Movement; the Red Scare; Bolshevism; international control; inquiry
An East-West Confrontation in the North-China Herald during the National Revolution: A Case Study of Shao Futang’s Letters to the Editor
ABSTRACT: In the Republican period, Shao Futang, secretary to the general manager of the International Dispensary of Shanghai (Wuzhou yaofang), wrote numerous letters to the editor that were published under the initials F.D.Z. in the English-language newspapers of Shanghai, such as the North-China Herald and the China Press. He wrote frequently to these newspapers out of dissatisfaction with the total indifference shown by Chinese residents of the Shanghai International Settlement to what foreigners said about China in these newspapers. The North-China Herald and other newspapers also had Chinese readers and thus needed to hear from those like Shao who could represent the voice of the Chinese people. When anti-imperialism and abrogation of unequal treaties were first proposed in 1924, Shao for the first time voiced his opinion in these newspapers. He defended Chinese patriotism by pointing out that it was not “anti-foreignism.” When the National Revolution broke out in 1926, an increasingly strong sense of nationalism emerged in the published letters he wrote. He denounced Western readers’ disparagement of the National Revolution, expressed the desire of the Chinese people for the abrogation of the unequal treaties, and appealed to the Municipal Council of the Shanghai International Settlement to make necessary changes and give political rights to the Chinese people.
KEYWORDS: the National Revolution; the North-China Herald; East-West confrontation; F.D.Z. (Shao Futang)
Philanthropy and Revolution in Shanghai during the May 30th Movement
ABSTRACT: During the May 30th Movement of 1925, the Shanghai Provisional Society of Aid and Pacification epitomized contemporary philanthropy in Shanghai with its transitional character that combined the old with the new. On the one hand, the society inherited the organizational tradition of modern charitable groups, but on the other hand, it also came to terms with the revolutionary upsurges then occurring in China and in the international Communist movement. Inside the Provisional Society of Aid and Pacification, the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Industry, Commerce, and Education led by the Chinese Communist Party maintained cautiously collaborative relations. After the disbanding of the society, the Patriotic Fundraising Meeting, a successor organization founded by the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce, soon failed, and the Chinese Communist Party launched the China Hardship Relief Society in an effort to radicalize philanthropy. Revolutionized philanthropy grew out of the development of the modern Chinese philanthropic tradition yet transcended it. Finally, proponents of these two approaches to philanthropy split after a symbiotic collaboration.
KEYWORDS: Shanghai Provisional Society of Aid and Pacification; May 30th Movement; Shanghai Chamber of Commerce; Federation of Industry, Commerce, and Education
Localizing the Reynolds Case: A Comparison of Two American Military Atrocities in the Far East in Cold War 1957
ABSTRACT: This paper’s main focus is the case of the killing of Chinese citizen Liu Ziran by the American soldier Robert G. Reynolds in Taipei on March 20, 1957. Following this unfortunate event, a United States court-martial was inappropriately held in Taiwan. Reynolds’ acquittal provoked a violent response from the Chinese people. The riot on May 24, 1957, is best interpreted within a framework of nationalism rather than Cold War discourse. That same year, in the Girard case, another American soldier killed a Japanese woman in Japan. Due to the unequal positions of Taiwan and Japan in US Cold War strategy, these two killings were handled differently and led to dissimilar reactions. Washington viewed Taipei as somewhat of a troublemaker rather than a reliable ally and expressed great suspicion of Chiang Kai-shek and his eldest son, Chiang Ching-kuo. The US government had already declined to support Chiang Kai-shek’s plan for parachute raids in China. Meanwhile, Chiang’s authoritarian regime created a hotbed for the outbreak of nationalism. The people of Taiwan experienced a “pawn complex” and, in the Reynolds case, gave vent to accumulated ideological and social pressures.
KEYWORDS: Reynolds case, Liu Ziran, May 24 Incident, extraterritoriality, Cold War
In Search of Historiographical Excellence: An interview with Zhang Kaiyuan, November 2, 2017
Zhang Kaiyuan; WEI Wenxiang
Family, Nation, World: Individual, National, and International Identity in Modern China, by XU Jilin, Shanghai, Shanghai People’s Publishing House, 2017, 480 pp., ISBN 978-7-2081-4196-4
Reconstructing China: The Concept of “the Chinese Nation” in Modern China, by HUANG Xingtao, Beijing, Beijing Normal University Press, 2017, 435 pp., ISBN 978-7-303-22487-6
Reforms of the Chinese Imperial Examinations and the Last Groups of Jinshi, by HAN Ce, Beijing, Social Sciences Academic Press, 2017, 407 pp., ISBN 978-7-5201-0665-8
Go to War: Chinese Diplomacy during the First World War, by HOU Zhongjun, Beijing, Social Sciences Academic Press, 2017, 384 pp., ISBN 978-7-5201-0901-7
Different Schools of Thought and the Disintegration of “Tianxia”: The Ideological Revolution and the Cultural Movement in the Late Qing and Early Republican Period, by QU Jun, Beijing, Social Sciences Academic Press, 2017, 301 pp., ISBN 978-7-5201-0849-2
State for the People or State for War? The Intellectual Officers, Military Science and Military Change before the Second Sino-Japanese War, by KWONG Chi Man, Hong Kong, Chungwa Books, 2017, 368 pp., ISBN 978-988-8488-08-7