Confucianism behind the façade of the Socialist China Dream

Written by Chi Kin Cheung. Since President Xi Jinping pronounced the notion of China Dream, the idea has attracted great attention from China watchers. However, like many other official formulations of former Chinese leaders, the new China Dream is utterly elusive. As Roderick MacFarquhar, a professor at Harvard, said during the First World Congress on Marxism …

Mao’s China as a market for Western Europe? PRC early economic exchanges and implications for the international economy

Written by Valeria Zanier. It was widely known by analysts during the Cold War that business across the two sides of the Iron Curtain was quite a usual practice, regardless of the strategic embargo imposed by NATO. Academic scholarship has in principle recognized that the study of an economic and technological dimension is relevant to the understanding …

Migrant children in China: Identity and Stigma

Written by Mingchao Zhou. Established in the 1950s, the hukou system still controls and regulates the settlement of rural migrants in cities. Children of people who have migrated to cities are targeted by specific school policies and subject to categorization and segregation in specific schools. In order to understand how this school segregation is implemented …

China’s Imperial Past and Present

Written by Jon Chappell. Outside observers might raise an eyebrow when told that debates among American scholars about China’s eighteenth century development could lead to them being attacked as, amongst other things, ‘neo-imperialists’. Yet a recent article by leading Qing dynasty (1644-1912) historian Li Zhiting, a member of the PRC’s National Qing Dynasty History Compilation …

International engagement in China’s human rights: keeping the faith

Written by Titus Chen. July 2015 is destined to be an unforgettable time in Xi Jinping’s presidency. What befell Chinese human rights lawyers during that month will long be remembered as legacy of Xi’s authoritarian rule. From July 9 to 15, more than 250 public interest lawyers, human rights activists and their family members were …

Yasukuni Shrine and Japan’s War Responsibility

Written by Akiko Takenaka. Yasukuni Shrine, where the military-related dead of modern Japan are memorialized, remains one of the main focal points in the international debates on how Japan remembers its wartime past. It is also deeply intertwined with Japan’s domestic politics in the postwar decades as a result of the strong ties that the …

From Cairo to Chongqing: Global vs. Local Histories of the Second Sino-Japanese War in the PRC

Written by Adam Cathcart and Wankun Li. Urged on by Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its arts, scholarship, and regional bureaucracies have gone into overdrive to shape a new version of China’s history during World War II. As the 3 September “Victory Day” march in Beijing approaches, the film The Cairo Declaration has …

Misreading Chinese History

Written by David E. Mungello. An image from the past sometimes becomes embedded in our minds and becomes an emblem, a picture expressing an allegory that shapes our view of an entire age. One such image was a widely reproduced picture of a Catholic priest carrying his suitcase up a gangway into a ship in …

Why Chopsticks? Their Origin and Development in Asian Culinary Culture

Written by Q. Edward Wang. Chopsticks are ubiquitous in Asia. They are so essential for one’s daily life in the region, or the “chopsticks cultural sphere” that encompasses China, Korean Peninsula, Japanese archipelago, and parts of Mongolia and mainland Southeast Asia. This is not only the impression most visitors to the region would have but many …

Fashion and Politics: Promoting ‘Designed in China’ through Political Power

By Christine Tsui. In 2012, the Chinese president Xi Jinping initiated an anti-corruption campaign. Although there is no explicit evidence that this was an intentional outcome at which Xi aimed, the fact is that the campaign eventually led to a big decrease in the sale of luxury brands. Because in the past luxury brands were mostly purchased by rich …