The British community in China was rooted in the diverse cultures of imperial Britain. This book presents a study of Britain's presence in China both at its peak, and during its inter-war dissolution in the face of assertive Chinese nationalism and declining British diplomatic support. Using archival materials from China and records in Britain and the United States, the book presents a portrait of the traders, missionaries, businessmen, diplomats and settlers who constituted "Britain-in-China", challenging people's understanding of British imperialism there. Imperialism is no new subject for scholars of modern Chinese history. The largest settler communities were selfgoverning; even the smallest were still self-replicating. The book focuses on the structure and workings of this establishment in the decades before the Pacific War. The survey presented examines the processes by which Britain in China evolved, how it replicated itself and represented itself (and China). It looks at how it attempted to reform itself in the face of the militant state and mass nationalism it met in China in the mid-1920s and after. The survey also looks at the face of the efforts of the British state to regain control over it and to decolonise the British presence. All Britons in China possessed multiple identities: British, imperial and local. The book also analyzes the formation and maintenance of settler identities, and then investigates how the British state and its allies brought an end to the reign of freelance, settler imperialism on the China coast.
The Chinese political system is the subject of much media and popular comment in part because China supports an economy with an apparently inexorable dynamic and impressive record of achievement. This book provides a comprehensive introduction to China's political system, outlining the major features of the Chinese model and highlighting its claims and challenges. It explores the central role of the Communist Party in the country's politics and the way in which the Party controls most elements of the political system. The collapse of the imperial system in 1911, the subsequent decades of turmoil and war and the coming to power of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1949 constitutes a truly revolutionary period in Chinese political history. The People's Republic of China (PRC) represents an unanticipated challenge to the logic of history. The key organising principle of the political system of the PRC is the leadership of the CCP. China remains a Leninist party-state. The book also examines the role of the National People's Representatives Congress (NPC) and then the State Council and the associated structures of central government departments. Greater democracy is facilitated, as are other reforms, by the recasting of China's foreign policy to encourage a calmer international environment. China's re-emergence as a major power is the single most important geo-political trend of the early twenty-first century.
This book looks at how the contract between the Chinese state and its citizens produces ready compliance and apparent support despite the problems of corruption, food scandals, air pollution and the constraints on personal freedom. It explores the ways in which China’s past is presented as both a mandate for political monopoly and a promise of a glorious future. It does so through the voice of China's own people, by exploring the lived experiences of a broad range of her citizens from across a wide range of socio-economic, rural, urban, ethnic and religious backgrounds. The volume aims to use an ethnographic approach to comprehend how Chinese people in the twenty-first century feel about key issues they face at crucial point in the nation's development.
3835 Understanding Chinese:Layout 1
The legacy of history
What political scientists refer to as political culture – the deeply
embedded distinctive patterns of political, economic and social
behaviour that fundamentally shape politics – is best viewed as the
accumulated legacies of a country’s history. History, however, is not
destiny: while a country’s past shapes its politics it does not determine
it. Change is ever present though the pace at which it occurs varies:
sometimes glacial (with the political system
Ten Lessons tells the story of modern China from the eve of the First Opium War to the Xi Jinping era. This was a most turbulent period of time as the Middle Kingdom was torn apart by opium, Christianity, modernisation, imperialists, nationalists, warlords and the Japanese, and as China reinvented and reasserted itself on the world stage in the post-Mao era. Unlike the handful of existing textbooks, which narrate without primary sources and without engaging with academic debate, Ten Lessons is devoted to students, from university to high school, as it uses extensive primary sources to tell the story of modern China and introduces them to scholarship and debates in the field of Chinese history and beyond. This will help students understand the real issues involved, navigate their way through the maze of existing literature and undertake independent research for essays and dissertations. The book also points out gaps and inadequacies in the existing scholarship, to encourage postgraduate studies. It is ‘mental furniture’ for the increasing army of journalists, NGO workers, diplomats, government officials, businesspeople and travellers of all kinds, who often need a good source of background information before they head to China.
Staging art and Chineseness is about the politics of borders ascribed to Chinese
contemporary art and the identification of artists by locations and exhibitions.
The paradoxical subject of Chineseness is central to this inquiry, which begins
with the question, what does the term Chinese Art mean in the aftermath of the
globalized shift in art? Through an exploration of embodied and performative
representations (including eco-feminist performances) by artists from China and
diasporic locations, the case studies in this book put to the test the very
premise of the genealogical inscription for cultural objects attributed to the
residency, homeland, or citizenship of the Chinese artist. Acknowledging the
orientalist assumptions and appropriations that Chineseness also signifies, this
study connects the artistic performance to the greater historical scope of
‘geographical consciousness’ envisioned by past and present global expositions.
The emergence of China’s shiyan meishu experimental art movement in the
1980s–1990s has largely been the defining focus for ‘global art’ during the
period when artfairs, biennials, and triennials also came into prominence as the
new globalized art institution (exemplified by China’s first biennial in
Guangzhou). The political aim is to recognize the multiple contradictions and
repetitions of history engendered by art, nationalism, and capital in the legacy
of Althusserian/Maoist interpellations – the reifications of global capitalist
illusions in the twenty-first century are conveyed in this book by performative
artistic expressions and the temporal space of the exposition.
A recruit to Britain in China
arrived in Hong Kong by sea some five weeks after leaving Britain, and
usually sailed on up the coast to Shanghai, or transferred at Hong Kong
to another ship. The first part of China our traveller physically saw,
smelt, felt and heard was a British colony. The first Chinese would
already have been glimpsed some days back in Singapore or Penang
This book is about the lived experience of occupationally sick workers in China. When China initiated its economic reform in 1978, the Pearl River Delta (PRD) started attracting immense industrial capital from Hong Kong. The aftermath of the Zhili fire marked the invention and consolidation of different strategies on the part of Hong Kong-based NGOs to protect the rights of Chinese workers. The spinning-off of Labor Action China (LAC) from Christian Industrial Committee (CIC) in 2005 was prompted by the surge of pneumoconiosis cases among gemstone/jewelry workers in Guangdong province. In understanding the post-illness experiences of sick Chinese workers, the book subscribes to Michel Foucault's view that they face a hybrid of powers involving sovereignty, discipline, and governmentality. It argues that the social estrangement of Chinese sick workers can be understood as an instantiation of Agamben's notion of homo sacer - the ultimate biopolitical subject whose life is located outside "normal" political, economic, and cultural practices. The narratives of cadmium-poisoned workers suggest that they usually find themselves in situations where their rights are being exploited. Sick workers tend to strategize their pursuit of compensation toward the mode of "rightful resistance". The book sheds light on one response pattern observed at the actor-power interface, the compromising citizenry. It discusses the three major types of preferred ways of seeking compensation solicited from different groups of occupationally sick workers, namely, the craving for sick role status, rightful resistance, and compromising citizenry, can be considered as struggles for obtaining "legality".
The archive of Chineseness
The archive of Chineseness: the global
exposition and the museum
In 2012, the Shanghai Biennale opened at the new mega museum, the Power
Station of Art, the massive seven-story, 450,000-square-foot former electrical plant that was transformed into a museum in the model of London’s Tate
Modern. Museums have become important civic centers and tourist sites for
international cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, contributing to the rapid
development of China’s metropolitan areas, and attaining the symbolic status
that they have long
3835 Understanding Chinese:Layout 1
The national question in
The exact shape and size of a state is the result of many factors ranging
from royal inter-marriage to conquest. In many parts of the globe
straight-line borders suggest arbitrary imperialist deals and pragmatic
compromises. Nevertheless, once the lines are drawn, they are hard to
change. Each political system once established lays claim to the
concept of sovereignty, i.e. supreme authority within a territory, which
since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648