Article

China and the World, 1900-1949

Dong Wang

in Chinese Studies

ISBN: 9780199920082
Published online April 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199920082-0048
China and the World, 1900-1949

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Thematically and chronologically organized, this highly condensed annotated bibliography includes works that provide insights into the long-term, core themes of China and the world during the first half of the 20th century. The fifty years from 1900 to 1949 were marked by revolution, civil war, and foreign invasion but also witnessed change and progress in China’s relations with the outside world. These include the transformation from an empire (Qing) to a nation-state, the rise of Chinese nationalism, the restoration of China’s tariff autonomy, the abolition of extraterritoriality, China’s participation in the two world wars, and its role in the world economy and international organizations. Historiographical debates bring out three interdependent methodological and thematic issues: the state behavior of the Qing (1900–1911), Beijing (1912–1928), and Nanjing governments (1928–1949) in foreign affairs; the role of external forces in China’s nation-building and integration into the world system and community in modern times; and the relationship between nationalism and globalization and between national and international histories. Three influential conceptual frameworks are John K. Fairbank’s Western impact/stimulation and China’s response paradigm, Paul A. Cohen’s China-centered and most recently China-unbound or human-centered approach, and William C. Kirby’s internationalization proposition. What these different strands of research share, in this author’s judgment, is far more important than what separates them. Out of controversy, most scholars today tend to agree that during the period from 1900 to 1949 the Qing, Beijing, and Nanjing regimes were weak but resourceful states in hostile national and international environments. China’s international status markedly improved by the end of the 1940s, as one of the “great powers” (daguo 大国) and a founder of the United Nations in the new world order. National, regional, and global concerns as well as nationalism, imperialism, colonialism, and internationalism have entangled bearings on studies of nearly all subjects that hold significance in modern China and the world.

Article.  9824 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Studies ; Asian History ; East Asian Philosophy ; East Asian Religions

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