Chinese Cultural Nationalism and Southern Localism

Law Wing Sang

in Collaborative Colonial Power

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9789622099296
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206755 | DOI:
Chinese Cultural Nationalism and Southern Localism

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This chapter observes that in contrast to the one-China conception in dominance now, regionalism was a key theme of early Republican Chinese politics, as there was no stable central Chinese government until Chiang Kai-shek led the Northern Expedition in 1926. It notes that the southern provinces, largely out of reach of Qing imperial control, could be used by various forces as testing grounds for new projects such as reformist experiments in building Western-style institutions and the revolutionary mobilization of migrants returned from overseas. In this regard, the southern provinces were the place where different political forces sought support from foreign powers. It notes that in contrast, the northern provinces fell under the control of traditional imperial bureaucrats and, therefore, remained relatively uncontested in cultural and political terms. It adds that the Republican Revolution of 1911 elevated the political status of the southern provinces, signaling the rise of southern influence.

Keywords: one-China conception; regionalism; Republican Chinese politics; Chiang Kai-shek; Northern Expedition; southern provinces; Qing imperial control; reformist experiments; Western-style institutions; Republican Revolution

Chapter.  12176 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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