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Recreating the Chinese Nation-State. Confucianism: Social Harmony and Virtuous Rule. 3,500 years of History with China conceptualized as the Zhongguo (the Middle Kingdom) Confucianism and human being as a web of social relations

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confucianism social harmony and virtuous rule
Confucianism: Social Harmony and Virtuous Rule
  • 3,500 years of History with China conceptualized as the Zhongguo (the Middle Kingdom)
  • Confucianism and human being as a web of social relations
  • Concrete performance of one’s role should be the focus of human energies to generate harmony – hierarchy as opposed to equality is a given
  • Governing and dynasty legitimacy is a matter of ethical conduct – both patriarchal and elitist as well as critical and reformist – human beings are educable – order is cyclical in conformance with moral principles
  • Legalism acted as a compliment to Confucianism emphasizing centralized administration, military power, and absolutist rule
opium humiliation and failed reform
Opium, Humiliation, and Failed Reform
  • Opium War 1839 – 1842 inaugurates period of foreign imperialism and Chinese weakness and becomes symbol of Chinese humiliation
  • The Treaty of Nanjing 1842 cedes Hong Kong to British and gives British traders right to reside and trade in five treaty ports – 1844 US presses for trading privileges and extraterritorial jurisdiction
  • The nineteenth century included the White Lotus Rebellion (1796 -1804), the Great Taiping Rebellion of the 1850s, and the Boxer Uprising (1899-1900) and series of smaller peasant rebellions and Muslim rebellions in the Northwest and Southwest; Population pressures produced declining living standards.
  • Tongzhi restoration attempted to reaffirm Confucian values and Chinese leadership became aware of the need to bring together Chinese essense (Ti) with Western learning for practical improvements (Yong)
  • Sino Japanese War 1894-1895 brought Chinese failings into clear light but efforts to institute necessary reforms in 1898 were blunted by the seeming contradictions of a Western world view focused on material control and a progressive history and a Chinese worldview focused on human relations and natural cycles.
  • The defeat of the Boxer Uprising brought the Qing’s into disrepute and Chinese such as Sun Yat-Sen began contemplating the overthrow the Qing as a step in improving Chinese fortunes. By sending officials abroad, the Qing ultimately laid the foundation of their own demise
republican and communist revolution
Republican and Communist Revolution
  • In 1911 revolts spread, and the Manchus are overthrown and the Republic of China is born
  • Regional forces move the country toward warlordism by 1916
  • Intellectual ferment and rejection of the humiliation embedded in the Chinese people the nationalist May 4th movement
  • Chinese Communist Party was founded in 1921 in Shanghai
political military conflicts the chinese civil war
Political-Military Conflicts: The Chinese Civil War
  • Conflict between the Nationalist and Communist Chinese
    • Both Kuomintang and Communists structured as Leninist parties
    • Chiang Kai-shek turns on Communist allies and succeeds in campaign to reunite China but is slowed by the imposition of a United Front against the Japanese
    • Nationalists and Communists pursued war against Japan but Communists built some credibility during the war, whereas Nationalist credibility was undermined by corruption
building the revolution
Building the Revolution
  • Social and ideological programs of the Communists
    • Communist commanders encouraged troops not to exploit local farmers
    • During war, local governments were 1/3 communist, 1/3 progressive, and 1/3 independents
    • Low priority on social issues that might undermine support; women mobilized for war effort
    • Laid foundation for future success in Civil War
hong kong one country two systems
Hong Kong: “One Country, Two Systems”
  • Treaty of Nanjing (1842), ceding Kowloon Peninsula (1860), and New Territories leased to Britain for 99 years (1898) turn over 350 square miles of prime coastal territory to Britain
  • In 1984, PRC agreed to create a special administration zone for Hong Kong when lease was to end. 1988 Basic law for Hong Kong was issued and has served as its constitution since 1997
  • Transition went smoothly; some rights have eroded including structuring legislative counsel to be dominated by representatives viewed to be loyal to the PRC; activists pushed for direct elections
  • Article 23 focuses on maintaining strict control of region and limit interactions with foreign actors – Protest with 500,000 people against provision on July 1, 2003
  • SAR is autonomous but is dependent upon Chinese whim
taiwan two systems two countries
Taiwan: Two Systems, Two Countries?
  • 1895 Taiwan ceded to Japan
  • 1949 Nationalists retreat to the island and keep the name of the Republic of China
  • Korean War led United States to maintain support for Taiwan until 1979 when it changed its official recognition to the PRC
  • Chiang Ching-kuo liberalized system after the of his father, Chiang Kai-shek
  • 2000 a non KMT party won election – Chen Shui-bian (Democratic Progressive Party)
  • DDP support of independence created frictions with PRC and lost elections at 2008
  • PRC seeks unification and rejects military and political autonomy
  • Need for centralization created by disintegration of the Qing
  • Communist party succeeded where earlier reformers failed
  • Traditional structures have survived Chinese nation building efforts
  • Taiwan remains an unfinished component of the nation building process