The 1792-94 Macartney Embassy – The first clash between China and the West

During the 16th century and most of the 17th century, China enjoyed a generally positive image in Europe. The works of the Jesuits - Catholic missionaries who lived and proselytized in the Far East - depicted the Central Kingdom as a well-governed and ethical society. (Jones, 2001, p. 18) Chinese art became popular with European … Continue reading The 1792-94 Macartney Embassy – The first clash between China and the West

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Freedom or despotism? – Autocratic governance and laissez-faire in Imperial China

China is ... a despotic state, whose principle is fear. Perhaps in the earliest dynasties, when the empire had not so large an extent, the government might have deviated a little from this spirit; but the case is otherwise at present. (Charles De Secondat Montesquieu, The Spirit of Laws) During the Manchu dynasty ... [t]he … Continue reading Freedom or despotism? – Autocratic governance and laissez-faire in Imperial China

The Traditional Roots of Parental Pressure and Academic Success in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

Chinese state media once called China a "world superpower in stress". According to a 2012 survey, 75% of Chinese workers are stressed, compared with 47% in the United States, 42% in the United Kingdom, and 58% in Germany. Over 70% percent of Chinese white-collar workers suffer from overwork, which poses a serious risk to their health. … Continue reading The Traditional Roots of Parental Pressure and Academic Success in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

Western Values – Asian Values: A Chinese Revolutionary’s View on Western and Chinese Family

One of the major differences between China and the West is the importance which the family - with its hierarchical structure and its complex web of social roles, regulations, duties, and moral values - has in Chinese society (see: Filial Piety in Chinese Culture). Despite major social and economic changes, the Chinese-speaking world has retained … Continue reading Western Values – Asian Values: A Chinese Revolutionary’s View on Western and Chinese Family

Sources of the Taiping Rebellion: The Deposition of Li Xiucheng

On July 19, 1864, after a months-long siege, the city of Nanjing, the capital of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom (太平天國; pinyin: Tàipíng Tiānguó), was stormed by forces of the Qing imperial army. This was the last act in the bloodiest civil war of all time. From its beginning in 1850 until 1864, when it ended, the civil … Continue reading Sources of the Taiping Rebellion: The Deposition of Li Xiucheng

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and Racial Discrimination in the United States

Introduction "Money monopoly," said Denis Kearney in a 1878 address,  "has reached its grandest proportions. Here, in San Francisco, the palace of the millionaire looms up above the hovel of the starving poor with as wide a contrast as anywhere on earth. To add to our misery and despair, a bloated aristocracy has sent to … Continue reading The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and Racial Discrimination in the United States

Voluntary Surrender and Confession in China’s Legal System – From the Empire to the People’s Republic

China's Televised Confessions On January 17 Gui Minhai, a Chinese-born Swedish citizen, made a high-profile confession on China Central Television (CCTV), saying that he had turned himself to the authorities voluntarily. He confessed to having caused the death of a 20-year-old woman while drunk-driving back in 2003. According to China's state media, Gui had subsequently fled … Continue reading Voluntary Surrender and Confession in China’s Legal System – From the Empire to the People’s Republic

Legalism And Leninism In China’s Constitutional History

When the Qing Dynasty was overthrown in 1911 and the Republic of China (ROC) was proclaimed, the revolutionaries led by Sun Yat-sen embarked on an ambitious experiment to modernise the country according to liberal Western ideals of democracy, human rights and division of powers. The new Republican government issued a Provisional Constitution which guaranteed progressive … Continue reading Legalism And Leninism In China’s Constitutional History

Sun Yat-sen: Memoirs of a Chinese Revolutionary

Sun Yat-sen (source: Wikipedia) Sun Yat-sen (1866 – 1925) was a Chinese revolutionary and politician. During the Late Qing era he fought to overthrow the Manchu Dynasty and establish a new, modern Chinese state. His political doctrines, most notably the Three Principles of the People, had a deep impact on the development of China in … Continue reading Sun Yat-sen: Memoirs of a Chinese Revolutionary

Law In Post-Mao China: Confucianism, Legalism, Imperial Traditions

In the previous post we have described the similarities and differences between Maoism and Legalism, and in particular we have shown the parallels between Maoist and Legalist doctrines regarding the establishment of an autocratic, centralised state. Moreover, we have demonstrated that Mao Zedong rejected Confucian values, which he viewed as "reactionary". In this post we … Continue reading Law In Post-Mao China: Confucianism, Legalism, Imperial Traditions