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This article explores late Qing (1877-1911) state-building in Inner Asia (Xinjiang, Mongolia, and Tibet) in three ways. It demonstrates how efforts to replace hybrid, imperial institutions with Chinese-style administration were contingent and unpredictable processes. It compares elite-state relations, in Inner Asia and China proper, to explore the diverse impacts on Mongol, Tibetan, and Han elites. Finally, it surveys reform-era (1898-1911) media to reveal how Han elites conceived of Inner Asian territories and peoples in new ways and with enduring consequences.
The Far Eastern region of Russia borders on China, and population movements from the People’s Republic can be seen as a natural phenomenon. Chinese migration began in the 1860s, when the region was incorporated into Imperial Russia. Interrupted during the Soviet era, migration began again with the collapse of the USSR in 1991. The Russian Far East region makes it possible to study the workings of migration dynamics from their beginnings, and to follow all the stages in the building of the community and of its economic and migration networks. This article seeks to give a historical and sociodemographic overview of Chinese migration in the Far East of Russia, and to analyse the various forms of migration seen in the past and in the present.
In the course of only a decade, Kazakhstan has become China’s second biggest partner behind Russia in the post- Soviet space. Economic relations between Astana and Beijing are characterised by a considerable imbalance of power that is of concern in some political and expert circles in Kazakhstan, while the tremendous opportunity for development offered by China’s proximity brings hope that the country might be extricated from the crisis that followed the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
This article analyses the extent of the China-India diplomatic thaw since the early 1990s. Without ignoring the existence of multiple cooperation channels, or seeking to minimise the importance of the considerable achievements realised in recent years by the two governments towards normalising their relations, the article shows that relations between the two Asian giants remain hamstrung by a series of geostrategic and economic rivalries. Despite fast growth in trade and in specific areas of economic cooperation, the normalisation of ties between Beijing and New Delhi does not yet constitute a genuine strategic partnership.
This paper looks at constructions of the Mekong region with a particular focus on Chinese views. It draws out the differences between central and provincial Chinese perspectives, shows Chinese privileging of Greater Mekong Subregion economic cooperation in constructing the region, and outlines tensions between Chinese participation in and differentiation from the region.
Geographically and strategically, Southeast Asia represents the natural extension of China’s interests in the region. In the course of discussing China’s role in four regional organizations, ASEAN, ARF, ASEAN+3, and EAS, its interactions with the United States, Japan, and India will be reviewed as well. The goal of this paper is to consider whether or not China has maintained and is maintaining a dominant position within these fora.
Since the beginning of the century, the resurgence in Mainland China of what is referred to as “Confucianism” has included a “religious” dimension. The term “religious” is here used to characterise a variety of explorations where the quest for “inner peace” also echoes a concern for individual or collective destiny ( anshen liming). In order to understand these phenomena better, this article first examines an individual story that provides insight into what a Confucian religious experience may be today. This example is then placed within the context of shifting categories (religion, philosophy, science) once accepted as self-evident but now being questioned by elites and other groups in society. Finally, to give a sense of various explicit projects oriented towards achieving recognition of Confucianism as an official and institutionalised religion, the article analyses three such efforts seeking to institute Confucianism either as a “religion on par with other official religions,” as the “state religion,” or as “civil religion.”
Confucian discourse in contemporary China simultaneously permeates the intertwined fields of politics and education. The current Confucian revival associates the “sacred”, power and knowledge whereas modernity is characterized by a differentiation between institutions and values. The paradoxical situation of Confucianism in modern society constitutes the background of the present article that explores the case of a private company involved in promoting classical Chinese music to children and “self-cultivation” to students. Its original conception of “education through music” paves the way for a new “ethical and aesthetic” teaching method that leaves aside the traditional associations of ethics with politics. By the same token, it opens the possibility for a non-political Confucianism to provide a relevant contribution in the field of education today.
Gao Xingjian, laureate of the 2000 Nobel Prize for literature, visited Hong Kong at the invitation of the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in May 2008. He took part in a series of events: an international academic conference co-organised by the CEFC and CUHK in collaboration with the University of Provence, the inauguration of an exhibition of his ink paintings, the world premiere of his play Of Mountains and Seas, and the launch of his new collection of essays, On Creation( Lun chuangzuo, Taipei, Lianjing, 2008). On this occasion, Mingpao Monthlyorganised a discussion between Gao Xingjian and Liu Zaifu, a prominent Chinese intellectual who has lived in the United States since 1989, and who is author of the much-debated essay Farewell to Revolution(with Li Zehou, 1995) and of the preface to Gao’s new volume. The debate was moderated by professor Park Jae-woo (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul). (SV)
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