China Perspectives 2008/3


China and its Continental Borders

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China Perspectives 2008/3

China - Borders

“Grieving for Tibet”: Conceiving the Modern State in Late-Qing Inner Asia Page 4

C. Patterson Giersch

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.

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Chinese Migration in the Russian Far East: A Historical and Sociodemographic Aanalysis Page 20

Olga Alexeeva

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.

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Chinese Economic Presence in Kazakhstan: China’s Resolve and Central Asia’s Apprehension Page 34

Sébastien Peyrouse

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.

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Between Geostrategic Rivalry and Economic Competition: Emergence of a Pragmatic India-China Relationship Page 50

Jean-François Huchet

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.

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China and the Mekong Region Page 68

Tim Summers

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.

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China’s Role in the Evolution of Southeast Asian Regional Organizations Page 78

Claudia Astarita

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.

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The Contemporary Revival of Confucianism: Anshen liming or the Religious Dimension of Confucianism Page 88

Joël ThoravalSébastien Billioud

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.”

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Educating Through Music: From an “Initiation into Classical Music” for Children to Confucian “Self-Cultivation” for University Students Page 107

Ji Zhe

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.

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Leaving the Twentieth Century Behind: A Conversation between Gao Xingjian and Liu Zaifu Page 118

China Perspectives 2008/3

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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Current Affairs

Submission or Revision: On the Embedded Concept of Sport in China Page 124

Edmund W. Cheng

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Review Essay

Zhao Ziyang’s vision of Chinese Democracy Page 136

Andrew Nathan

Chinese Intellectuals and the Problem of Xinjiang Page 143

Sebastian Veg

Book Reviews

John Makeham, Lost Soul, Confucianism in Contemporary Chinese Academic Discourse Page 152

Sébastien Billioud

Eugenia Lean, Public Passions. The Trial of Shi Jianqiao and the Rise of Popular Sympathy in Republican China Page 154

Jérôme Bourgon

Isabelle Thireau and Hua Linshan (eds), D’une illégitimité à l’autre dans la Chine rurale contemporaine Page 155

Lucien Bianco

Tyrene White, China’s Longest Campaign: Birth Planning in the People’s Republic, 1949-2005 Page 157

Karine-Hinano Guérin

Gordon Matthews, Eric Kit-wai Ma, Tai-lok Lui, Hong Kong, China: Learning to Belong to a Nation Page 159

Sonny Lo

Gilbert Etienne, Chine-Inde. La grande compétition Page 160

Claudia Astarita

Tubten Khétsun, Memories of Life in Lhasa Under Chinese Rule Page 161

Françoise Robin



























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