Upcoming Events

"Global Hong Kong: Lessons from Elsewhere" Speaker Series

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Online Event

As Hong Kong experiences unprecedented political and social upheavals, we invite speakers who can shed light on other societies which have faced similar challenges. Putting Hong Kong in global perspectives may inspire comparative research, theoretical and historical reflections, as well as public discussions on our collective future. Each public lecture will begin with a 30-min presentation, followed by another 30 mins of Q&A. The series is free and open to the public. Participants must register before each event. READ MORE...

Virtual Engagements on Global China

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Online Event

This public lecture series features international scholars and experts on a wide range of topics related to China's global presence and impacts. Each seminar will begin with a 30-min presentation, followed by another 30 mins of Q&A. The series is free and open to the global public. Participants must register before each seminar.  READ MORE...

Global China Humanities Series

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Online Event

The Center launches its inaugural Global China Humanities Lecture Series in February 2021. We invite internationally renowned scholars and young, first-book authors to discuss their latest works on topics ranging from Cold War history, diaspora studies, global medicine to literature.   READ MORE...

Protest in Putin's Russia: opposition and grassroots movements

Zoom

Protest in Russia is often portrayed in terms of a conflict between the Putin regime and its political opponents. However, the most tenacious and successful protest in recent years has been associated with regional movements targeting specific issues, usually linked to the environment or urban development. Resistance to perceived encroachment by the central government is often crucial to these movements, but they do not usually challenge the political system as a whole. READ MORE...

China and the environment: Ecological Civilisation and its discontents

Zoom

The Chinese government has stated its intention to take the lead on climate change, and “Ecological Civilisation” has become an important slogan for Chinese President Xi Jinping. China has demonstrated a remarkable energy transformation in its domestic market. But Chinese firms, private and state-owned alike, are finding an outlet for overcapacity and shrinking domestic markets by exporting carbon-intensive production overseas. This presents a challenge to the vision of a cleaner power sector in many countries, particularly those at an important inflection point in their development. This talk will examine the impact, drivers and likely trajectory of China’s development and overseas investments, from rhetoric to reality. READ MORE...

The Good Immigrants: How the Yellow Peril Became the Model Minority

Zoom

Conventionally, US immigration history has been understood through the lens of restriction and those who have been barred from getting in. In contrast, The Good Immigrants considers immigration from the perspective of Chinese elites—intellectuals, businessmen, and students—who gained entrance because of immigration exemptions. Exploring a century of Chinese migrations, Madeline Hsu looks at how the model minority characteristics of many Asian Americans resulted from US policies that screened for those with the highest credentials in the most employable fields, enhancing American economic competitiveness. The earliest US immigration restrictions targeted Chinese people but exempted students as well as individuals who might extend America’s influence in China. Western-educated Chinese such as Madame Chiang Kai-shek became symbols of the US impact on China, even as they patriotically advocated for China’s modernization. World War II and the rise of communism transformed Chinese students abroad into refugees, and the Cold War magnified the importance of their talent and training. As a result, Congress legislated piecemeal legal measures to enable Chinese of good standing with professional skills to become citizens. Pressures mounted to reform American discriminatory immigration laws, culminating with the 1965 Immigration Act. The Good Immigrants examines the shifts in immigration laws and perceptions of cultural traits that enabled Asians to remain in the United States as exemplary, productive Americans. READ MORE...

The Great Transformation: China’s Road from Revolution to Reform, 1969-1984

Zoom

This joint book project with Professor CHEN Jian attempts to provide an easily accessible survey of key developments in what is arguably the most important political, social, and economic transition of the 20th century: China's road from an isolationist revolutionary state to a pragmatic market-oriented regime. By reviewing both China’s domestic and international affairs during its ‘long 1970s’ – from the Ninth Party Congress and the Sino-Soviet clashes in the spring of 1969 up to the Twelfth Party Congress and the opening to the outside world in the early 1980s – the project intends to stress three key themes: The end of the revolutionary phase in Chinese Communist politics, the beginning of a new international orientation for the PRC, and the creation of a new economic system, built from above and from below, that set the stage for the remarkable growth of the 1980s and ‘90s. READ MORE...

The Great Exodus from China: Trauma, Memory, and Identity in Modern Taiwan

Zoom

The Great Exodus examines the forced migration from China to Taiwan in 1949 when Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist regime collapsed on the mainland. The migration has largely been understood as a military withdrawal operation or a relocation of government. As such, this mass emigration remains one of the least understood population movements in modern East Asia. Peeling back layers of Cold War ideological constructs on the subject, Yang breaks new ground in Chinese Civil War historiography. He lays bare the traumatic aftermath of the Chinese Communist Revolution for the hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who were forcibly displaced across the sea and for the local Taiwanese who were compelled to receive them. The book underscores displaced population’s trauma of living in exile and their poignant “homecomings” in both post-Mao China and post-liberalization Taiwan. It presents a multiple-event trajectory of repeated traumatization with recurring but different memory productions through time in search of home, belonging, and identity. This trajectory challenges established notions of trauma, memory, and diaspora. It speaks to the importance of subject position, boundary-crossing empathic unsettlements, and ethical responsibility of historians in writing, researching, and representing trauma. READ MORE...

Past Events

GLOBAL HEALING: MEDICAL HUMANITIES, CHINESE LITERATURE, AND THE WORLD

Zoom

Narratives from diverse communities globally have for millennia engaged with a broad variety of diseases and other serious health conditions. In more recent decades, many have advocated for empathic, compassionate, and respectful care that facilitates healing and enables wellbeing. In this presentation, grounded in my recent book Global Healing: Literature, Advocacy, Care, I’ll discuss the role of literature, and especially Chinese literature, in imploring societies to shatter the devastating social stigmas which prevent billions from accessing effective care; to increase the availability of quality person-focused healthcare; and to prioritize partnerships that facilitate healing and enable wellbeing for both patients and loved ones. I’ll also introduce the fields of the medical humanities and the health humanities and speak to the contributions the study of literature can make in this pandemic era. READ MORE...

From Batallón Colombia to Sixty-nine Ex-POWs: The Unforeseen Impact of Latin America in the Korean War

Zoom

This presentation examines how the Latin American countries of Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Chile responded to the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. This conflict was the first global conflict in the struggle between communism and capitalism, and therefore, is one of the main starting points in the drawing of future Cold War alliances. Because all independent Latin American countries were part of the establishment of the United Nations in 1945, they would be automatically aligned with the United States. Moreover, since 1947, all these nations had also signed the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance with the United States, which united the entire continent in a reciprocal military alliance. However, when in 1950, the U.S. government triggered the treaty and pleaded for assistance from the Latin American states, the result was frustrating: only Colombia agreed to send troops, while other major countries only contributed with supplies. In 1955, two years after the signing of the armistice, other Latin American countries would also play a significant role, with Brazil and Argentina offering to receive more than fifty prisoners of war who expressed the desire to go to a neutral country during the UN interrogations. Through the Latin American case study, this presentation explains how diplomacy, ideology, military power, economic interests, and domestic issues led each Latin American nation to adopt a different position in response to the Korean War, contradicting most presumed conventions of “automatic alignment” in the Cold War. READ MORE...

被劫持的戰爭:志願軍戰俘、台灣與朝鮮停戰談判

Zoom

常成的新著The Hijacked War: The Story of Chinese POWs in the Korean War 於2020年由斯坦福大學出版社出版。作者提出韓戰兩段論:上半段是「為領土而戰」,後半段則是「為戰俘而戰」。韓戰因為戰俘問題而多打了一年多,造成重大而無謂的犧牲,但後半段的領土變更卻微乎其微,其主要結局是佔中國戰俘總人數三分之二的一萬四千餘人前往台灣,時稱「反共義士」。學術界與民間都普遍認為該結局是美國主謀或美蔣合謀的結果。然而,本書證明該結局完全出乎美國政府的預料,因為華盛頓輕率的兩大政策——對戰俘實施反共轉化(或洗腦)與「志願遣返」——使得反共戰俘控制了中國戰俘營。另一方面,由於美軍缺乏中文人才,不得不從台灣聘用翻譯與教員,於是國民黨人員進入戰俘營、甚至板門店談判帳篷內,促成反共戰俘與台灣的串聯,並使蔣介石掌握先機。於是韓戰後半段意外地被中國籍反共戰俘與台灣所劫持。 美國政府在戰後對韓戰後半段「為戰俘而戰」的事實諱莫如深,韓戰更在美國成為「被遺忘的戰爭」。在中國大陸,抗美援朝戰爭雖然被頌揚,但戰爭後半段「為戰俘而戰」的實質卻被掩蓋。在台灣,國民黨政府曾高調紀念「反共義士」,但相關歷史記憶與書寫卻受到嚴格的控制與審查。 這次報告還將簡述三名重要戰俘的迥異經歷。一名從中央陸軍官校退學後加入遠征軍、後成為中國第一代傘兵並參與廣州受降的國軍少尉,他在淮海戰役(徐蚌會戰)被俘後脫逃,韓戰爆發後被徵召為司機,入朝後不久叛逃,成為反共戰俘領袖,最終到台灣。一名參加中共地下黨、退學搞革命的清華大學物理系學生,他在韓戰被俘後成為親共戰俘的主要翻譯;一名畢業於中央警官大學的貴州人,在韓戰戰場開小差,後成為反共戰俘領袖,但最終卻冒險犯難前往中立國,經印度抵達阿根廷。 這三個年輕人的生命軌跡在戰火中縱橫交錯,最後匯集在朝鮮半島的戰場上、戰俘營中。他們將如何在紛亂的歷史激流中抉擇、抗爭、或隨波逐流? READ MORE...

Smuggling and State Power in Modern China

Zoom

Smuggling along the Chinese coast has long been a thorn in the side of many regimes. From opium concealed aboard steamships in the Qing dynasty to wristwatches trafficked in the People’s Republic, contests between state and smuggler have exerted a surprising but crucial influence on the political economy of modern China. Seeking to enforce trade regulations and protect critical revenues, successive governments from the late Qing through the early People’s Republic have violently cracked down on smuggling. Tighter regulations, higher taxes, and harsher enforcement all helped to consolidate domestic authority and confront foreign challenges. But these bold interventions did much more. They also sparked widespread defiance, triggering further coercive measures. Smuggling thus animated a paradoxical dynamic in China’s history: it simultaneously threatened state power while inviting repression that strengthened state authority. This lecture chronicles the history of smuggling in modern China by looking at its practice, suppression, and significance. It argues that the fight against smuggling was not simply a law enforcement problem but an impetus to expanding state capacity, broadcasting state authority, and transforming everyday life. Indeed, while smuggling might have operated on the margins of the law, it was far from marginal in remaking China. READ MORE...

China and Africa's industrialization aspirations: a labour perspective

Zoom

There are emerging claims that African countries will follow Asia in their industrialization drive and that Asian firms, notably from China, may act as catalysts of industrial transformations by investing and operating in Africa. This session will look at this new dynamics with a focus on employment outcomes, i.e. job creation for young Africans, working conditions and skill development from a comparative perspective. The main argument is that the creation of new jobs in manufacturing and infrastructure construction contributes to the process of structural transformation through the labour market but not without frictions and challenges. The building of an industrial workforce has never been harmonious. READ MORE...

Taiwan Civil Society in Authoritarian Era 威權主義與台灣公民社會

Microsoft Team

吳介民教授〈從「106大搜捕」看「美麗島事件」前後的台灣民主運動〉內容簡介 「106大搜捕」剛發生時,不少人認為這次鎮壓類似台灣1979年的「美麗島事件」。但「106大搜捕」真的是「香港的美麗島事件」嗎?這場演講將說明,美麗島大逮捕與審判,是國民黨作為外來政權的最後一擊,最終也證明是自我挫敗的一擊。為什麼?因為它根本壓不住台灣社會。 講者將從內外因素進行分析。外部而言,當時東亞冷戰防線正在解除,美中和解使東亞局勢緩和,美國不再需要一個威權的國民黨政權來協助圍堵共產中國。來自地緣政治變遷的力量,解釋了美國對蔣政權態度的轉變。 內部而言:台灣社會力正在茁壯。本土社會要求在國家機器中佔有一定代表性。而面臨政權「外部正當性危機」的國民黨也需要「內部正當性」來維持其統治。因此,開放一定程度的選舉活動,是國民黨不得不做出的妥協,因而持續攪動了自由化的力量。選舉螺旋不斷迫使國民黨統治機器向本土化的方向傾斜。 在價值系統的鬥爭上,國民黨政權的「大中國神話」從1977-78年的「鄉土文學論戰」之後節節敗退。美麗島事件後的「中國結、台灣結」大辯論,更預示了民主化與本土化成為主流價值。 反觀今日香港,國安法建造了阻隔香港與世界的「柏林圍牆」;香港權力結構正在急遽落入「去本土化」、「中國化」;中共勢必企圖根本改造香港,製造「新香港人」。展望前景,自由化的動能何在?除了香港公民社會自身的調整與堅實化之外,中國內部權力結構變化或不變,以及地緣政治關係與美中對抗前景,都將影響中國未來的香港政策。 陳翠蓮教授 〈抵抗的意志:戰後台灣威權統治與民主運動〉內容簡介 二戰結束後,國民黨政府統治台灣,建立起強固的威權體制,獨裁統治幾乎達半世紀之久。威權體制為何能夠發揮強大的社會控制效果?台灣的威權體制有何特性?民眾如何抵抗?如何保存記憶、傳承經驗?台灣的經驗又可以提供香港怎樣的借鏡? READ MORE...

China’s engagement with Brazil since 2000: Key actors, strategies and conflicts

Zoom

Brazil is China’s largest trade partner in Latin America, exporting petroleum, iron ore, soybeans and other agricultural commodities in exchange for manufactured products from China. This mushrooming bilateral trade triggered massive Chinese investments in Brazil, yet diplomatic ties have frayed and Brazil hasn’t joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative. This talk outlines the key actors and interests shaping this relation, arguing their strategies align in advancing an eco-modernist partnership that transcends current diplomatic controversies. The real problems at stake, therefore, emerge from political ecological conflicts within China and Brazil themselves that become aggravated when state and corporate interests from both countries align in a strategic partnership. READ MORE...

二戰後中共勝利的蘇聯因素問題

Zoom

二戰結束、日本投降後的國際國內形勢,並不利於中共用武力推翻國民黨政權。導致蔣介石國民黨失敗的原因很多,任何原因都不是唯一重要的,但對中共的成功而言,蘇聯因素的作用卻是不可或缺的。蘇聯因素的作用是多方面的,蘇軍佔領東北期間武器彈藥方面的協助對中共武裝在東北發展壯大至關重要,然而中共武裝能夠進入東北、在東北廣大區域利用中東鐵路等交通設施,包括能夠在和國民黨作戰期間出入朝鮮、外蒙,利用蘇軍控制的旅大地區等等,顯然是意識形態的因素,以及斯大林基於冷戰思維調整其對美對華政策所帶來的結果。換言之,毛澤東1949年7月公開發表《論人民民主專政》一文,宣布向蘇聯“一邊倒”;1950年2月締結中蘇友好互助同盟條約,毛澤東宣稱這是為中國找到一個“好幫手”,其實都可以看出中共對其戰後成功有著怎樣的經驗總結。 READ MORE...

Rosy Fantasies: Edgar Snow, John Service, Joseph Stilwell, and their China

Zoom

Edgar Snow, John S. Service, and Joseph W. Stilwell had overlapping and intertwined China experiences. They played unexpectedly pivotal roles in the rise of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Edgar Snow (1905-72) was a foreign correspondent in China from 1928 to 1941 and returned to the country in 1960, 1964-65, and 1970. He promulgated what was to later become prevailing imagery of the Chinese Communists as agrarian reformers. Born to an American missionary family in Chengdu, John S. Service (1909-99) served as a diplomat to China from 1933 to 1945 and revisited the country in 1971. Taking part in the Dixie Mission to Yan’an, Service emerged as Washington’s major source of information on the CCP. Old China Hand General Joseph W. Stilwell (1883-1946) was stationed in China in 1920-23, 1935-39 and 1942-44. He played a crucial role in changing American perceptions of the Chinese Communists and Chinese Nationalists. Snow, Service, and Stilwell all claimed to sincerely love the Chinese people. But what did they really think of China? This study will zoom in on their perceptions of China as expressed in their own words and deeds and explore how their perceptions impacted the course of history. READ MORE...

Global Medicine in Chinese East Asia, 1937-1970

Zoom

By examining two case studies on how the Chinese diaspora came to shape biomedicine in China and Taiwan from 1937 to 1970, my new book makes the case of the concept of "global medicine." "Global medicine" highlights the multivalent and multidirectional flows of medical practices and ideas circulating the world that shaped Chinese East Asia in the 20th century. The first case study examines how Chinese American women medical personnel established the first Chinese blood in New York and Kunming, China. Second, this talk reveals how Singapore-born and Edinburgh-educated Dr. Robert Lim successfully relocated the National Defense Medical Center from China to Taiwan in 1948 despite the Chinese Civil War's longstanding challenges. This presentation highlights the critical intersections of scientific expertise, political freedoms, and diasporic power in shaping global medicine in China and Taiwan through a critical examination of these two medical encounters between the diaspora and the local Chinese and Taiwanese. READ MORE...

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