Xi’s China Is Steamrolling Its Own HistoryRoundup
tags: China, Xi Jinping, Chinese history, historical records
Pamela Kyle Crossley is Collis Professor of History at Dartmouth College and a specialist on the Qing empire and modern China. She also writes on Central and Inner Asian history, global history, and the history of horsemanship in Eurasia before the modern period. Her most recent book is The Wobbling Pivot, China Since 1800: An Interpretive History (2010).
Chinese President Xi Jinping is directing a vast ideological war across multiple theaters—politics, culture, ethics, economy, strategy, and foreign relations. Among its most intense flashpoints is historiography, particularly of China’s last empire, the Qing, which ruled from 1636 to 1912. Historians, whether foreign or domestic, who resist Xi’s determination to design a past that serves his ideology have been targeted repeatedly by state propaganda organs. A new editorial suggests that this attack on Qing specialists is escalating.
Xi has a powerful weapon at his disposal. In 2003, 10 years before his assumption of power, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) initiated an ambitious project dedicated to Qing history. It was granted headquarters in the Zhongguancun district of Beijing, next to China’s leading technology companies. Its budget—never definitively quantified but clearly stratospheric as far as historiographical enterprises go—supported a threefold mission:
The first of these has been to complete the traditional arc in which each imperial dynasty declared its legitimacy by writing the history of its predecessor. At its demise in 1912, the Qing was not succeeded by a new dynasty, though Republican-era loyalists drafted a history that the new government refused to publish. In our century, the CCP has decided to seize the mantle of legitimacy by rewriting and publishing the Qing imperial history, which is now nearing completion.
comments powered by Disqus
- A New Data Analysis Can Answer the Question "Do I Live in the Suburbs?"
- Santae Tribble, Whose Wrongful Conviction Revealed FBI Forensic Hair Match Flaws, Dies at 59
- Crowd Rallies to Keep Confederate Memorial in Downtown St. Augustine
- As Divisions Threaten America, The Pressure To Cancel Presidents Is Dangerous
- Trump is Going All In on Divisive Culture Wars. That Might not Work this Time.
- Historians Question Trump’s Choice of ‘Heroes’ for National Garden Monument
- At Arlington Cemetery, A Confederate Monument to the South and Slavery Still Stands
- Trump Says He Will Create a Statuary Park Honoring ‘American Heroes’
- The Anthem Debate Is Back. But Now It’s Standing That’s Polarizing.
- To the World, We’re Now America the Racist and Pitiful