All posts filed under: China

Distant Proximity: China and the North Korean Human Rights Catastrophe

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Beijing / Borderlands / China / North Korea / North Korea foreign relations / Sino-North Korean relations

Beijing is a long way from North Korea.  Border crossing points between China and the DPRK remain open, but the potentially fastest and ‘game-changing’ of these is blocked at present, clogged up with estuary mud and the slow hatreds of bureaucratic inaction. Chinese trains that blaze up and down the northeast have yet to reach the North Korean frontier. But when they do arrive, panting with the heat and speed of a new era, there […]

On Today’s UN General Assembly Discussion: China-DPRK Notes

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China / Sino-North Korean relations

The arrival of this resolution, which is being voted on today in New York, should come as no surprise to the North Korean government. The language being considered for General Assembly adoption mirrors language which the Human Rights Council has been advocating for the last couple of years. Recently lobbying in Europe, and via North Korea’s Cold War ally Cuba, has not succeeded in watering down the language. The resolution actually praises the North Korean government in […]

Toward a Transnational History of Manchuria and the Korean War [Updated]

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China / Korean War / North Korea / North Korean border region
Korea Map Book York

In November 2014, I presented ‘Toward a Transnational History of Manchuria and the Korean War, 1945-1955′ at the Institute of Historical Research, as part of the Comparative Histories of Asia seminar series at the University of London Senate House at 5:30 p.m. GMT. Audio of the event is available; the formal speech starts at about the sixth minute. here:  OUTLINE I. Assessing the past 25 years of Korean War historiography International history — PRC-sourced scholarship — Millett […]

Rethinking Mao’s Role in the Campaign to Suppress Counterrevolutionaries

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China / Chinese communist party / history and memory / Korean War
Image courtesy Richard Kraus, University of Oregon

What are the origins of state terror? How do we disentangle the consolidation of Mao’s personalism and the consolidation of the general power of the CCP? How do we treat statistics? And as to the apparent differences between execution, imprisonment, and controls – do such distinctions (or the lack thereof at the time) actually have a larger and more lasting impact than we might imagine, particularly when looking at local manifestations and excesses of the […]

On Translation: North Korea in the Sinophone Gaze

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China / Chinese foreign policy / Huanqiu Shibao / North Korea / Sino-North Korean relations
Wangqing County Forestry Officials Discuss the Previous Year's Work, Yanbian Korean Autonomous Region - courtesy Wangqing County

Chinese writing about North Korea is peculiar. And perhaps it ought to be. Surely, well-informed insights and even genuinely insightful speculations ought to be welcomed to the table with alacrity, regardless of the nationality or linguistic tendencies of the thinker. Translators naturally serve a vital role in the enterprise of tying together Korea-oriented policy and analytical communities. Chinese writing about North Korea takes on an additional point of interest when it appears to indicate that the […]

Chongqing Hothouse: At Rana Mitter’s Wiles Lectures at Queen’s University, Belfast

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China / East Asian modernity / Sino-Japanese Relations / World War II

Rana Mitter, a major historian of early 20th-century China, is currently in Belfast delivering a series of lectures (which I am attending and commenting on) on the history of Chongqing during the “War of Resistance” (1937-1945). Mitter is the author, most recently, of a major study of the second world war in China; he has a wonderful history of production of monographs and has also edited a special issue of the European Journal of East […]

The Guardian’s North Korea Network, and a Note on Journalism, Fieldwork, and Academia

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China / My Publications / Pensee / Sino-North Korean relations / Yanbian / 新闻自由

The Guardian has created a new North Korea Network, of which the web journal which I edit, Sino-NK, is very much a part. Graciously, the editors in London also saw fit to endorse my Twitter feed (@adamcathcart)  as a must-follow for micro-analysis of the DPRK and its foreign relations. There are, naturally, hard limits to the Guardian‘s partnership with our website. While I was in Yanji at the same time as The Guardian‘s highly talented Tania […]