Recent scenes from Xinchengqu (New City District, 新城区), Dandong, Liaoning province, PRC, across from maritime North Pyong’an province, DPRK. All photos by Adam Cathcart; please use proper attribution if linking or reproducing.
Lecturer in Chinese History // University of Leeds
Once again. Top photos, Adam. Risking life and detention or could anyone click away?
Nope, this was pretty open source, as I was on the Chinese rather than the NK side. Could always pose as a wealthy chocolate baron from Switzerland tho, I’ve heard some would-be reporters having success with that tack in setting up trips to the DPRK.
Remembering that time we got ‘stonewalled’ in Dandong Archives (or library?), I Googled 丹东市档案局 and found their impressive website http://www.dddaj.com.cn/. Make sure to open it in Internet Explorer. Has a decent catalog listing/search engine and even some scans posted online. Not too much on the 朝鲜 front, however.
China continues for force me to revise my very low expectations, Chuck…. Thank you very much for tooling around on the Dandong web front, this appears to be quite interesting. They have a new city hall, it’s ridiculously large, which means that the archives are probably destined to move soon as well. New MFA digs are worthy of MTV’s “Cribs.”
‘Revise low expectations’…I know right! The website is very cool, if only more municipal/provincial archives would follow suit. Many archives seem willing to post catalogs or partial catalogs of holdings online, but posting documents directly to the internet is a rarity.
The real problem, however, is PRC restrictions on releasing documents related to “national security” (ie., anything to do with foreign affairs, at all). That makes it pretty much hopeless to expect any archive other than the MFA to release documents on Sino-North Korean relations, at least to foreigners. There are a handful of documents about a 朝鲜族 cultural group, but that’s about it, as far as I can tell, on the Dandong website.