Xi Jinping’s Tripod: Updating the National Humiliation Narrative in Nanjing

This essay was originally published at the China Policy Institute Blog at the University of Nottingham on 15 December 2014, under the title ‘Xi Jinping’s Nanking Massacre Commemoration and China’s Anti-Japanese Calendar,’ and is republished here with permission.  2014 has been a banner year for the Chinese Communist Party’s politics of historical commemoration of the War of Resistance against Japan (1937-1945). As the Party has faced a … Continue reading Xi Jinping’s Tripod: Updating the National Humiliation Narrative in Nanjing

Sino-Japanese Sehnsucht

This post is my own small commemoration of July 7 in the Chinese context; it is a bit of a centaur in that the first half is rather traditional scholar-style analysis of what we might call “the politics of memory” in the PRC, while the second half is a somewhat quirky story of frustrated Sino-Japanese love on the train tracks of Frankfurt, Germany.  The latter … Continue reading Sino-Japanese Sehnsucht

Ambiguous Archipelago: Japan in the Chinese Press Today

Chinese netizens may be lavishing more attention on the South Korean pop star Rain (who, apparently, seeks nothing less than to abscond with Confucius’ bones to Seoul), but the Sino-Japanese relationship continues apace, with attendant action on the Chinese internet. 1. Transnational Nanking Massacre Research Team Completes Part One The Sino-Japanese Joint Research Team has concluded the first stage of its work in Tokyo and … Continue reading Ambiguous Archipelago: Japan in the Chinese Press Today

Le mort de Mathieu [I]

So much of Sartre’s Le Mort dans l’Âme is pessimistic, full of spite for the French army and regime, the very opposite of United Front literature in wartime China.  Yet, at the conclusion of part two of the book, the hero of the entire triology, Mathieu, the socialist professor, gets himself a gun. The resistance thus takes shape, assumes reality: the intellectual has taken up … Continue reading Le mort de Mathieu [I]

Sartre / Cultures of Defeat

One of the issues with which I am grappling as a scholar concerns the idea of a defeated country in war, and the tenacity of psychologies of resistance and defeat (the myth, perhaps, of the first, and the deniability of the second). For instance, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) today promotes an interpretation of the War of Resistance (1937-1945), essentially the Chinese theater of the … Continue reading Sartre / Cultures of Defeat