China's Unequal Treaties

China's Unequal Treaties : Narrating National History

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China's Unequal Treaties offers a study, based on primary sources, of the linguistic development and polemical uses of the expression "Unequal Treaties" to refer to the treaties written between 1842 and 1943. Although the expression has occupied a central position in both Chinese collective memory and English historiographies, China's Unequal Treaties is the first study of the phrase and its interpretations.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 190 pages
  • 152.4 x 221 x 22.9mm | 385.56g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739112082
  • 9780739112083

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Tracing the Contours of the "Unequal Treaties" in Imperial China, 1840-1911 Chapter 3 Implementing and Contesting International Law: The "Unequal Treaties" and the Foreign Ministry of the Beijing Government, 1912-1928 Chapter 4 Disseminating the Rhetoric of Bupingdeng Tiaoyue, 1923-1927 Chapter 5 Redeeming "a Century of National Ignominy:" Nationalism and Party Rivalry over the Unequal Treaties, 1928-1947 Chapter 6 Universalizing International Law and the Chinese Study of the Unequal Treaties: The Paradox of Equality and Inequality Chapter 7 Conclusion: Defining and Redefining the Past Chapter 8 Glossary
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Review quote

This is a perceptive study of a vitally important topic. Dong Wang is less interested in the unequal treaties as such than in the range of discourses (moral, legal, and rhetorical) they have elicited over the past century and the tie-ins between these discourses and Chinese politics and nationalism. The book is essential reading for anyone interested in the historical underpinnings of China's current view of the world and its place in it. -- Paul A. Cohen, Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, Harvard University Provides a new perspective for viewing unequal treaties rhetoric as a dynamic concept linked up with the construction of national identity. -- Samual Chan The China Journal I would recommend the book to my students. -- J.Y. Wong, University of Sydney The International History Review This insightful book shows masterful control of a wide range of Chinese and Western sources, and spans the mid-nineteenth century to the present in an interpretive tour de force. Historians of modern China will never again look at the Unequal Treaties in quite the same way. In analyzing and interpreting the construction and then the contested discourse centered on these treaties, and what they came to mean for almost a century of symbolic importance to Chinese nationalism, she has given us a fresh look at an unexamined but central theme in the changing dynamics of Chinese visions of their own modern history. -- Daniel Bays, Calvin College
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About Dong Wang

Dong Wang is chair professor of contemporary Chinese history and director of the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku in Finland.
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