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Sunday, January 29, 2012

China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know

MAP xviii
1 Schools of Thought 1
Who was Confucius? 1
What were Confucius’s core ideas? 2
What was his political vision? 2
How important was history to Confucius? 3
Has Confucius always been venerated in China? 4
Was Confucius celebrated in his own times? 5
When did the ideas of Confucius gain influence? 7
How was Confucius viewed a century ago? 8
Is Confucianism a religion? 9
How has Confucius fared since 1949? 10
Why is Confucius back in favor?
How exactly is the new regime using Confucius?
Did Confucianism hinder imperial China’s economic development? 14
Does China have an indigenous “democratic” tradition? 16
What is the Chinese term for democracy and
what exactly does it mean? 17
2 Imperial China 19
What were the main early dynasties? 19
How did dynasties rule? 20
What was the “dynastic cycle”? 21
What were the political implications of this cyclical view?
Were all dynasties the same? 22
How did dynasties interact with foreign countries? 24
What was the Opium War? 25
Why did the Qing Dynasty fall? 26
What internal developments weakened the Qing? 27
What was the significance of peasant rebellions? 27
What impact did the Opium War have?
What was the Taiping Uprising? 29
Why was the 1894–1895 War with Japan so important? 30
What was the Boxer Rebellion (1899–1901)? 30
How has this crisis been misunderstood? 31
How does the reputation of the crisis differ in China?
Why does this difference in views of the Boxers matter? 32
How did Qing rule finally end? 33
Is the Chinese Communist Party a new dynasty? 34
3 Revolutions and Revolutionaries 36
Who was Sun Yat-sen? 36
What happened to Sun after he became president? 37
What was the “Warlord era”? 37
What was the May 4th movement? 38
Who was the most important radical writer of the May 4th era? 39
How does the Communist Party view the May 4th era? 41
Why was the example of the Russian Revolution so important? 42
What was the First United Front?
Why was the May 30th movement important? 43
What was the Northern Expedition? 43
Who was Chiang Kai-shek? 44
What was the Long March? 45
What was the Rape of Nanjing? 46
How did the Communists beat the Nationalists? 47
What role have mass campaigns played in
the People’s Republic of China? 49
What were some important early mass campaigns?
What was the Resist America, Support Korea campaign? 51
What was the Hundred Flowers campaign? 52
What happened during the Anti-Rightist campaign?
What sort of people were Mao and his main allies? 53
How were Mao’s writings viewed? 55
What was the Great Leap Forward? 56
What was the Cultural Revolution? 57
What was the Gang of Four? 59
Why hasn’t Mao been repudiated by China’s current leaders? 59
What is the alternative to viewing Mao as a monster? 61
Is Mao seen in China as someone who made errors? 62
How do ordinary Chinese feel about Mao? 63
4 From Mao to Now 67
Who was Deng Xiaoping? 67
Who were Deng’s successors? 69
What exactly did Deng do? 69
How is Deng viewed now? 70
What was the Democracy Wall movement? 71
What is the real story of the Tiananmen Uprising?
Why hasn’t the Chinese government changed its line on Tiananmen? 75
What effect did the fall of other Communist governments have on China? 76
How did China’s rulers avoid falling prey to the “Leninist extinction”? 78
How has the government responded to protests since 1989? 80
Why and how has the CCP suppressed the Falun Gong movement? 81
Who are the Chinese dissidents now? 82
What is the role of the Internet in political dissent?
What does the digital divide mean in China? 85
Why were the 2008 Olympics such a big deal for China? 86
What was unusual about China’s preparations for the 2008 Olympics? 87
What does the handling of the Olympics say about today’s China? 88
Will grand spectacles continue to be important to China? 91
Why hold an Expo so soon after the Olympics? 91
What is the “One-Child Family” policy? 93
Was female infanticide encouraged to help limit population size? 95
Is contemporary China utterly unique? 96
What does China have in common with other countries? 98
Is the Great Firewall of China a unique structure? 100
5 U.S.–China Misunderstandings 103
What is the most common thing Americans get wrong about China? 103
Why is China’s diversity overlooked? 104
How does ethnicity come into the picture? 105
How important are regional divides? 106
How important are age divides in China? 107
Is China still truly an atheist state? 108
Is China a Big Brother state? 109
What is the biggest source of Chinese misunderstanding of
the United States? 112
How do U.S. and Chinese views on Tibet differ? 113
6 The Future 116
Is China bent on world domination? 116
How likely is a war with Taiwan? 118
Will China become the world’s dominant economic power? 120
Will China, long thought of as a land of villages,
soon be a land of cities? 121
Is China likely to become a democracy? 123
How powerful is Chinese nationalism? 123
What kind of government will China have in a decade? 125
What big challenges lie ahead for the CCP? 126
What big issues relating to the environment and energy
does China face? 127
Why is endemic corruption such a serious problem? 129
How can the United States and China adjust to an era in which
they are the two superpowers? 131
What other kinds of things do China and the United States
have in common? 133
Is this an argument for Americans to refrain from
all criticism of China? 134

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