Viewing China’s History from the Perspective of Big History
Created On : 2017-11-03    Views : 321

The 10th High-End Social Science Lecture of Shanghai Academy was successfully held on October 25. Professor Chen Qianping, expert from the Discipline Appraisal Group under the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council, Researcher Wang Chaoguang, Deputy Director of the Institute of World History of CASS, and Researcher Jin Yilin, Deputy Director of the Institute of Modern History of CASS, were invited to the School of Liberal Arts, Shanghai University, and joined the high-end lecture themed as China’s Modern History and the Rejuvenation of the Chinese People. The lecture was chaired by Tao Feiya, professor of the Department of History in the School of Liberal Arts, Shanghai University, and attended by Xin Ping, former deputy secretary of the Party Committee and secretary of the Commission for Discipline Inspection of Shanghai University, Zhu Jian, Secretary of the Party Committee of the School of Liberal Arts, Zhang Yong’an, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, and Professor Liu Changlin. Attendees also included more than 40 doctors and postgraduates from the Department of History as well as teachers and students from relevant schools.


Researcher Wang Chaoguang gave the first speech from the perspective of world history. He said, Chinese civilization has never been interrupted, and that’s the fundamental precondition for the rejuvenation of the Chinese people. He also described the new dilemma China faces with the eastward expansion of the West since modern times, and proposed to understand the necessity of national rejuvenation at the levels of both the time and space. He added, Chinese rejuvenation is not rejuvenation in the traditional sense, but features inclusiveness. He also took for example the thought at each stage in modern China, to explain that national rejuvenation requires guiding thought that meets China’s actual situations.

Researcher Jin Yilin used the historical figure of Liu Wendian to illustrate the following ideas about the “style of the Republic of China”. First, there is a lack of in-depth discussion about progress, despite praise for academic research in the Republic of China; second, academic research in the Republic of China had both merits and weaknesses, with the latter particularly reflected in the isolation from the people; third, very few social elites had access to the rich resources during the period of the Republic of China, and only with heavy input could a few elites be trained; fourth, in the period of the Republic of China, higher education was irrelevant to social development and hence was deified.

Professor Chen Qianping discussed the national rejuvenation from the perspective of Sino-foreign relations and national borders. He said, we must view the development of China’s history in big-picture terms and link it with international relations rather than segment the history. Mentioning the treaty system and neighboring relationship, he said we must view China’s history from the perspective of the world. He also affirmed the achievements that China has made on the path to national rejuvenation since the war of resistance against Japan.

Unlike previous lectures, the lecture elaborated every aspect of China’s modern history and Chinese rejuvenation from different angles and in the form of academic talks. This was a collision of thoughts and an academic feast, broadening the vision of the audiences and lighting their passion for academic research.


(Article and photo by Wang Rui)