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The book concludes with a summary on how the environmental health crisis is undermining China’s international ascendance, as well as implications for China’s political development. It contends that the crisis and government response reveal a Chinese state whose political system is both resilient and fragile, and that the China model does not constitute a viable alternative to liberal democracy.
The introduction proposes environmental health challenges as an obstacle to China’s global leadership. Following a discussion of the unique features of environmental health problems in China, it explains why social response to the crisis is embedded in a political milieu dramatically different from the Mao era. It also touches upon issues of state response, including the challenges of policy implementation. Furthermore, it explains why the discussion fits squarely within the debate over Chinese state’s capacity to revamp itself and the prospect for China’s global leadership. It ends with a discussion of the analytical framework and organization of the book.
The final chapter, “The Rhythms of Song History” demonstrates that the positive Taizu–Qingli–Yuanyou axis of political value and the negative “lineage of evil” axis fused to create an image of dynastic history as a perpetual oscillation between political and moral florescence and decline. This last chapter postulates that these undulating historiographical cycles reflect not the moral battles between Confucian good and evil but the truly historical, political struggles between two conceptions of the Song state, one a kind of technocratic patrimonialism, the other a Confucian institutionalism. Transitions between these two modalities of governance produced the historical revisionism that gave eventual rise to the grand allegory. These were the Qingli period, the Yuanyou period, the early (pre-Qin Gui) Shaoxing period (1131–1138), and the Jiading (1208–1224) period. All of these eras experienced either defensive or offensive wars that sparked domestic political upheavals, and these political conflicts then generated historiographical revisionism. This chapter, and the book, concludes with a one paragraph summary of the allegory written using the rhetoric of Song Confucianism and the same paragraph then translated into the language of modern social science. This juxtaposition demonstrates the continuing influence of the grand allegory until modern times.
Chapter 2 critically examines Uyghur inclusion through official Zhonghua Minzu narratives in mass education as an identity-security practice after the July 2009 violence. The chapter analyses how party-state historical narratives demarcate hierarchical boundaries between majority Han and ethnic minorities (shaoshu minzu少数民族), particularly in universal ‘ethnic unity’ (minzu tuanjie 民族团结) education. The first section shows the party-state narrates Zhonghua Minzu by unifying all peoples’ histories within China’s contemporary borders as timelessly constituted by the minzu category and hierarchical majority-minority relations. Section 2 shows how nation-building texts relationally constitute and normatively evaluate identities of the Han as a timeless, modernising “frontier-building culture” against ethnic minorities as passive, backward recipients. The final section analyses how 'bilingual education' (Mandarin-medium education) policy is presented as the means to 'fusion' and national unity within these hierarchical relations. Official texts deploy concepts of fusion (jiaorong 交融) and minzu extinction (minzu xiaowang 民族消亡) to narrate the disappearance of shaoshu minzu identities as teleological progression of Zhonghua Minzu. The chapter shows that official nation-building narratives produce a hierarchical and ethnocentric China by framing Uyghur identity as backward obstacles to China’s unity and security.
Chapter 3 analyses exclusion of Uyghur identities in Zhonghua Minzu, specifically the 'East Turkestan' (dongtu 东突) narrative in minzu tuanjie education texts that explain contemporary violence and articulate Uyghur-ness as an external threat through the Turk category. The first section analyses how official East Turkestan narratives project external territorial borders and internal ethnic boundaries through each other, marking Uyghur language and religion as internal security problems from outside China’s cultural boundaries. The second section analyses official explanations of violence and protest in Xinjiang through East Turkestan and 'inside/outside Three Evils' ('terrorism, separatism, and extremism') narratives. This analyses how the party-state turns external cultural boundaries inward, demarcating ethno-spatial boundaries between sub-regions that are more and less secure and more and less Chinese. The final section uses semi-structured interviews and discourse analysis of Nurmehemmet Yasin’s short story 'Wild Pigeon' to examine the productive effects of these narratives. It analyses how Uyghurs redeploy official East Turkestan narratives to articulate alternative configurations of identity and security. The chapter argues that tensions between inclusion and exclusion in official security discourses, which ambivalently inter-weave civilisational and nationalist discourses by identifying intertwined threats inside and outside Zhonghua Minzu produce possibilities for resistance within its logics.
To document my claim that ethical policies are more successful, I offer case studies of the Marshall Plan, China’s border settlements with most of its neighbors, and Germany’s rapprochement with its neighbors. I analyze the general principles behind these successes and their broader implications for foreign policy.
The Tang dynasty, which lasted from 618 to 907, was typical of China’s great imperial regimes in that it owed its creation to successful military action and saw its subsequent fortunes shaped to a very great extent by events on the battlefield; when its military power waned the dynasty faltered, and when that power had dissipated completely it fell. In the Tang, as under earlier and later dynasties, the ruling elites were intensely interested in matters of military policy and strategy, with military expenditures claiming the largest portion of the state’s revenues. For the Tang, as for all of the other dynasties, the image of Confucian sage kings ruling by moral suasion, without reference to force of arms, belongs to the realm of myth rather than reality.
Chapter 1 analyses how historical contexts of empire, nationalism, and ethnic relations shape identity and security narratives in contemporary nation-building practices in Xinjiang. The chapter shows that China historically understood Xinjiang through imperial geopolitical prisms, which ambivalently shifted towards cultural nationalism and included Uyghur identity as a security concern. The first section builds on nationalism literature and analyses Chinese nation-building as historically contingent processes of cultural governance of relations between Han and non-Han on the frontier. It shows how mid-twentieth century articulation of territorially bounded nationhood matter co-exists with imperial, pre-modern framings of difference between civilisation and barbarians. The second section uses official Chinese sources and secondary literature on Xinjiang history to analyse how Xinjiang’s position shifted from imperial vassal to a central component in struggles to build a modern, multi-ethnic Chinese national identity. The final section uses official Chinese sources and secondary literature on ethnic relations to explore how nation-building conceptualises and organises ethnicity. Chinese nation-building produces ethnic boundaries in Xinjiang by articulating and securitising hierarchical relations between Han majority and ethnic minorities. The chapter shows how Xinjiang’s ambivalent inclusion as an exotic frontier and indivisible component of a territorial state reflects and produces tensions in China’s national narratives.
Chapter 5 analyses the inclusion of Uyghurs in public performances of ethnic unity (minzu tuanjie 民族团结) and celebrations of traditional ethnic festivals of Han (Zhongqiu jie 中秋节) and Uyghurs (Roza Heyti روزاھېيىت). The first section analyses inclusion of Uyghurs through performances of minzu tuanjie in songs and political slogans that saturated Xinjiang’s public discourse following the 2009 violence. Ethnic inclusion in these texts is mutually constituted against existential threats of Uyghur identities to China. The second section analyses the hierarchical relationship between nation and ethnicity and between Han and Uyghurs in representations of different traditional festivals. Minority festivals are officially framed as private and ethnic while majority Han festivals are celebrated as nationally significant events for all minzu. Minzu tuanjie is ethnocentric and hierarchical because it offers inclusion contingent upon identification with Hanzu as superior and Uyghur identity as marginal. This chapter shows how the inclusion offered by nation-building in Xinjiang produces and reproduces Uyghur marginality and exclusion in contemporary China. Inclusion of Uyghurs in Zhonghua Minzu demands identification with hierarchical boundaries between Hanzu and shaoshu minzu, with the Han nucleus guiding the direction of history towards 'fusion' and disappearance of Uyghur identity.
The Tang dynasty (618–907) went into steep decline as a result of the Huang Chao Rebellion (874–84). The imperial government and the emperor himself became the tools of regional warlords, each maneuvering for his own power in an increasingly uncertain political and military milieu. These struggles were played out in the final decades of the Tang dynasty and beyond, lasting until the mid-point of the tenth century, when the various factions and power groupings of the late Tang had become so enervated by constant warfare and the deaths of the principal players that a new generation of ambitious power-seekers rose to the top. Steppe influence remained important in these conflicts and indeed, from the retrospective standpoint of the Jurchen Jin dynasty (1115–1234) and then the Mongol Yuan dynasty (1272–1368), the intervening control of north China by the Chinese Song dynasty (960–1279) almost seems to be the exception rather than the rule.
Chapter 4 analyses how official identity and security discourses were performed in public politics following the July 2009 violence. This chapter uses participant-observations and discourse analysis of everyday security practices and political slogans to examine how hierarchical ethnic boundaries were performed in everyday politics and explanations of the violence. The first section shows how violence in Shaoguan against Uyghurs, which sparked the July 2009 violence, was officially designated an 'ordinary public order incident', unrelated to security. However, failure to punish perpetrators produced widespread Uyghur insecurity. The second section shows how subsequent violence by Uyghurs in July 2009 was framed as an existential identity-security threat. Violent ‘revenge’ by Han was conversely framed as 'operations' by 'comrades' for national security. The binarised, ethnocentric meanings attributed to violence ethnicise daily security practices of surveillance and patrols that target Uyghurs and produce insecurity. The final section shows how small-scale syringe attacks in July’s aftermath were officially represented as continuing existential threats. This narrative heightened Han insecurity, sparking protests for increased security and violence against Uyghurs. The chapter shows that the party-state exacerbates insecurity by securitising ethnocentric narratives of a Han-led nation under threat, excluding Uyghurs as sources of insecurity and activating ethnic stereotypes amongst Han.
Chapter 6 uses detailed, semi-structured interviews with Han and Uyghurs in Ürümchi on tuanjie narratives to analyse the effects of nation-building. The first section analyses how Uyghurs and getihu Han dismiss tuanjie as propaganda but deploy it to re-perform minzu as fixed identity boundaries. Han intellectuals conceptualised Zhonghua Minzu through ethnocentric culturalism that includes Xinjiang as a frontier. The second section explores how Han deploy official narratives of Xinjiang’s 'liberation', defining Hanzu through lineage and language. Han nationalists re-perform officially articulated boundaries between ‘Inner-China’ and ‘frontier’ as timeless while culturalists framed Han ethno-nationalists as impediments to nation-building. Nation-building narratives are challenged by different Han identities arguing for more or less inclusion of non-Han. The final section shows how Uyghurs re-perform ethnic boundaries demarcated by Chinese nation-building, articulating their identity as a Turkic group living in a Hanzu nation. Uyghurs refer to their inferiority in official discourse and daily experiences of ethnic discrimination to locate their Turkic and Islamic identities outside Zhonghua Minzu. The chapter shows that nation-building in Xinjiang is failing because its model of inclusion runs counter to daily experiences of ethnic boundaries and perpetuates tensions between Xinjiang’s inclusion as Chinese territory and cultural exclusion as a frontier.
The final chapter uses semi-structured interviews with Han and Uyghurs in Ürümchi to analyse their responses to official security narratives. The first section analyses how Han use official discourses of danger to securitise their own identities, defined through ethnicity, lineage, and language. Working-class and getihu Han deployed party-state discourses to articulate China as an ethnic Han nation under threat from Turkic-Islamic Uyghurs. Han intellectuals emphasise Uyghur inclusion in Chinese civilisation represents the real Zhonghua Minzu but without addressing the Han-centrism of this inclusion. The second section analyses how Uyghurs securitise identities and articulate China as an existential threat by re-performing official and unofficial Chinese narratives on Uyghur-ness. Uyghurs invert party-state discourses, articulating Han as part of a state-led cultural assimilation project through demographic and linguistic transformation. The Han-Uyghur ethnic boundary is redirected inwards between Uyghurs educated in Uyghur (minkaomin 民考民) and those ‘Sinicised’ by Mandarin-medium education (minkaohan 民考汉). Han and Uyghurs use tensions between inclusion and exclusion in official Zhonghua Minzu narratives to understand daily experiences of ethnic boundaries and articulate competing identity-security narratives. The chapter shows the party-state’s attempt to increase security by identifying China’s friends and eliminating enemies produces perpetual insecurity.
The Epilogue summarizes the main findings of the book. It discusses mainlander identity formation in democratized Taiwan in conjunction with contemporary social survey data and the historical trajectory delineated in the preceding chapters. The discussion offers an alternative way to contemplate the current and future relationship between Taiwan and China from the perspective of conflicting historical memories. The Epilogue also reveals the author’s personal background and subject position – as a descendant of native Taiwanese political victims who tries to understand mainlander trauma. It cautions against the Caruthian psychoanalytic assumption that human suffering constitutes some kind of universal experience that will automatically bring diverse peoples and cultures together. It also questions the sociological approach’s tendency to see shared traumatic memories as mere instrumentalist “social constructs” for power and identity, which sometimes obstructs the larger ethical goals of recognition and reconciliation. Based on the author’s inner struggle and transformation in researching and writing about the misery and displacement of his perceived oppressors, the chapter proposes “multidirectional empathic unsettlements” as a modality to build historically informed cross-cultural empathy that could reconcile nations and communities with entangled but incompatible memories of past suffering.
The Introduction sets out the academic rationale for studying disability and citizenship in China, before mapping out current theoretical understandings of disability and citizenship, as well as the historical context of disability in China in particular, all of which set the foundations for the study that follows. It engages with a wide range of viewpoints on disability, from the medical and social models to notions of ableism and ‘normalcy’ and more recent rights-based models. It also provides a brief history of disability in China, from early philosophical conceptualisations to late imperial developments when bodies, literally and metaphorically, became the crucibles for the birth of a new republic in 1912. It then proceeds to look at the way in which citizenship is seen to intersect with disability by asking whether there can ever be such a thing as a ‘good’ disabled citizen, given that most societies have developed the template of an ideal citizen characterised by able-bodiedness, able-mindedness and normalcy. The chapter concludes with an overview of the book’s route towards the concept of ‘para-citizenship’ as a new framework for understanding disability and belonging.
Chapter 4 describes the emotional roller coaster of the belated homecoming in China for the aging civil war exiles and their Taiwan-born descendants, four decades after the initial displacement to Taiwan. Rather than being passive beneficiaries of democracy’s windfall, the most impoverished and disadvantaged mainlanders – the retired Nationalist soldiers – helped break down the barriers. They led the social protest that ultimately forced the hand of Chiang Kai-shek’s son Chiang Ching-kuo in his decision to lift Taiwan’s four-decade-long ban on its people traveling to “communist bandit territory.” Sadly, mainlanders’ elation and anticipation soon turned into shock, frustration, and disorientation as the home and family that they had longed to see again were nowhere to be found in the post-Mao PRC. The second- and third-generation mainlanders, who had never seen “home,” also felt estranged by the entire “return experience.” Yet, their sense of disorientation was relatively moderate compared to their parents’ and grandparents’. The chapter argues that the reverse culture shock of the belated homecoming in the PRC shattered mainlanders’ China-centered nostalgia and provincial identities. It paved the way for the rise of a Taiwan-centered mainlander identity based on the previously repressed memories of the great exodus.
The state often struggles to meet citizens’ demands but confronts strong public pressure to do so. What does the state do when public expectations exceed its actual governing capacity? This article shows that the state can respond by engaging in performative governance—the theatrical deployment of language, symbols, and gestures to foster an impression of good governance among citizens. Performative governance should be distinguished from other types of state behavior, such as inertia, paternalism, and the substantive satisfaction of citizens’ demands. The author illustrates this concept in the realm of environmental governance in China. Given the severity of China’s environmental pollution, the resulting public outcry, and the logistical and political challenges involved in solving the problem, how can the state redeem itself? Ethnographic evidence from participant observation at a municipal environmental protection bureau reveals that when bureaucrats are confronted with the dual burdens of low state capacity and high public scrutiny, they engage in performative governance to assuage citizens’ complaints. This study draws attention to the double meaning of “performance” in political contexts, and the essential distinction between the substantive and the theatrical.
Various forms of outcomes-based or risk-sharing agreements have been implemented since early 2000s as a way of access to innovative medicinal products. This study aims to summarize the international experience of performance-based risk-sharing arrangements (PBRSAs) and identify the preconditions for a successful implementation of such schemes. Their implications for the Chinese healthcare market are discussed.
A systematic literature review (in PubMed) was conducted to review the evidence on the nature and performance of PBRSAs in the past 10 years. Grey literature was searched for reports in government websites of the countries in scope.
The search identifies 463 records from PubMed and 3 additional records from other sources. Thirty-one publications are included in the final review. The following preconditions were identified to support a successful implementation of PBRSAs: (1) Identify meaningful and feasible outcome measurements; (2) Establish an effective and efficient data collection infrastructure; (3) Control of the implementation costs; (4) Develop governance and administrative infrastructure to allow delisting and rebate/refund; (5) Clarify personal data protection issues.
The implementation of PBRSAs has proven to be challenging. Although the Chinese healthcare system is not yet well equipped to implement such schemes, some recent changes may pave the way to successful PBRSAs for particular innovative products.
The Bank of England was heavily involved in the management of Hong Kong’s banking and currency arrangements. The shadow that continually hung over both was the prospect of the termination of the lease on the ‘Crown Colony’ in 1997. In the late summer of 1983, a property boom collapsed and brought major financial strain and an exchange rate crisis. The Bank sent experts who backed schemes to create a currency peg, managed by currency board arrangements, with a link to the British pound. That had implications for the positions of the large banks, which issued bank notes. There was also a question about the position of the large Hong Kong banks, and the largest, HSBC, wanted to acquire, or merge with, a UK bank: eventually HSBC took over Midland.
China’s transition to the nation state, on a deep level, is incomplete. Tibet and Xinjiang remain the peripheral holdouts. At the policy level, the demise of class universalism deprives the central state of the institutional principles of legitimate government to project universal legitimacy in the two historically least incorporated regions. At the institutional level, the autonomous system has nurtured key conditions for ethnic mobilization for these two groups: politicized identities and ethno-territories. Among the contextual factors responsible the Soviet dissolution – core ethnic regions, weakening of previous social contracts, and democratization – only the Tibetans and Uighurs possess core ethnic regions and were particularly disadvantaged by economic liberalization due to their distinct ascriptive features. The absence of democratization, along with China’s demographic/territorial core, precludes a breakaway by these two groups, but large state outlays suggest continuing challenges for national integration. Despite various reform platforms, socialist autonomy – compromising autonomy but distributional benefits – remains the prevailing vision under the current political leadership. In the international arena, ethnic strife places constraints on China’s security and foreign policy behavior as well as on its international reactions.