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4 - A Tale of Two Revolutions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 June 2019

Els van Dongen
Affiliation:
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
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Summary

Chapter 4 discusses one of the main debates of the early 1990s, that is, the debate on radicalism and conservatism in modern Chinese history. The main vehicle for this debate, which peaked in 1992, was the influential Hong Kong journal Ershiyi shiji, which is indicative of the growing interactions between intellectuals in mainland China and Chinese intellectuals in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and the United States. The chapter outlines the transformation of the latter’s liberal and moral critique of mainland China, where the discussion focused on economic reform by reference to two revolutionary models—the “realistic” Glorious Revolution versus the “utopian” French Revolution (1789–99). In the discussion, participants evaluated the merits of the Cultural Revolution and a century of change in China through the lens of Edmund Burke’s criticism of the French Revolution. The chapter also discusses the broader implications of the debate by linking it to the issue of a “cultural China” impacted by the economic rise of East Asia. After renewed economic reform, conservatism as the advocacy of a strong state gradually became replaced with a conservative liberalism or the emphasis on partial and gradual economic reform and the role of the market as stabilizer.
Type
Chapter
Information
Realistic Revolution
Contesting Chinese History, Culture, and Politics after 1989
, pp. 94 - 130
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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  • A Tale of Two Revolutions
  • Els van Dongen, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Book: Realistic Revolution
  • Online publication: 04 June 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108367783.004
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  • A Tale of Two Revolutions
  • Els van Dongen, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Book: Realistic Revolution
  • Online publication: 04 June 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108367783.004
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • A Tale of Two Revolutions
  • Els van Dongen, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Book: Realistic Revolution
  • Online publication: 04 June 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108367783.004
Available formats
×