By Guoqi Xu
Chinese-American family are frequently seen during the prism of strength competition and civilization conflict. yet China and America’s shared historical past is way greater than a catalog of conflicts. Using tradition instead of politics or economics as a reference element, Xu Guoqi highlights major but overlooked cultural exchanges within which China and the US have contributed to every other’s nationwide improvement, development the basis of what Zhou Enlai known as a courting of “equality and mutual benefit.”
Xu starts off with the tale of Anson Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln’s ambassador to China, and the one hundred twenty chinese language scholars he performed an important function in bringing to the United States, inaugurating a application of chinese language foreign examine that maintains at the present time. Such academic crosscurrents moved either methods, as is clear in Xu’s profile of the outstanding Ge Kunhua, the chinese language poet who helped spearhead chinese educating in Boston within the 1870s. Xu examines the contributions of 2 American students to chinese language political and academic reform within the 20th century: the legislation professor Frank Goodnow, who took half in making the Yuan Shikai government’s structure; and the thinker John Dewey, who helped advertise chinese language modernization as a vacationing student at Peking college and in different places. Xu additionally exhibits that it was once americans who first brought to China the trendy Olympic move, and that China has used activities ever due to the fact to show off its upward thrust as an international strength. those awesome shared traditions among international locations, Xu argues, give you the top roadmap for the way forward for Sino-American relations.
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Extra resources for Chinese and Americans: A Shared History
American studies of the same topics usually concentrate on American perspectives and rarely pay attention to these cases from the viewpoints of both sides. Chinese and American scholarship on the cases under consideration here has tended to run between dismissive and skeptical. Unlike many volumes about Sino-American relations that have largely focused on the differences and confrontations between the two nations, in this book I have aimed at emphasizing the positive aspects of these cases, which have so far been ignored.
True, shared experiences or past encounters are something different from a shared journey, which presumes a common destination and mutual interest despite possible difficulties, challenges, and tribulations along the way. But given their vast differences, in all the case studies here, the Chinese and Americans did indeed interact on many levels and had many things in common. Although each chapter in this book tells a separate story, all these stories are carefully selected for the thematic thread of “shared history,” by which we can illuminate in a new way a past of cooperation and shared excitement or frustration.
It does, in at least two ways. First, it matters in terms of historical research. ” 29 However, if we use both Chinese and American sources and especially the rich materials found in personal papers and other kinds of surviving documentation, we discover that America actually played an enormously important role in the cases of the Burlingame mission and the Chinese Education Mission, both of which took place in late 1800s. In those cases, with encouragement from the Chinese, Americans took the initiative.