The myth that Chinese civilization is monolithic, unchanging and perenially cut off from the rest of the world has long obscured China's diverse and dynamic history. Drawing on research, NYU Shanghai Provost and professor of history Joanna Waley-Cohen, provides an accessible account of China's fertile relations with other Asian cultures and the West from the days of the Silk Road to the present. Waley-Cohen argues that well before the arrival of Europeans in East Asia, China was integrated into a wide-ranging network of commercial, intellectual, religious and cultural contacts. Among the most influential features of this traffic was the spread of Buddhism from India to China. Later, Catholic missionaries would interpret the Chinese resistance to their religion as evidence of an arrogant complacency, just as Western emissaries would interpret China's objections to trade on Western terms. Waley-Cohen argues that throughout history, in trade, religion, ideology or technology, China has interacted with the rest of the world, so long as the rules of engagement were not externally imposed. She shows the reader a cosmopolitan China, a civilization actively engaged with other cultures and societies.
(Description courtesy of publisher.)
Was the primary focus of the Qing dynasty really civil rather than military matters? In this ground-breaking book, Joanna Waley-Cohen overturns conventional wisdom to put warfare at the heart of seventeenth and eighteenth century China. She argues that the civil and the military were understood as mutually complementary forces. Emperors underpinned military expansion with a wide-ranging cultural campaign intended to bring military success, and the martial values associated with it, into the mainstream of cultural life. The Culture of War in China is a striking revisionist history that brings new insight into the roots of Chinese nationalism and the modern militarised state.
This pathbreaking study provides the first comprehensive examination of India-China interactions in the broader contexts of Asian and world history. By focusing on material exchanges, transmissions of knowledge and technologies, networks of exchange during the colonial period, and little-known facets of interactions between the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China, Tansen Sen argues convincingly that the analysis of India-China connections must extend beyond the traditional frameworks of nation-states or bilateralism. Instead, he demonstrates that a wide canvas of space, people, objects, and timeframe is needed to fully comprehend the interactions between India and China in the past and during the contemporary period. Considering as well the contributions of people and groups from beyond India and China, Sen also explores the interactions between Indians and Chinese outside the Asian continent. The author’s formidable array of sources, pulled from archives and libraries around the world, range from Chinese travel accounts to Indian intelligence reports. Examining the connected histories of the two regions, Sen fills a striking gap in the study of India and China in a global setting. (Description courtesy of publisher)
This book is a result of the Workshop on Conceptualizing and Reexamining India-China Connections at Fudan University’s International Center for the Studies of Chinese Civilization. In November 2013, over 20 scholars from China and abroad attended the workshop and reflected on previous research of China-India relations and discussed future prospects of topics including history, languages, literature, images, international relations spanning from ancient to modern times.
Tansen Sen is the editor of the book and author of one of the chapters.