China & Inner Asia: Table of Contents
Organizer and Chair: Stephen C. Averill, Michigan State University
Dong Wang, University of Kansas
In the years of Republican Chinas rising nationalism, different military factions and political interest parties intensively employed circular telegrams, public statements, newspaper columns, interviews and other means to articulate their views of the treaty question in their bids to compete for the legitimacy of their claimed political ideas. Centering around the politically charged propaganda war between the warlords and the Nationalist Party, this paper examines the use, rhetoric as well as connotation of "the unequal treaties" as a political cultural symbol, intertwined with the competitive and fluctuating politics of Republican China. The symbolic role of the unequal treaties in creating boisterous Chinese nationalism deserves a fresh look, especially the way that the Nationalist Party interpreted them, as a creative breakthrough in Chinese political discourse. The purpose of this study is to show that not only the originally rebellious Nationalist Party but also the Northern military warlords who controlled the only foreign-recognized "legitimate" Beijing government made conscious efforts to influence public opinion in order to justify their political stance and policies through presenting their own visions of "the unequal treaties" question.
Replete with political meanings, the propaganda war around "the unequal treaties" in connection with "down with imperialism" featured some of the attributes of the factional and political culture then, indicative of what the important concepts and slogans were and what the deep reasons for Chinas backwardness were in the minds of the Chinese people. This paper compares the languages, styles and contents of propaganda campaigns concerning the unequal treaties on the sides of various warlords and the Nationalist Party. My purpose is to show that the Northern military men, including those who controlled the Beijing government, continued to work in line with the old diplomacy, as in the case of relying on their professional diplomats to take disciplinary action and conduct peaceful negotiations with powers, and ultimately failed to appeal and command the emotion and imagination of the China masses. Their media exposure of the unequal treaties, thus, generally was more diffused, more rational but less emotionally explosive. in sharp contrast, being able to present the technically complicated unequal treaties issues as the major hurdle to Chinas progress in a strikingly simple and understandable way, the Nationalist Party, inspired by the Soviet-model mass mobilization, emotionalized the whole issue by creating propagandistic exaggeration with enthusiastic incitement. In doing so, the Nationalist Partys propaganda catered to and further stirred up the rising public sentiment against imperialism which tended to resort to violence and confrontation.
Ironically, despite its previous fervent attack on the Northern handling of the unequal treaties, the Nationalist government readjusted its anti-imperialism program and proceeded along the same trajectory as the Beijing government did, after Jiang Jieshis abrupt split with the Communist Party. By reinterpreting Chinas past, the propaganda war in the early twentieth century made the unequal treaties become a cultural symbol with political implications, and thus played a significant role in reshaping the political landscape of Republican China.
Baohui Zhang, Daemen College
This research studies an interesting puzzle presented by two peasant revolutions in south China between 1926 and 1934, one in Hunan province (19261927) and the other in neighboring Jiangxi province (19291934). Important socioeconomic conditions in the two provinces, such as the class composition of rural populations, land holding and distribution, types of economic systems, and degree of commercialization, were strikingly similar. Puzzlingly, although outside mobilization from the Communist Party was very weak in Hunan, the peasant revolution there was nonetheless radical and violent. In the Jiangxi revolution, however, despite extraordinarily intense efforts at mobilization by the CCP, peasant behaviors in the revolution remained conservative. Why, under very similar socioeconomic conditions, did two peasant societies display different revolutionary patterns when the levels of involvement by outside revolutionary organizations should have produced the opposite outcome?
Current major theories of revolution, including the Marxist approach, the moral economy approach, the rational choice approach, and the structural approach, cannot explain the puzzle. I propose an organizational approach to the study of agrarian revolutions. It examines how the different ways rural communities organized to respond to environmental challenges contributed to agrarian revolutions. Historically, many peasant communities were regulated by powerful cooperative institutions. The purpose of these communal organizations was to organize and coordinate collective actions to confront environmental challenges. However, different sources of cooperation, voluntary cooperation by peasants of roughly equal resources and imposed cooperation by lords or external power, led to different communal organizational principles.
In Hunan and Jiangxi different forms of communal cooperation emerged to respond to different environmental challenges. In Jiangxi a frontier environment in a resource poor region resulted in a distinctive, corporate lineage-centered organizational context which was based upon voluntary cooperation by peasants. In Hunan, a social environment of rebellions and state breakdown in the mid-19th century led to the militarization of communal organizational context through a militia system which was essentially imposed cooperation by the landed gentry.
The rural organizational frameworks of Hunan and Jiangxi enjoyed different legitimacy among peasants. Differences between their communal organizational principles in ideology, sources of elites and decision-making rules, control mechanisms, and interest redistribution resulted in different perceptions by Hunan and Jiangxi peasants of the justice and fairness of community organizations in regulating communal affairs. I argue that agrarian revolution can be caused by peasant attempts to restructure unjust and unfair communal organizational frameworks and establish new rules for community cooperation. This is what happened in Hunan. In communities with legitimate organizational frameworks, as lineage based communities in Jiangxi, revolution is difficult to emerge even under strong mobilization from outside revolutionary forces.
This is the first major study of agrarian revolutions from an organizational perspective. It challenges some of the established interpretations of the Chinese revolution of this century. The research benefited greatly from the newly declassified and released internal documents by the CCP since the 1980s.
Wai-keung Chung, University of Washington
The "company" (gongci), a form of business organization that originated in medieval Europe, was introduced in China in the late 19th century. Even though it was only one of the several forms of business organization used in China before 1949, a large percentage of Chinese capital that formed in this period was actually controlled through enterprises organized as "companies."
Based on first hand analysis of business archives available in Shanghai and on other sources, this paper uncovers the conditions prompting the adoption of the joint-stock company as a preferred type of business organization registered under Chinese company law. At the time, most Chinese businesses were still individually owned or were partnerships. The introduction of joint-stock ownership represented a crucial institutional change in Chinese commercial life that gradually took hold.
Specifically, the paper shows how Chinese merchants reorganized themselves by using modern Western company organization to capture capital and to regain control of the national market that had been invaded by foreign capital. The analysis reveals that the Chinese merchants were not simply being guided by company law, but rather were using the joint-stock company as a way to bundle traditional Chinese business practices, pre-existing social relations, and nationalistic ideologies into a more useful organizational format that allowed for the accumulation of capital. Theoretically, this paper offers a way to understand how continuity in social organization is maintained in the face of economic transformation, and shows how pre-existing social relationships are embedded in modern economic activity.
Morris Linan Bian, University of Washington
This paper offers the first systematic analysis of the development of institutions of social service and industrial welfare in state enterprise during the Sino-Japanese War.
Part I deals with the formation of state policy on social welfare. It describes the creation of government organization for making and implementing social policy. It delineates the making of government social welfare policy, especially government policy on labor welfare. It also discusses the change of the concept of social welfare from a traditional one of private philanthropy to that of state responsibility.
Part II describes the evolution of institutions of social service and industrial welfare in heavy industry and ordnance industry. It also presents evidence from a case study of these institutions in the largest steel making enterprise in Chinas interior.
Part III demonstrates that the combination of conditions of social environment, high labor turnover, and rising inflation was responsible for the development of these institutions.
The paper argues that the institutions of social service and industrial welfare were part of a new institutional pattern of state enterprise that took shape during the Sino-Japanese War. Moreover, the development of these institutions and the making of the new institutional pattern of state enterprise suggest the need for major revision of our understanding of the origins of the work unit system and of Chinas basic social and economic structure after 1949.
Pierre-Francois Landry, University of Michigan
Since 1979, the Chinese Communist Party has decentralized the formal rules of appointment and removal of County-level cadres. In some areas, the rapid expansion of collective enterprises has dramatically increased resources available to local bureaucrats, leading to the common assumption of the loss of control, while cadres in charge of sectors insulated from economic reforms are usually portrayed as more disciplined and loyal to Party principles. Yet, such arguments are rarely tested against empirical data and the concrete effect of regulatory change in the locales is still poorly understood.
Based on a survey of 245 leaders in four counties of Jiangsu Province (conducted in 1996), this paper addresses three core issues of inter-governmental relations in contemporary China: (1) Do local cadres perceive that formal changes in organizational rules have actually affected the appointment and removal process in their locales? (2) Does the degree of decentralization in personnel management vary systematically across sectors of the bureaucracy? In particular, can we measure significant differences between the degree of control over personnel in charge of the local economy and their counterparts posted in other sectors of county administration? (3) What are the organizational and political implications of the implementation of cadre reform for the long-term capacity of the Chinese state to manage its local elites in the context of an increasingly marketized and decentralized economy?
Unlike most studies of local administration, this paper is not concerned with central-local relations, but focuses instead on inter-governmental relations, namely municipalities and the counties under their formal jurisdiction.