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CHINARESOURCE-L  2001

CHINARESOURCE-L 2001

Subject:

[ChinaResourceNews 6] Two Banned Books from China

From:

Hanno Lecher <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 5 Nov 2001 12:48:46 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (102 lines)

----------------------------------------------------
ChinaResourceNews No.6
http://chinaresource.org/news.htm
----------------------------------------------------
New in the library of the Institute of Chinese Studies: Two Banned Books
from China.

(1)
Zhongguo de daolu 中 國 的 道 路 [characters in Big5] is the title given to
a collection of
essays by the social scientists Li Shenzhi 李 慎 之, recently expelled from
the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences for an article he wrote on the eve of
the PRC's 50th birthday, and He Jiadong 何 家 棟, published by
Guangzhou publisher Nanfang ribao chubanshe in January 2000.
Three large blocks of essays deal with "Globalization and Chinese Culture,"
"Contemporary Chinese Academic Thought," and "China's Systemic Innovation."
The individual essays deal with liberalism, political reform, and the state
of Chinese academic discourse. The essays were written between 1993 and 1999
(unfortunately, the producers of the otherwise carefully prepared volume do
not indicate the original sources of the articles - or whether they have
previously been published at all); just over half of the contributions come
from Li Shenzhi. nv

For bibliographical details and shelfmark please visit
www.sino.uni-heidelberg.de/cgi-bin/acwww25/regsrch.pl?recnums=49177&db=kat


(2)
Another book banned last year by Chinese authorities bears the title Lishi
de xiansheng: ban ge shiji qian de zhuangyan chengnuo 歷 史 的 先 聲 : 半
個 世 紀 前 的 莊 嚴 承 諾. It was published by the rather obscure Shantou
daxue chubanshe; the compiler uses the strange pseudonym Xiao Shu 笑 蜀.
Lishi de xiansheng is a very witty publication carrying a political message
in an only thin but original disguise. The book is mainly a collection of
editorials and other articles from the eminent CCP newspapers of the 1940s,
Xinhua ribao 新 華 日 報 and Jiefang ribao 解 放 日 報. The articles are
carefully selected and grouped into nine chapters:
1. Without democracy, everything is only masquerade
2. Struggling for democracy is a cause of all the people of the country
3. The sharp blade of democracy
4. Let thinking shake off all bonds
5. China needs true general elections
6. The schools must become fortresses of democracy
7. Human rights were bestowed by heaven and cannot be infringed upon
8. The one-party system brings all-out disaster
9. Who is the one who doesn't let China become calm?

Although the articles of the volume are reflecting on a chapter of the
CCP's past, they are aimed at the present, as the back cover of the book
explains:
"Reading anew the words of 50 years ago makes us comprehend that the Chinese
people do not only possess the ability to carry out an economic
reform without precedence in history, but also can expand the achievements
of this reform to the more thoroughgoing and more arduous [reform of the]
administrative structure, because half a century ago, the Chinese
communists have made a solemn historic commitment and have accumulated a
rich spiritual capital for the reforms today and in the future. This
spiritual capital is an inexhaustible treasury to be used by the Chinese
people in the next century carrying out administrative structural reforms.
Let us together pass again through the past, so that tomorrow we can
jointly head for the future.
We dedicate this book to the commemoration of the historic battle between
democracy and tyranny 50 years ago;
we dedicate this book to the commemoration of the Chinese martyrs who gave
their lives in this battle!

By skillfully selecting the articles in Lishi de xiansheng, the author(s)
construct an alternative, democratic tradition of the CCP that is said to
have flourished in the 1940s, but subsequently had been suppressed by
autocratic elements in the party. Simply by arranging the articles and
choosing provocative chapter titles, the author(s) manipulate the
historical sequence; they cut out the particular background on which the
articles were written fifty years ago and create a new narrative. In the
current context, the author(s) urge the Jiang Zemin leadership to implement
political reforms such as a multi-party system, universal suffrage, and
respect for human rights, arguing that there have been precedents for such
a logic in the CCP's history and tradition. At the same time, they imply
that the entire history of the PRC was an autocratic aberration from a
democratic line - and, most strikingly, they thus accuse the current
leadership that resists reforms any other than those of the economic
structure, of betraying the 'democratic' tradition of the CCP, as well.
Lishi de xiansheng is an extraordinary example of 'using the past to serve
the present', making political statements by historical
allusion, a technique that has been popular among Chinese intellectuals
throughout PRC history. nv

For bibliographical details and shelfmark please visit
www.sino.uni-heidelberg.de/cgi-bin/acwww25/regsrch.pl?recnums=49677&db=kat
_______________________________________________________

With kind regards,

Hanno Lecher ([log in to unmask])

ChinaResource.org -- Content manager
http://chinaresource.org

_______________________________________________________

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