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date: 05 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines modern Chinese political ideologies beginning in the late nineteenth century, as intellectuals began to articulate China’s place in a global order centred outside its own borders. It eschews a teleological view of China’s ideological development, in which the present communist regime is assumed to be the inevitable culmination of the past, in favour of detailing ongoing contestations about Chinese history, identity, and modernization. The chapter surveys early responses of the ‘self-strengthening’ school to nineteenth-century Western imperialism, going on to discuss the deepening of Chinese commitments to Western learning and the totalistic critique of ‘traditional’ culture by thinkers associated with the May Fourth Movement. The continuity of these ideas is discussed in relation to key contemporary ideological developments on China and Taiwan, including: Chinese democratic thought and human rights; ideologies of revolution; Communism; contemporary liberal and New Left thought; and New Confucianism.

Keywords: Communism, China, Taiwan, New Left, self-strengthening, modernization, May Fourth Movement, liberalism, revolution, Confucianism

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