From Empire to Nation: The Bounding of the Chinese Geo-body
This opening chapter explores Chinas tumultuous transition from empire to nation, examining the role of historical memory and political revolution in the construction of modern Chinese identity. It asks how China’s past traditions came to mediate globally diffused practices of modernity and produce the shared assumptions and categories through which the state and its elites chose to situate the diversity of the frontier within the narratives and policies of Chinese nationhood. The chapter thus sets the scene for a more detailed treatment of the frontier and national questions among Republican-era elites by exploring how the problem of the frontier and its inhabitants came to play such a central role in the process of revolution in twentieth-century China.
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