The politics of Chinese history

Reporters on the Job: I went to visit what is left of the Chinese emperor’s Old Summer Palace last weekend as part of my research about Christie’s auction of looted Chinese relics (read the story here). While there, I was struck by the political use to which the Chinese authorities have put the ruins.

The story of the British and French sacking in 1860 is taught to every schoolchild here, and is reinforced by information panels in the Summer Palace museum.

One panel explained that the palace’s “sufferings reflect the humiliation imposed on the Chinese nation by the imperialist powers since the Opium War.”

The subtext, of course, is that it took a Communist revolution to kick out the imperialists and salvage China’s pride.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK