China’s Century of Revolutions
12 Jan 2010
Tuesday | 7.00pm – 9.00pm | @ Ngee Ann Auditorium, ACM Empress Place (Basement)
In 2011, China will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 辛亥革命 (xinhai geming), commonly called the 1911 Revolution. The original meaning of the word 革命- the righteous Heaven-mandated removal of a previous regime, was seen as accurate by the majority of Han people after the fall of the Manchu Qing dynasty. For the most part in China, it was assumed that revolution meant total victory on the battlefield – whether between warlords or between armed political parties. Other adjectives added new dimensions to the concept, extending to economic, social and cultural revolutions.
Some of these challenged ancient ideas and practices, others focused on imposing new values, yet others transformed the lives of most Chinese people but none could escape the use or threat of violence in the name of revolution. It was only after its return to reform after the revolution was over that China found another road to wealth and power. The question the speaker will answer is, how much did China need its revolutions?
About the Speaker
Wang Gungwu is University Professor, National University of Singapore; Emeritus Professor of the Australian National University. His books include Diasporic Chinese Ventures Edited by Gregor Benton and Liu Hong (2004); China and Its Cultures: From the Periphery (2007, in Chinese); Chinese Civilization and China’s Road Ahead (2007, in Japanese translation). He recently edited Nation-building: Five Southeast Asian Histories (2005); and (with Zheng Yongnian) China and the New International Order (2008). He is a Fellow and former President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities; Member of Academia Sinica and Honorary Member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Science; and Commander of the British Empire (CBE). In Singapore, he is Chairman of the East Asian Institute, the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy; Vice-Chairman of the Chinese Heritage Centre; Board Member of the Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
The talk is free and is conducted in English. Admission charges to galleries apply. Registration is required on a first come, first served basis. Please contact Miss Alyson Rozells at 6516 8787 or firstname.lastname@example.org indicating your name, email and contact number.