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The Rise of Modern China

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The rise of modern china
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Erez Manela immediately after world war one, started writing on international and transnational arena, his writings revolve around 1919 Paris peace conference from the perspective of an outsider. Erez chose not to focus on the subsequent peace process that followed after the war and its impact on the main powers like European powers but rather he focused on the impact of the peace process on the side states like Korea and china. These countries didn’t play a major or rather significant role in the peace process in fact they were largely ignored. Central to his thesis is the Wilsonian message of national self-determination and equality among states. To be well conversant with the encumbrance and openings implanted in China's the excellent place to start is on Jonathan D. Spence's good new book. ''The Search for Modern China,'' a detailed account across centuries from the fall of the Ming dynasty in 1600 up to the point of death of the democracy movement in June 1989, will educate everybody students and public alike of Chinese history. The effect and similar causal sequence of Wilson's discourse from 1918 up to the end of Paris peace conference is what Manela defines as the "Wilsonian Moment.
As per Manela, Wilson radical ideals was based on his need and determination for all the nations of the earth to become self-governed and to embrace colonial ideologies. Wilson was directing his message to Europe audience but the broadcasting media in Europe send the message across the globe and it was welcomed by leaders from non-western developing countries. The nationalistic movement emerge especially within eastern countries following up on Wilson’s vision. Manila in his book highlights how Wilson’s ideas was received in china, Korea, Egypt and India. Mao Zedong, Sa’d Zaghulul, Jawharlal Nehru, and Syngman Rhee who were nationalist seized Wilson’s vision to pursue their goals for independence from colonial powers that were the main team in Paris peace conference. During the conference the agenda was hijacked and anti-colonial theme dominated it. The Wilsonian principle of self-determination was seen by many as challenging the idea of imperialism. This gave platform for globally known ethical advocacy for the colonial nationalists. Also Out of this emerged a move to leverage Wilson's ideas and his rising popularity across the globe so that they can pursue their quest for self-control and independence.
Wilson’s pursuits that were meant for European audience were captured by other nations who were in pursuit of freedom from colonial powers and specifically Europe. Their hope was that they would be part of the group of nation’s dubbed family of nations and granted equality with European counterparts. For the nationalist in other nations in the east the Chinese and Indians they got hopes that Wilsons ideals and pursuit will give birth to an era of self-determination and equality like countries of Europe. They were disappointed by the fact that Wilson did not apply his ideas to china but despite this they hold on to Wilson’s ideas. Though china was disappointed not to have achieved equality status in Paris conference they didn’t relent in their quest for it, in few years later they achieved this status and were able to negotiate on equal terms with European nations and other non-European nations, they enjoyed sovereignty and tariff autonomy.
As much as the Chinese intellectuals were unhappy with Wilson as a person, they continue to embrace his ideologies. In some other countries like India the rebellion against Wilson ideas led to India shunning west and seeking closer tie with china which had embraced Marxist ideals.
The push by Wilson for self-determination was occasioned by his desire to suppress new ideologies emanating from the Soviet Union. However, as much as Lenin's discussion on self-determination brought in the idea of ethnically defined nations, his ideas was not (p. 62).for him he was only addressing Europe.

Wilson’s declarations had many implications on the push by Chinese intellectuals and activists for greater recognition as a sovereign nation state. Basically, Wilson’s ideologies on the role of America in the world was not a new radical idea, because the American founding fathers in their wisdom had hoped that one day American, through its foreign policies would be able to bring forth changes to the world by ushering in freedom and self governance to countries of the earth. This idea about American role in the world in bringing freedom and self-governance is what Americans bride in. when china entered World War 1 they made several demands though western power houses were reluctant to the Chinese pleas. United States promoted Wilsons 14 points ideas and the need for self-determination, but their quest could be realized due to stiff resistance from U.S. congress. This push by America for self-determination attracted Chinese intellectuals, but they could fully embrace and push for the same hence they were branded betrayers. It was Chinese failure at the Paris peace conference that prompted a movement branded as "Shandong Problem". China wanted an end to extraterritoriality powers on its soil, and stoppage of japans aggressive 21 demands and return of Shandog from the Germans.
Chinese were angered. A movement emerged to fight imperialism, students in Beijing were demonstrating against a weak Chinese government who could not rise up against the versatile treaty, more specifically the Shandog problem. These students’ demonstrations lead to a nationwide demonstration and subsequently the rise of Chinese nationalism, cultural activities were abandoned and political mobilization became new normal, intellectual elites were ignored and populist base embraced.
The uprising was against imperialism and betrayal by Chinese elites. The elites couldn’t strike any deal that favors Chinese and was the cause of the uprising. Along the streets of china they chant slogans calling for the fight for sovereignty externally and for traitors from within to be gotten rid of. get rid of the national traitors at home", others chanted and shouted for the cancellation of Twenty-One Demands and for Versailles Treaty not to be signed by the Chinese elites who were on the negotiation table. They were very angry at a perceived collusion against china and the betrayal. More anger was directed towards government inability to protect Chinese interest and boycott of Chinese products. Three officials found themselves on the receiving end when they were accused of being the force behind the deal. Students storm one of the official residents and torched the house after thoroughly beating the servant.
The May fourth movement marked the birth of revolt against imperialism and any form of external influence it was a start of a new era in China. Many other movements emerged after the March fourth movement including the cultural reform movement it showed how strong and widespread the movement was. At that period a new social force emerged comprising of the students, working class and new national bourgeoisie; this was a very strong force a powerful camp indeed that shake the government of the day and made the government have a second thought about their move to overlook the significance of the treaty they were entering into. Thousands s of students had their places in the van during the march 4th movement with lots of courage and determination. With all this activities and developments the march 4th movement was a more formidable force than the Chinese revolution of 1911.
The Wilson declaration and the movement became an intellectual turning point in china. It was an influential event that changed the Chinese intellectual thought. Western kind of democracy in the past had gotten grip of Chinese intellectuals, but everything changed after the Versailles Treaty. This treaty was seen by the Chinese as a betrayal of their nation. All the affections by the Chinese intellectuals towards the western democracy died out. Wilson’s fourteen points, despite being based on morals was also rejected by Chinese for being a western ideal and thus hypocritical.
Chinese intellectuals read mischief with United States with regard to their inability to convince its allies like Britain France and Japan to stick to 14 points, it also came to their attention that United States on its side had refused to join the League of Nations, and this prompted them to rebel against the western style of democracy. Marxism became a new influence in Chinese intellectuals, specifically with the leftist. Chinese intellectuals and scholars started studying communism seriously at this period, it was a new dawn in china, a start of a new era.

Reference
Spence, Jonathan D. 2013. The search for modern China.
Osnos, Evan. 2014. Age of ambition: chasing fortune, truth, and faith in the new China.
Lu, Xun, and Julia Lovell. 2009. The real story of Ah-Q and other tales of China: the complete fiction of Lu Xun. London: Penguin Books.
Lim, Louisa. 2014. The People's Republic of amnesia: Tiananmen revisited.

--------------------------------------------
[ 1 ]. Spence, Jonathan D. 2013. The search for modern China.
[ 2 ]. Lu, Xun, and Julia Lovell. 2009. The real story of Ah-Q and other tales of China: the complete fiction of Lu Xun. London: Penguin Books.
[ 3 ]. Lim, Louisa. 2014. The People's Republic of amnesia: Tiananmen revisited.
[ 4 ]. Lu, Xun, and Julia Lovell. 2009. The real story of Ah-Q and other tales of China: the complete fiction of Lu Xun. London: Penguin Books.
[ 5 ]. Osnos, Evan. 2014. Age of ambition: chasing fortune, truth, and faith in the new China.

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