China Course

Topics: China, Qing Dynasty, Beijing Pages: 9 (2075 words) Published: February 10, 2013
The Singularity of China

• No historic point of departure: The myth of the Yellow Emperor. L’empereur jaune ou Huang Diest est un souverain mythqiue de la Chine, considéré comme père de la civilisation chinoise.

• First historical record dates back to 2000 BC.: The Shang Dynasty. La 2ème dynastie à avoir dominé le pays.
• The Long Cycles: “The Empire, long divided, must unite; long united must divide” The Romance of the Three Kingdoms. An important political theory in chinese history. A culture circle

• No divine God and a holistic/interconnected view of the world
• Tian Xia: All under Heaven, under the EmperorEurope and China: a priori distant cultures. Un nom pour la Chine impérial : Sous le ciel. Désigne le monde et la Chine exercerait un pouvoir sur le reste du monde.

Europe and China : a priori distant cultures

• China is the “Middle Kingdom”, kowtow (saluer empereur avec un profond respect)
• For the ancient Chinese, Europe was a distant land, barbaric, uncultivated, in the Western Oceans, by definition inaccessible to Chinese culture
• IR culture: Europe: balance of power diplomacy; China: Mandate of Heaven. Competition with state about power, economics. Balance of power.
• The art of war is illustrated in two intellectual games: China plays wei qi, Europe plays chess.
• Sun Tzu’s The Art of War : premier traité de stratégie militaire écrit au monde. Essence de la guerre psychologique.

The Warring States Period (481-221 BC.) : période des Royaumes combattants du 5ème siècle av JC jusqu’à l’établissement de la dynastie Qin.

• At 800 BC, there were 148 small states, by 400 BC only seven major states remained
• Struggle for power among them : Dominance
• Multiplicity of states struggle for pre-eminence within the framework of the balance of power
•Cultural/philosophical between the Legalist School and the Confucian School
• Legalists: meritocracy and strict rule of law
• Confucius: tradition and harmonious and hierarchical coexistence

The Qin (221-206 BC.) and Han (206BC.- 220 AD.) Dynasties 

• The Qin Empire: 4,000 miles of imperial highways
• “Level of state centralization and standardisation not seen in Europe until 2,000 years later” (Ropp 2010) : Bases administratives d’un état centralisé et favorisa l’unité culturelle du territoire. Régime très autoritaire voir impopulaire. 3 ans avec 1er empereur : Qin Shi Huang

• The Han Empire (2èmedynastie impériale et compte 28 empereurs) : Expands Chinese influence through trade until Egypt and Rome ; makes tributary deals with the nomadic tribes of the north: The first Silk Roads were established. • Buddhism starts penetrating China through these same routes, symbioses with Confucianism

Han Empire: more than 400 years

• Echange culturel entre la Chine Han et le nord des tribus nomades. Chinese elites start to take some of the cultural customs of the northern tribes: music, food, dressing, etc.
• Confucian school is prevalent: spread of knowledge facilitated my invention of paper around 100 AD. Confucianiste : école phylosophique, morale et politique. • The Eunuchs start to become powerful. They’re castrated.

The Era of Division (220-589)

• The Three Kingdoms: Wei, Wu and Shu. Chine divisée en 3 après la chute dynastie Han.
Wei : Dynastie du Nord de 386 à 534
Wu : Sun Wu. Royaume qui lutte pour avoir contrôle de la chine au sud.
Shu : royaume situé à l’extrême sud ouest du pays.
• The Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong.
• Division...
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