Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Subject: Asian Studies

Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese

Brill’s Encyclopedia of China Online is based on the originally a thousand-page reference work on China with a clear focus on the modern period from the mid-nineteenth century to the 21st century. Written by the world’s top scholars, Brill’s Encyclopedia of China is the first place to look for reliable information on the history, geography, society, economy, politics, science, and culture of China.

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Underground Literature

(1,412 words)

Author(s): van Crevel, Maghiel
The underground has its raison d'être in the establishment it undermines. Not all types of establishment culture engender countercurrents, but any underground culture presupposes clear dominance by an establishment. No matter what scope is assigned to underground literature, in modern Chinese history the concept is therefore of particular relevance in the PRC since the 1950s. PRC authorities have consistently attached importance to literature as a tool for disseminating orthodox ideology, and seen se…

United States of America

(3,528 words)

Author(s): Jackson, Steven F.
Relations between China and the United States of America have been a central part of each country's foreign relations since the turn of the 20th century. For China, relations with the US rank alongside those with Japan and Russia as intense and often problematic, but never unimportant. For the US, China has long been an area of intense emotional involvement, elusive commercial opportunity, and great strategic importance. Three broad areas stand out as central to the relationship: the strategic i…

Universal History (Chinese perspective)

(1,770 words)

Author(s): Mittag, Achim
Traditional Chinese historiography (historiography, pre-modern ) was not unfamiliar with a universal historical perspective. One of its categorical requirements was the world view already formulated in a nutshell in the early Zhou dynasty according to which the Chinese ruler as Son of Heaven ( tianzi) was placed over "everything under heaven" ( tianxia ). Against the background of the consolidation of this idea of rulership and after the establishment of the unified empire under the Qin and Han dynasties, the position of the "scribe" and "chronicler" ( shi) underwent increasing sp…