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2014 Wiles Lectures by Prof Rana Mitter

Lecture 1:  Washington, Moscow, London … Chongqing?: the unknown Allied war capital

Wednesday 28 May, 5pm: Peter Froggatt Centre Room G/024, QUB

How did China resist Japan’s invasion of China for eight years, from 1937 to 1945?  Some of the answers come from a place long underplayed by history: the city of Chongqing in southwest China which became China’s wartime capital, under the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek, during those years.  The establishment of the new capital meant a new political settlement in China which forced a reconsideration of everything from property regimes to the nature of constitutional change.  Millions of refugees moved to the city and its surrounding region from the Japanese-occupied east of the country, altering China’s sense of its own geography.    A reconsideration of the role of Chongqing in the war is a key part of a new understanding of the  trajectory of modern Chinese history.