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.