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2014 Wiles Lectures - Prof. Rana Mitter

Lecture 3: Postwar – Asia 1945 and China's 'zero hour'

Friday 30 May, 5pm: Peter Froggatt Centre Room G/024, QUB

What was China’s vision for the 'postwar', and why did the Nationalists so quickly lose to their rivals in the Civil War of 1946-49?  Chongqing emerged from the ashes of wartime China as the capital of a country that was now a central part of the new order in Asia.  China became one of the permanent five members of the UN Security Council, and was supposed to become a major actor in a new Asian order.  Yet the Nationalist plan for postwar China was undermined by corruption and incompetence.  Whether it is the reshaping of international order or the distribution of food aid, the contest between Communist and Nationalist political visions must be understood at the grassroots level as well as the geopolitical.