Our course will conclude with a public history project that involves independent research and collaborative effort that addresses the question: “What has been Hotchkiss’s relationship with China?”
Today will be our the last session of or “normal” course content before we shift to working on the research project. As a result, we will dedicate most of the period to open discussion. I have prepared a video to start us off and would like to start by looking at Tang Jie as an individual, but beyond that I hope you will feel free to redirect the discussion in whatever way makes sense to you.
Tang Jie's 6-minute video from 2008:
Who are the “angry youth” (fenqing 愤青)?
Analyze some of the comparisons made in the piece:
To submit, follow the link below to upload a DOC, DOCX, or PDF document with your unit IV essay.
View selections from:
Export led growth:
Use the following online tool from MIT (external link) to examine China’s exports to the United States in the following years.
For each date, make a note of the total amount of exports from China to the United States and the composition of those exports. Then, consider:
Analyzing the impact and interests of foreign investors:
We will watch an 11-minute clip from Frontline: “Is Wal-Mart good for America?” (the clip is called “China’s view of Wal-Mart”) produced in 2004.
As we watch, take notes from the perspective of one of the following roles: (a) U.S. Secretary of Commerce, (b) the Chinese Minister of Commerce, (c) the CEO of Wal-Mart. Pay attention to the pros and cons of Wal-Mart’s involvement in China from your perspective.
In the roundtable that will conclude our class, we will stay with our roles to consider:
The goal over our next two classes is to examine the historical memory of the events of 1989 and to practice preparing for an oral history project—a skill that may prove useful for your course project research.
Take a moment and review this timeline (outside web link) prepared by the creators of the Gate of Heavenly Peace documentary. After a few minutes I will ask you to close your computer screen and work together to create a summary of the events (before and during) the 1989 protests. This will be a good time to ask any questions you might have about how the events unfolded.
Discuss Beam, Tatlow, and Wasserstrom:
Review selected parts of the “Oral History Project Guidelines” (PDF) prepared by the Minnesota Historical Society, particularly:
Your task will to be to locate the name of one fairly well-known individual connected to the democracy movement in the late 1980s (it could be a student leader like Wu’er Kaixi or Chai Ling, a worker like Han Dongfeng, a parent like Ding Zilin, a professor like Fang Lizhi or Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese government official like Deng Xiaoping or Zhao Ziyang, an outside observer like U.S. ambassador James Lilley or Canadian journalist Jan Wong). This person needs to have been alive and witnessed something worth discussing during the spring and early summer of 1989, however they might be deceased today.
Conduct some basic research on the person and their experience related to the democracy movement and Tian’anmen/“6-4.”
Based on that research, write out 7-8 questions that you might ask that person. These should be considered “good questions” within the framework outlined by the Minnesota Historical Society. After each question provide 3-4 sentences of carefully-focused background about why you think it is a good question and what you might expect that person to share. For example, if you were to interview Deng Xiaoping, you might ask:
Question: You often spoke of “reform and opening.” Did you see the student and worker demonstrators as reformists promoting a more open China?
Rationale: This question would gently challenge Deng to connect his own rhetoric to those of the students. It would require him to explain the limits of his own concept of “reform” and possibly to draw connections to the experience in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Reform for Deng had to be ultimately compatible with “democratic centralism.” He feared that the breakdown in authority might lead to conditions not unlike the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) or the challenge to one-party rule that was occurring in the late 1980s in Eastern Europe.
Be sure to cite all of the specific information you describe. For example, if you were to add a line from Wealth and Power saying that Deng lost patience with the students after they showed disrespect to Li Peng during a live televised meeting, you would want to offer Chicago-style citation to that effect.
Due: This short assignment is due before the end of class on Saturday, 4/7. If you need additional time, you may wait until Tuesday 4/10 to submit it, but please keep in mind that you have several pages of reading in Schell and Delury due before class as well.
To submit: follow this link to Canvas.
Two questions over the next couple of days:
Watch about 10 minutes from Gate of Heavenly Peace (1995)
Review the two sets of quotations from Fang Lizhi and Deng Xiaoping drawn from last night’s reading. Consider:
"Be open to different ways of thinking . . . and willing to adopt the elements of those cultures that are clearly superior. A great diversity of thought should be allowed in colleges and universities. For if all thought is narrow and simplistic, creativity will die. At present there are certainly some people in power who still insist on dictating to others according to their own narrow principles. . . . We must not be afraid to speak openly about these things. In fact, it is our duty" (Fang Lizhi at Peking University, 4 November 1985. Schell and Delury, 300).
"Human rights are fundamental privileges that people have from birth, such as the right to think and be educated, the right to marry, and so on. But we Chinese consider these rights dangerous. Although human rights are universal and concrete, we Chinese lump freedom, equality, and brotherhood together with capitalism and criticize them all in the same terms. If we are the democratic country we say we are, these rights should be stronger here than elsewhere, but at present they are nothing more than an abstract idea" (Fang Lizhi at Tongji University in Shanghai, November 1986. Schell and Delury, 301).
"Democratization has come to mean something performed by superiors on inferiors" (Fang Lizhi at Tongji University in Shanghai, November 1986. Schell and Delury, 301).
"During the Cultural Revolution we had what was called mass democracy. In those days people thought that rousing the masses to headlong action was democracy and that it would solve all problems. But it turned out that when the masses were roused to headlong action, the result was civil war. We have learned our lesson from history" (Deng Xiaoping in January 1987. Schell and Delury, 303).
"Because we have one billion people, and their educational level is not very high, conditions are not yet ripe for direct elections" (Deng Xiaoping in 1987. Schell and Delury, 301-02).
"We cannot adopt the practice of the West. The greatest advantage of the socialist system is that when the central leadership makes a decision, it is promptly implemented without interference from any other quarters. When we decided to reform the economic structure, the whole country responded; when we decided to establish special economic zones, they were soon set up. We don't have to go through a lot of discussion and consultation, with one branch of government holding up another and decisions being made, but not carried out. From this point of view, our system is very efficient" (Deng Xiaoping to a Yugoslav diplomat in June 1987. Schell and Delury, 302).
"The United States brags about its political system. But politicians there say one thing during a presidential election, another after taking office, another at mid-term elections and still another with the approach of the next presidential election. . . . Compared with its policies, ours are very stable indeed" (Deng Xiaoping to visiting U.S. professor in June 1983. Schell and Delury, 302-03).
"Do not yield to the feelings for democracy. Democracy is only a means [to and end]" (Deng Xiaoping to Zhao Ziyang. Schell and Delury, 313).
Reflection on unit III:
Unit III feedback
Reflection on unit III:
Introducing Unit IV: