China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
Focusing on transnational encounters during China's War of Resistance, this panel attests to the conflict's connections with the global Second World War. The papers move beyond existing studies of China's bilateral political and military relations with Japan and major Western powers, which have largely narrated the war from a nation-centered perspective. Spanning from the early 1930s until Japan's surrender, the papers employ new multi-sited archival research to address previously unexplored social and cultural dimensions of the conflict: international mobilisation strategies, the fight for infrastructural control, an alliance-building initiative with unintended consequences, and the dilemmas and opportunities offered by a neutral enclave. Ke Ren traces the emergence of a transnational United Front through the Jiuguo shibao. Edited and published in Moscow, Paris and New York, this newspaper facilitated the emergence of a transnational Chinese united front against fascism, which interacted with the formation of popular fronts in mid-1930s Europe. Shuge Wei explores the battle between Western companies and Chinese and Japanese authorities over control of China's cable telegraph. Zach Fredman provides a fresh look at Sino-American relations through the analysis of the Chinese government's program for hosting American soldiers during the war. Finally, Helena Lopes probes how the war fostered educational prosperity in Portuguese-administered Macau with the relocation of schools from mainland China and Hong Kong. Taken together, these papers add to the historiography of China’s War with Japan by stressing its transnational significance, showing how the war reshaped China's interactions with the world at various state and non-state levels.