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Month: March 2016

A renewed look at “New Qing History”-Seeking the opportunity of discussion with U.S. scholars of Manchu

As an individual with Manchu and Sibe language skills and an interest in the development of Manchurology, I am following closely a situation in which two scholarly camps have engaged in a fight with virtually no results. One camp is comprised of scholars based in Taiwan and China, who adhere to the Chinese view that a major reason for the Qing Empire’s success in ruling China for approximately three centuries is the Sinicization of the Manchus. The “New Qing History” camp, which is led by American academia, however, dismisses that view as a reflection of Chinese chauvinism, but maintains that the Manchus had kept their Jurchen tradition firmly during their reign over China and that they behaved as foreign, not Chinese, rulers.   The core of the disputes lies in the term Sinicization. For example, when a Westerner reads a Qing history book, he or she may question the justification for Sinicization, or the “Chineseness,” of the Qing dynasty, as has long been the stance of official Chinese historiographers. These questions bring into doubt the Chinese orthodox view of non-Han minority rule of China.    On this issue, my tentative suggestion is to substitute the term “Hybridization” for Sinicization. The

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