The Sextants of Beijing: Global Currents in Chinese History

The Sextants of Beijing: Global Currents in Chinese History

Joanna Waley-Cohen

Language: English

Pages: 331


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This powerful work puts to rest the long-held myth that Chinese civilization is monolithic, unchanging, and perennially cut off from the rest of the world.

An inviting history of China from the days of the ancient Silk Road to the present, this book describes a civilization more open and engaged with the rest of the world than we think. Whether in trade, religious belief, ideology, or technology, China has long taken part in fruitful exchange with other cultures. With implications for our understanding of and our policies toward China, this is a must read.

Chinese Literature (Introductions to Chinese Culture)

The Complete Biography of Chen Duxiu, Volume 1

Tao: The Watercourse Way

The Tragedy Of The Chinese Revolution

The Tectonics of China: Data, Maps and Evolution

Kinder Than Solitude
















people, 3, 7, 46, 57, 67, 94, 118, 125, 142, 159, 163, 192, 200, 212, 213, 214 Manchuria, 9, 163, 170, 225, 228, 232–34, 239, 248 Mandate of Heaven, 13–14, 60 Manichaeism, 34 Manila Galleons, 52 Mao Zedong, 8, 221, 235, 241, 243, 247, 249–56, 260, 262–65, 276, 279 Mao Zedong Thought, 255 maps, 2, 22, 30, 32, 43, 48, 50, 51, 71, 112–14, 149 Marcus Aurelius, 17 Martini, Martinus, 84–85 Marxism-Leninism, 214, 217, 218, 221, 241–42, 256 Mass Education Movement, 231–32, 239–40 mass

borders were as jagged as dogs’ teeth, drawing diagrams for them on the ground with an arrow; and calculated the flow of river water through a lock gate by multiplying the volume that flowed in a few seconds to get a figure for the whole day.4 The use of secular knowledge did not lead to large-scale Chinese conversion to Christianity. Apart from arousing suspicions among a number of Chinese about missionaries’ true intentions, another major disadvantage was that Jesuits tended to make science

fatally damaging their credibility as scientists, their reticence also cast doubt on the integrity of their religion and hence interfered with their ability to make conversions. The theories of the universe Europeans transmitted into China required the introduction of new elements of mathematics. These included Euclidean geometry, practical astronomy, written arithmetic, and plane and spherical trigonometry. As in the case of astronomy, the Jesuits withheld information about all the new

which worked well enough to kill pain and enhance their strength temporarily. Such impoverished addicts were exposed to double jeopardy because they imperiled their health not only through drug addiction as such but because they often spent what little money they had on opium rather than on food and became as a result severely undernourished. Opium use, then, had already spread to the Chinese lower classes by the early nineteenth century. But it became widespread only later. By the mid-1830s

powder; cartridges; breech-loading rapid-fire guns; giant coastal defense artillery; large-caliber artillery shells; and electrically detonated naval mines.5 These products, particularly the steamships and coastal defense weapons, left little doubt that the new weapons were intended to be used against outsiders as well as against rebels. Soon there were almost twenty new arsenals and shipyards across the country. Most were in treaty port areas, which gave them ready access to imported supplies

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