Professor Rana Mitter FBA, Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China, University of Oxford
‘How China’s wartime past is changing its future’
Recorded at the British Academy Soirée, Tuesday 28 June 2016
Beijing’s policies continue to dominate the news in the Asia-Pacific region. Will China and Japan clash in the seas of East Asia? Will China be able to implement social welfare policies that will calm dissent and social unrest? Why did it take so long for China to become such a major power? One unexpected but crucial story that helps illuminate these different questions is the wrenching history of China’s experience during World War II, in the epic war against Japan from 1937 to 1945. Over 14 million Chinese died and some 80 million became refugees during those years. This talk explores how the battered China of wartime became today’s superpower in the making – and why.