Why A Chinese Government Think Tank Attacked American Scholars

May 21, 2015

Reported by Frank Langfitt

The think tank's article says professors are miscasting the history of the country's Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). That's big for the Communist Party, which is invested in history — and who interprets it.

"Last month, a Chinese government think tank bashed history professors from Harvard, Georgetown and other leading American universities regarding things they wrote — at least 15 years ago — about events that occurred more than two centuries ago..."How could something so arcane become so political?" says Mark Elliott, a Harvard professor who also got slammed. For the answer, look no further than George Orwell's novel 1984: "He who controls the past, controls the future.""

Read the full article here.

Read Professor Elliot's blog post "Putting Things Into Context" in response to retired historian Li Zhiting of the Jilin Academy of Social Sciences' article  “Scholars evaluate the ‘New Qing History’: ‘A Specimen of “New Imperialist” Historiography’” [学者评“新清史”:“新帝国主义”史学标本] at The Director's Blog, where he blogs in his position as Director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.