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Québec and China during the first half of the twentieth century

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Québec and China during the first half of the twentieth century

Granger, Serge (2002) Québec and China during the first half of the twentieth century. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

China has attracted foreign merchants, intellectuals, diplomats, soldiers, and missionaries. Québec experience in China during the first half of the twentieth century involved a range of people who witnessed the substantial social and political transformation of China. Their comments on China provided Québec with a window on the world and enriched awareness of China in Québec. Québec's China experience challenges the view that Québec was isolated before the so-called Quiet Revolution. Missionaries were the predominant Québec group that had contact with China in the first half of the twentieth century. Their experience in China was particularly interesting because it impacted on a great majority of Québec students, who were offered an image of China as a nation in need of rejuvenation. Christianity was to provide the morality needed to overcome China's national despair. Chinese governments were traditionally secular and subordinated religion to state power. By encompassing three different stages of Chinese history (imperial, republican and communist), the thesis provides an overview of Québec's experience in China despite significant changes in the Chinese political framework. It also provides a better understanding on how China dealt with foreigners. The Chinese attempt to adopt a modern form of government represents the application of a new state structure to a very large number of people, perhaps the greatest ever. The study is divided into four parts detailing the stages of Québec involvement in China. The first part examines early encounters between Québec and China and how the republican revolution of 1912 encouraged the arrival of Québec missionaries in China. The second part focuses on the republican period (1912-1937) characterized by warlords and political instability in China. Québec missionaries distrusted the Guomindang and did not see the unification of China under the new political party as feasible. Québec missionaries believed that China's republicans were spiritually impaired and incapable of dealing with democratic reforms. The third part details Québec involvement in wartime China (1937-1949). Québec comments reveal an interesting evaluation of the Chinese government under Japanese control. The final part argues that the communist takeover of China forced Québec to disengage from China for political and religious reasons. Zhou Enlai's (1905-1976) support for the religious Three-Self movement fostered the nationalization of religion with the creation of the Chinese Patriotic Church (1957), seen as schismatic by Québec missionaries. As for impact, Québec Catholic missionaries pressured the Canadian government not to recognize China during the Cold War. Sources consist mainly of Québec missionary periodicals and archives, which are quite voluminous. Secular sources (governmental, academic, and journalistic) have also been consulted to reconstruct Québec's secular vision of China. Other sources reflect the multi-faceted nature of Québec experience in China and a deep admiration for the Chinese world and its ability to assimilate foreign influence and revive.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Granger, Serge
Pagination:vii, 306 leaves : map ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:History
Date:2002
Thesis Supervisor(s):Singer, Martin
ID Code:2170
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:25
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:25
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