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      Recalling Victory, Recounting Greatness: Second World War Remembrance in Xi Jinping's China

      The China Quarterly
      Cambridge University Press (CUP)

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          Abstract

          The recent surge in public remembrance of the Second World War in China has been substantially undergirded by a centrally planned and systematically implemented discursive shift which has remained overlooked in the literature. This study examines the revised official narrative by drawing on three cases from China's school curriculum, museums and formal diplomacy. It finds that the once dominant trope of “national victimization” no longer represents the main thrust in the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) rhetoric on the Second World War. Under Xi Jinping, this has been replaced by a self-assertive and aspirational narrative of “national victory” and “national greatness,” designed to enhance Beijing's legitimacy and advance its domestic and foreign policy objectives. By emphasizing national unity and CCP–KMT cooperation, the new narrative offers an inclusive and unifying interpretation of China's war effort in which the victory in 1945 has come to rival the 1949 revolution as the critical turning point towards “national rejuvenation.” The increasingly Sino-centric and centrally controlled narrative holds implicit warnings to those challenging Beijing's claim to greatness.

          摘要

          自习近平担任中国最高领导人以来,关于第二次世界大战,尤其是抗日战争的官方纪念活动在中国急速升温。中国对第二次世界大战的官方叙事也随之发生了极大的变化。但是,这些变化在很大程度上被学界所忽视。本研究从中国的中学历史教材、战史博物馆、以及正式外交中选取三个案例,着力分析中国对第二次世界大战在中央层面的叙事嬗变。通过研究发现, “民族受害”, 作为昔日的主导性修辞,已不能代表当前中国共产党对第二次世界大战的主流叙事。作为替代,一种以 “民族胜利” 和 “民族伟大” 为核心修辞的抱负型叙事正在被精心实施。其目的是夯实中国共产党的合法性并推进政策目标的实现。通过强调战时民族团结和国共合作,新的叙事为中国的战争努力提供了一个包容和统一的解释。在这样的叙事之中,1945 年抗战的最终胜利被赋予了与共产党 1949 年建立新中国同等的重要地位,被认为是 “民族复兴” 的关键历史转折点。这种日益以中国为中心且中央进行控制的二战叙事对那些挑战中国寻求伟大的势力发出了含蓄的警告。

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          Most cited references30

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                The China Quarterly
                The China Quarterly
                Cambridge University Press (CUP)
                0305-7410
                1468-2648
                December 2021
                June 29 2021
                December 2021
                : 248
                : 1
                : 1152-1173
                Article
                10.1017/S0305741021000497
                62c4f069-be1d-4d83-8521-ed9c06e369d8
                © 2021

                Free to read

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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