- Editor's Note
With this issue, I assume the position of Chief Editor of Twentieth-Century China. For more than a year, Chris Reed guided me through the process of editing, producing, and managing the journal, and we worked together on Volume 34. With this issue, Volume 35, Number 1, the training wheels are officially off, and these last months have made me appreciate all the more the skill, generosity, and hard work of Chris and his managing editor, Jessica Pliley. I would like to thank them for all they have done for the journal, and hope that I can continue the high standards of professionalism and scholarship that they have maintained.
I would also like to thank Marge Ryan-Atkinson, my managing editor, for helping me to climb the steep learning curve that has led to this issue. Thanks, too, to Saint Joseph's University, and particularly the College of Arts and Sciences and the James and Bernadette Nealis Program in Asian Studies for providing the support necessary for me to take on this position.
One other change takes effect with this issue: Huaiyin Li, of the University of Texas-Austin, joins our editorial board. Huaiyin has contributed many insightful reviews of submission in recent years, and his strength in economic history brings valuable expertise to the Board. My thanks-again-to Chris Reed for bringing Huaiyin on board, one of his last formal acts as Chief Editor.
This issue hangs together very well around the themes of identity and state formation, though with remarkably diverse approaches. Each of these four articles presents fresh insights by resisting clichés and bringing important new evidence to light. In this issue, we learn much about the questions surrounding the formation of the twentieth-century Chinese state from a variety of perspectives including law, journalism, geography, and politics.
Shao Dan looks at the roots of China's citizenship law in "Chinese by Defination: Nationality Law, Jus Sanguinis, and State Succession, 1909-1980." She finds that the Qing dynasty's choice of jus sanguinis-blood lineage-as the legal basis for citizenship in the empire had important ramifications for the Qing and its successor states, particularly as two of those states-the Republic of China and the People's Republic-made competing claims on citizens.
Citizenship is also central to Juan Wang's article, "Imagining Citizenship: The Shanghai Tabloid Press, 1897-1911," this time in terms of the social construction, political power, and education of citizens rather than their legal definition. Wang argues in addition to elite discourse on citizenship during this time period, there was a thriving discussion of the subject in the popular press, exemplified by Shanghai tabloids.
Justin Tighe, in "From Borderland to Heartland: The Discourse of the North-West in Early Republican China," focuses on discourse about China's physical boundaries. As Wang and Dan did in reference to ideas about citizenship, Tighe finds that ideas about China's geography played a crucial role as Chinese tried to envision their new state in the early twentieth century. Thinking about the frontier turns out to [End Page 2] be central, ironically, in crafting what it meant to be Chinese after the fall of the Qing.
In "Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Foreign Intervention and the Limiting of Fragmentation in the Late Qing and Early Republic, 1893 - 1922," Ja Ian Chong addresses the question, Why, given so many forces breaking it apart, did China not fragment into multiple states during the late Qing and early Republican periods? More important than the answers, he suggests that emphasizing the persistence of a single Chinese state, or its fractionalization, obscures important features of both domestic politics and international relations.
I think readers will find that these four articles "speak to" one another very well, and will help us nuance our thinking about what it meant to be China, or Chinese, in the twentieth century.
Finally, I would like to remind the readers that Twentieth-Century China is the affiliated publication of the Historical Society for Twentieth-Century China (HSTCC). Discounted subscriptions to the journal are included in membership to HSTCC, and I encourage you all to consider joining, which...