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Conducting Research on Chinese Radicalism in the French Archives by Marilyn A. Levine From secret police reports to captured Chinese documents, the archives in France hold many useful materials both in Paris and the provinces. One does not have to have a high level of French linguistic ability to conduct research in the French archives, but one does have to have a willingness to pursue the sources in several locations, and reach into unsuspecting dossiers. This research note will briefly discuss a few of the French archives, their range of sources and give some examples of the materials to be found in these archives. There are several reasons to explore French archives, and not only because of the celebrity of many Chinese who went to Europe such as Zhou Enlai, Chen Yi, Deng Xiaoping, Zhu De, Li Lisan, LiFuchun, Li Weihan, Xiao San, Xiang Jingyu, Cai Hesen, Nie Rongzhen, Liu Bojian,Zeng Qi, Li Huang, Chen Qitian, WangSonglu, Zheng Yanfen, Rua Lin and many others. In addition to the European Branches of the Chinese Communist Party (ECCO), there were also four other Chinese political parties· on European soil founded in the early 1920's: the European Branch of the Guomindang (EGMD); the Chinese Youth Party (Qingniandang, or QND), the Anarchist Party (Gongyushe or GYS), and the Chinese Social Democratic Party (SDP). There were also other movements and organizations on the radical right and left which are worth' exploring, such as the Young Catholic groups and the Chinese Labor Battalions. The students at the Sino-French Institute in Lyons have left almost 500 dossiers and some very rare collections of publications from the 1920s and 1930s. One could conduct a very intensive survey of the intellectual, social and political impact of the West on China from these several vantage points. 1 In this article I will discuss the Archives Nationales (Paris) ·and the colonial section (Archives Nationales-Section d'Outre-mer, Aix-en-Provence) as examples of the richn-ess of this source. As a part of the work for a book in progress, The Chinese Guomindang in Europe: A Sourcebook of Translations,-in collaboration with Chen San-ching (Academia Sinica), several archives in Asia and Europe were used.2 Introduction to the Archives Nationales(AN, Paris) - The Archives Nationales are located on 11 rue des Quatres Fils-75003 Paris [Tel: 40-27-6519 or 40-27-65-20]; These archives are administered by the Centre D'accueil et REPUBLICAN CHINA, 22.2 (April 1997): 93-102 94 Republican China de Recherche des Archives Nationales (C.A.R.A.N.), which is an office to the right when one enters the building. Although the reading room is open from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., one must order their documents by 4:00 p.m. If one does not finish with their documents they may be reserved for the following day. One may search and order documents by a computer in a room within the.reading room, which is also staffed by a reference librarian who can aid the researcher. The documents are delivered to a main reference desk, and there are many tables where the researchers can find a spot to place their research materials. Most of the tables are equipped with electrical outlets for portable computers. The AN is closed on all legal holiday.s, the 15th of July, and on Saturdays throughout August until the 15th of September. The staff of the AN are helpful, but not particularly focused on the area of China; however, there are numerous index and catalogues . The AN is very convenient to conduct research as there are metro stops within close walking distance. In terms of materials relevant to the researcher on modem China, there is a 'special collection of documents on the Chinese worker-students that had been stored in the Alliance Fran<;aise for decades, and finally donated to the ERESS, Centre Chine, where they were organized and catalogued through the painstaking efforts of Genevieve Barman and Nicole Dulioust. These documents are catalogued with the regular archives in the AN Reading room, but one needs written permission from the Director of the EHESS to gain access to them. Once permission is on file, the regular ordering fiche are used to ask for the specific cartons.3 There are literally hundreds of dossiers, including sources ranging from school catalogues to signed loan statements, factory and school name lists, and attempts at placement. But the seemingly benign can have great utility. For example, one can trace early addresses left on loan receipts or school and factory listings, in box after box of materials. In addition, the Archives Nationales contains other special collections, such as Affaires Politiques. To our knowledge , Nora Wang was the first to cite two particularly useful dossiers in this "F7" series.4 These documents contain some of the earliest surveillance of Deng Xiaoping, the police report on Wang Jingqi, confiscated letters, reports, Overseas GMD election ballots, telegrams, newspaper articles on the Chinese radical activities, and Siirete reports. The Archives Nationales-Section d'Outre-Mer (A OM, Aix-enProvence )5 The AOM are located at 29 Chemin du Moulin Detesta, 13090, Aixen -Provence, France; [tel: 42-26-43-21]. The archives itself is called, Centre Archives D'Outre-Mer Des Archives Nationales [C.A.O.M.]. They are open during the week, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The Conducting Research on Chinese Radicalism 95 archives are closed for two weeks around the 14th of July and during regular national holidays. Between 11:30 and 1:30 one may not order documents. The archives consist of several index/catalogue rooms, a main reading room, and a reference desk where one can give one's requests for documents or ask for aid. The librarians at the AOM are helpful and because of the nature of the archives are knowledgeable about Asia and Africa, although they are a bit surprised when you mention your focus is China. There are not many- hotels near· the archives, which are across the street from the University of Aix-en-Provence, but it is very pleasant to stay in the city itself, which is about a 20 minute walk from the archives through a lovely park. Though it may appear astonishing, perhaps the highest quantity and utility of documents pertinent to Chinese political activities are to be found in these colonial archives. There are useful collections such as Affaires Politiques or Indochine that are relevant, for example, to late nineteenth-century commercial studies, the 1911 Revolution, and overseas Chinese.6 For the study of Chinesepolitics the collection,Seroice de Liaison avec des Originaires des Territoires de la France Outre-Mer· (SLOTFOM) includes material ranging from carton after carton of handwritten notes by secret agents to captured documents in the original Chinese. This collection is literally a treasure-trove of information. SLOTFOM has been used by scholars of Vietnam, particularly in the works of William Duiker, David Marr, Huynh Kim Khanh, and Hue-Tam Ho Tai.? The SLOTFOM collection includes reports on all overseas political activity that may have affected French colonial possessions, and one finds the world literally covered by monthly reports on revolutionary propaganda and activity abroad. In addition to other assessments and collected materials, one can gain a very broad view of events. For example, in the year 1927 one finds information on the respective visits to China by Jacques Doriot (PCF) and Albert Thomas (SFIO), analyses of the political situation in China, French translations of the documents captured in the Soviet Embassy during the raid in Beijing, tracking of the Northern Expedition, with photostats of Jiang Jieshi's letters to Vietnamese comrades and photos of the Huangpu cadets, and so forth. It is not difficult to get access to a reader's card for the AN or the AOM. The Archives Nationales has an application center, as mentioned above, and one pays a fee ranging from 50 to 100 francs for a reader's card (Carte de lecture). There is no fee for the AOM reader card. Researchers should be prepared with some proof of affiliation (From the scholar's own institution, or from the AHA, which will always provide an introduction letter), a curriculum vitae, several 96 Republican China small photographs, and a short summary of the project. You may be asked why that collection is important to your work. The staff will introduce you to the appropriate indexes or catalogues (the SLOTFOM index is behind the desk, for example), and they will answer your questions quite cordially. Remember to take note of time limits to order materials, times to photocopy materials, and limitations on numbers of cartons/dossiers per day. Long-term photocopying is available for large amounts of needed material. Another procedure to discover is to save for the following day a carton on whose materials you want to take notes. Notebook computers are allowed, but you must check your personal effects in a locker (AOM) or at a check-in room (AN). The materials that can be found in these collections truly show us many facets of Eastern and Western mentalities. One is able to see the reality of implementing colonialism, what colonialism does to perception of self and others, and the effect and behavior on those who are radicalized. Original documents in various languages (for many Asian and African, and also some American nationals ), even restaurant menus can be found in these collections. There are also extensive photograph and map collections, which are systematically catalogued. The following tables from the two collections: SLOTFOM andlndochine in the AOM will express something of the depth and variety of these collections (see Tables 1 and 2). TABLE 1. Archives Nationales - Section d'Outre-Mer: SLOTFOM Collection Database Keywords.8 Car- Dos- Affiliation Keyword Activity Keyword Keyword / Comment ton sier V 48 EGMD Propaganda Zheng Yanfen/Zhongshan journal IV Religious Religious Activity Pastor Picket, 7th Day Organization Adventist IV Religious General Father Lebbe, Lazariste Organization Organization III 141 United Front French Political Jiang Jieshi .(1927) captured Analysis documents III 141 United Front Translations Zhang Zuolin III 141 Indochinese French Police Le Duc Thuyet Action III 141 ECCO French Hamburg Surveillance III 141 ECCO French Marseilles Surveillance Conducting Research on Chinese Radicalism 97 TABLE 1. (Cont.d): Car- Dos- Affilration Keyword Activity Keyword Keyword / Comment ton sier II 6 EGMD French Leon (agent notes) Surveillance III 10 Huangpu Mil. Acad. Anti-colonialism Jiang Jieshi (Photos/letters) V 48 ECCO Translations Chiguang (1930) III 10 CCP French Li Lisan (1929-31) , maps Surveillance V 43 QND Propaganda Xiansheng (1930) V 43 EGMD Propaganda Sanmin (1929) V 43 EGMD Propaganda Guomin (1927+) III 4 Indochinese French Desire (agent notes) Surveillance III 12 Indochinese French Challaye Surveillance III 12 Anti"Japanese group Demonstration Sino-Japanese War III 29 French Organization Propaganda Barres, Jouvenel III 29 Indochinese French Colonial Commission Surveillance III 21 Revol utionary Feminist Guangdong Organization Organizing V 48 GMD Translations Tahiti III 84 Revolutionary Propaganda Bolshevism Organization III 84 Revol utionary Propaganda Colonial Section, Organization L'Humanite III 84 Revolutionary Propaganda Guangdong (1922-23) Organization III 69 Revol utionary French Surete Reports Organization Surveillance III 69 Revolutionary Chinese situation Yunnan (1924-28) Organization III 69 GMD French Political Wang Jingwei (1927) Analysis III 69 United Front French Political Ideology (1925-27) Analysis III 47 ECCO Labor Organizing Sailors, Hamburg III 47 CCP General Political M.N. Roy (letters, 1923) Analysis 98 Republican China TABLE 1. (Coot.d): Car- Dos- Affiliation Keyword Activity Keyword Keyword / Comment ton sier III . 92 European Organization Propaganda Chinese Information Bureau (London) VIII 6 EGMD Propaganda Marseilles (1932) III 92 European Anti -colonialism Sheng Cheng (1927) Organization III 115 Huangpu Mil. Acad. Chinese situation Sino- Vietnamese (1930) III 116 Indochinese Anti-Japanese Cochinchina (1937) Activity III 67 EGMD General Political Yi Guangyi Organizing III 67 European Political Meeting Sheng Cheng Organizastion VIII 10 Revolutionary French Communist International Organization Surveillance (1928-30) V 38 French Organization Propaganda Shanghai V 40 Indochinese Propaganda Lao Dong (1928-30) VIII 6 EGMD Anti-Japanese Marseilles (1932) Activity V 38 French Organization Propaganda CGT, R. Louzan VIII 4 Revolutionary French Politi cal Yunnan (1929-30) Organization . Analysis VIII 3 Revolutionary French Germany, Bauer (1929) Organization Surveillance VIII 3 CCP French Japan (1930) Surveillance VIII 9 Military Organization Red Base Area Mao Zedong VIII 4 Youth Organization French Political Sino-French Educational Analysis Assoc. VIII 4 Indochinese French ~uhen Ai Quoc (Ho Chi Surveillance In ) VIII 4 EGMD Political Meeting Xia Ting, Radical, (1927) VIII 6 EGMD Uprising 1933 Appeal VIII 4 Sino-French Institute French Political Le~ine, Sino-French Inst. Analysis (1 22) VIII 4 Worker Organization Sino-French Li Shizeng Relations VIII 4 Worker Organization Labor Organizing Assoc. des Travailleurs Chinois VIII 4 United Front Political Meeting Xia Ting (1927) Conducting Research on Chinese Radicalism 99 TABLE 1. (Cont.d): Car- Dos- Affiliation Keyword Activity Keyword Keyword / Comment ton sier I 9 Indochinese French Vincent (agent notes) Surveillance II 14 Revolutionary French Nguyen Ai Quoc Organization Surveillance III 86 CCP Propaganda Liu Yen Chin, Communist International (1923) III 86 CCP French Political SunYatsen (1923), Hu Shi Analysis VIII 6 EGMD Anti-J apanese 81 rue Monge, left faction Activity (1931) III 14 Revolutionary French Note sur la propagande Organization Surveillance III 144 EGMD Demonstration Wang Jingwei (1929) III 144 EGMD Political Meeting Ninth Congress, Doriot III 144 ECCO Demonstration Ren Zhuoxuan (1925) III 145 ECCO French Police Xia Ting,expulsion (1927) Action III 144 EGMD Political Meeting Fou Ta Tsai (1926) III 144 EGMD French Overseas Bureau Surveillance III 144 ECCO Political Meeting Marty (1925) III 144 ECCO Political Meeting Deng Xiaoping (1926) III 145 French Organization Political Meeting Challaye III 145 EGMD Political Meeting Valliant-Couturier (1928) III 63 EGMD Political Meeting Valliant-Couturier (1925) VIII 6 GMD French Indochina (1933), EGMD Surveillance left TABLE 2. Archives Nationales - Section d'Outre-Mer: Indochine Collection. Database Keywords Carton 20075 22470 22444 22448 Keyword/Comment Sun Yatsen , 1900-13 Immigration 1905-0fficial Visit Arrest of a Chinese 100 TABLE 2. (Cont'd.): Carton 22454 22459 22482 22480 20465 20333 20341 20072 20091 20094 20095 20076 20073 20071 20068 56297 38642 20122 20124 56000 24958 20119 23002 5631 40406 20516 20132 20132 50950 18277 20333 24703 23956 22452 Republican China Keyword/Comment Boxer Rebellion-Political Reports (1899-1900) Triad Society (1903) Gutrey, issue of renumeration (1900) 1908 - Expulsions Sun Yatsen (1912) 1908-Surveillance notes 1908-Assassination Li Zhuofeng-Supporter of Sun Yatsen Li King Hi, Vice-Roy of Yunnan (1909-11) Marquis of Zeng (1909) Hsia Hsien Fou- Yunnan Foreign Afffairs (1910-11) Liang Saoxian-Revolutionary Wang Wenzhen-1911 expulsions Tang Mou Han (Deng Muhan) (1913) Arrests Gaston Wang Wang Pei Lin 1910-Chinese Revolution 1910-Chinese Revolution Sun Yatsen (1900) Sun Yatsen (1906) Sun Yatsen (1910) 1897-Girard suicide 1898-76 Chinese arrested Sun Yatsen (1923) opium & arms trade Sino-French relations Espionage (1927) Indochina and Chinese Hu Hanmin (1912-13) Phan Thiet-Chinese Railroad workers Indochina-eercles Chinois (registered guilds, 1880s and 1890s) 1909-Chinese reformers 1908-Weapons Conducting Research on Chinese Radicalism 101 The above are just two representative databases on materials of interest to Chinese radicalism. Alth0ugh the British archives are more organized in their indexing system, one often finds materials have been cut to save room in the storage areas. On the other hand, although the French may not have a systematic listing of everything in all the dossiers, everything has been preserved for successivegenerations (often in quadruplicate). One of the difficulties is that the Chinese transliterations are often difficult to interpret, although there are times when they are accompanied by characters. But this is more than compensated for by the fact that sometimes Chinese materials, letters, newspapers and handbills , are seemingly stuck in the file for posterity without understanding their significance, and at other times they are translated word for word into French. In any case, persistent researchers will not be disappointed in their search for treasure . Although I have not had the opportunity to go through all the archives in France, 1suspect the Marseilles area would also hold revealing materials, as. would other European countries. For example, Hamburg and Rotterdam were important loci of radicalization for Chinese sailors. Finally, another advantage of research in foreign archives is that as the scholarly community becomes more unified through shared databases and internet communication,. scholars have an increasing opportunity to expand their understanding of international scholarly trends as well as to push the boundaries of Chinese scholarship to a new level of linkage and scope. Marilyn A. Levine teaches Asian history at Lewis-Clark State College, Lewiston, Idaho. Notes 1For ahistory of the Chinese in France during the 1920ssee,Marilyn A. Levine, The Found Generation: Chinese Communists in Europe During the Twenties (Seattle : University of Washington Press, 1993). 2 Other archives and collections utilized for the seventy-two documents in this project were from.the Qinghua CCP archives (Beijing), the Shanghai GMD archives at Yangmingshan (Taibei, Taiwan), Public Record Office, (London), Archives du Ministere·des Affaires Etrangeres (AAE, Paris), Ecoles des Hautes Etudes. en Sciences Sociales, Centre de Recherches et de Documentation sur la Chine Contemporaine (EHESS, "Centre Chine," Paris), Archives de l' Association 102 Republican China Universitaire Franco-Chinoise (AAUFC, Lyons), and the Bibliotheque Municipale de Lyons (Lyons). All the collections are discussed in our book's "General Introduction ." For a general introduction to this area see: Marilyn A. Levine and Chen Sanching , "Communist-Leftist Control of the European Branch of the Guomindang, 1923-1927" Modern China 22:1 (January, 1996): 62-92. 30ne needs written permission from the EHESS Director explicitly stating that the researcher not only has access to this collection, but that he or she may photocopy and photograph the documents. The EHESS is located at the following address: Centre de Recherches et de Documentation sur la Chine Contemporaine, 54 blvd. Raspail, 75270 Paris CEDEX 06 France. 4Nora Wang, "Da Chen Lu! Le Mouvement du 30 mai 1925 a Paris," Approches-Asie 7 (1983): 1-33. These two dossiers are numbered, F712900 and F713438. 5 Admission to these archives is not difficult and there are useful catalogue rooms and several indexes. In the AN ordering is done by computer, but in the AOM one fills out a card for each ordered carton. Photocopying is controlled and has pagination number restrictions. Unless marked by some chronological restriction, access to all materials is easy and available the same day. Even restricted materials are open to a written appeal to the proper authorities. 6 The Indochine collection, in particular, has been utilized for Chinese research, see J. Kim Munholland, "The French Connection that Failed: France and Sun Yatsen, 1900-1908," Journal of Asian Studies (November 1972): 77-95; and Jeffrey G. Barlow, Sun Yat-sen and the French, 1900-1908. There are other valuable collections , such as a whole classification of documents devoted to the Vichy correspondence with Hanoi [Affaires Politiques]. It seems highly probable that this would include information on Wang Jingwei and his collaboration with the Japanese. 7 William J. Duiker, The Rise of Nationalism in Vietnam, 1900-1941 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1976); David Marr, Vietnamese Anticolonialism (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1971); Huynh Kim Khanh, Vietnamese Communism , 1925-1945 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1982); and Hue-Tam Ho Tai, Radicalism and the Origins of the Vietnamese Revolution (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992). 8 This is taken from my original database entries, which did not include accent marks on the French words or Vietnamese transliterations of the French words. ...

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ISSN
1940-5065
Print ISSN
1521-5385
Pages
pp. 93-102
Launched on MUSE
2021-05-25
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No
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