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As China reclaims its central role in the world, Robert Bickers appeals to Britons and others in the West to take account of the legacy left by the country’s difficult 19th century.

G.D. Sheppard uncovers three audacious and previously unknown fabrications by an English sinologist, which threatened to rock Britain’s diplomatic relations with China in the 1930s.

Volume: 64 Issue: 3 2014

Some commentators predict that the 21st century will be the ‘Asian century’, marking a significant shift in power from West to East. If so, it will not be so different from the global order of the 19th century, says Thomas DuBois.

Volume: 63 Issue: 3 2013

The cold but continuing conflict between China and Japan is the subject of sustained attention from scholars, says Jonathan Fenby.

Volume: 63 Issue: 9 2013

Jonathan Fenby looks at a brief experiment in Chinese democracy, brought to an end by political assassination one hundred years ago this month.

Volume: 63 Issue: 3 2013

Roger Hudson tells the story behind a moment of violence in 1923 outside China's Forbidden City in Peking.

Volume: 63 Issue: 8 2013

Gyanesh Kudaisya considers how the Sino-Indian war of 1962 has shaped relations between Asia’s two largest nations.

Volume: 62 Issue: 11 2012

Jonathan Fenby on the long history behind the rapid demise of one of the brightest lights in China’s political firmament.

Volume: 62 Issue: 6 2012

The cityscapes of the world’s most populous nation are expanding at a bewildering rate. But China’s current embrace of urban life has deep roots in its past, as Toby Lincoln explains.

Volume: 62 Issue: 8 2012

Roger Hudson reveals a big splash: Chairman Mao photographed attempting to swim the River Yangtze in July 1966.

Volume: 62 Issue: 5 2012

Japan flexed its muscles and launched a full-scale invasion of China following an incident on July 7th, 1937.

Volume: 62 Issue: 7 2012

Julia Lovell reappraises Leslie Marchant’s article on the Opium Wars, first published in History Today in 2002.

Volume: 62 Issue: 6 2012

The legacy of the Great Helmsman is the source of bitter conflict over China’s future direction, argues Tim Stanley.

Volume: 62 Issue: 8 2012

Robert Bickers looks at an emerging archive of British photo albums that record both the drama of the 1911 revolution and the surprisingly untroubled daily lives of those who witnessed it.

Volume: 61 Issue: 10 2011

As China reclaims its central role in the world, Robert Bickers appeals to Britons and others in the West to take account of the legacy left by the country’s difficult 19th century.

Volume: 61 Issue: 3 2011

In the late 1890s Herbert Hoover, the future 31st President of the United States, took his new bride to Tianjin in north China to pursue his career as a geologist. Hal Wert describes how the couple became embroiled in the violent uprising that broke out in the summer of 1900.

Volume: 61 Issue: 9 2011

The historical roots of the dispute between China and Japan over control of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands reveal a great deal about the two countries’ current global standing, says Joyman Lee.

Volume: 61 Issue: 5 2011

Russel Tarr compares and contrasts the rise to power of two Communist leaders.

Issue: 69 2011

Jonathan Fenby argues that the failings of China's 1911 revolution heralded decades of civil conflict, occupation and suffering for the Chinese people.

Volume: 61 Issue: 10 2011

Frank Dikötter looks at how historians’ understanding of China has changed in recent years with the gradual opening of party archives that reveal the full horror of the Maoist era.

Volume: 60 Issue: 11 2010

Though they originated in China, it was in the capitals of early modern Europe that fireworks flourished. They united art and science in awesome displays of poltical might, as Simon Werrett explains.

Volume: 60 Issue: 11 2010

Richard Cavendish commemorates the traumatic but ultimately victorious march of Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communists.

Volume: 60 Issue: 10 2010

The year 2009 sees a remarkable coincidence of anniversaries that tell the history of modern China. Some will be celebrated by the authorities on a grand scale, others will be wilfully ignored, but all reveal important aspects of the country’s past, as Jonathan Fenby explains.

Volume: 59 Issue: 6 2009

Richard Cavendish remembers the events of December 4th, 1959.

Volume: 59 Issue: 12 2009

The Mongolian past has been drawn by both sides into twentieth-century disputes between Russia and China, writes J.J. Saunders.


Asya Chorley describes the relationship between China, Britain and Tibet in the early twentieth century, and shares the unique experiences of the first European women to be invited to Lhasa by the XIII Dalai Lama.

Volume: 58 Issue 7 2008

The Dowager Empress of China, Tzu-hsi, died on November 15th, 1908, after ruling China for almost fifty years.

Volume: 58 Issue: 11 2008

The treaties that ended the first part of the second Opium War were signed on June 26th and 27th, 1858.

Volume: 58 Issue 6 2008

Michael Loewe looks at the dynastic, administrative and intellectual background of the Qin empire, which defined how China would be run for more than 2,000 years, and at the life and achievements of the First Emperor Shi Huangdi, one of the greatest state-builders of history, whose tomb was guarded by the famous terracotta army.

Volume: 57 Issue: 9 2007

Author and journalist Jonathan Fenby explains what started him on an endless journey of exploration into China’s past.

Volume: 57 Issue: 11 2007

China and Rome were the two great economic superpowers of the Ancient World. Yet their empires were separated by thousands of miles of inhospitable terrain, dramatically reducing the opportunities for direct communication. Raoul McLaughlin investigates.


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