How China's memory of WWII evolved from victim to hero


Manage episode 281084013 series 2132691
By Amsterdam & Partners LLP and Partners LLP. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

For much of China's history, the Communist Party leadership sought to portray the country's experience in World War II as that of a victim of Japan. But now, as China grows much more powerful and influential, the historical memory is also adapting to tell a different story.

This week we are joined by Rana Mitter, a professor of history at Oxford University, who is the author of "China's Good War: How World War II Is Shaping a New Nationalism."

Mitter's book argues that China’s reassessment of the World War II years is central to its newfound confidence abroad and to mounting nationalism at home. These arguments, which include the promotion of China's role in creating the postwar global order, are reinforced by stronger efforts of public memory of the war, including museums, movies and television shows, street art, popular writing, and social media. Through these lens, "Wartime China" emerges as victor rather than victim.

This reinterpretation of history has both positive and negative impacts on China's ability to conduct diplomacy under growing nationalism.

81 episodes