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In Defense of Sinicization: A Rebuttal of Evelyn Rawski's "Reenvisioning the Qing"

Ping-Ti Ho
The Journal of Asian Studies
Vol. 57, No. 1 (Feb., 1998), pp. 123-155
DOI: 10.2307/2659026
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2659026
Page Count: 33
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In Defense of Sinicization: A Rebuttal of Evelyn Rawski's "Reenvisioning the Qing"
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Abstract

Ping-Ti Ho takes issue with Evelyn S. Rawski's presidential address on "Reenvisioning the Qing" (JAS, 54, 4, 1996), which used Ho's article on "The Significance of the Ch'ing Period in Chinese History" (JAS, 26, 2, 1967) as a point of departure to propose a new emphasis on the importance of China's "cultural links with non-Han peoples of Inner Asia" and to reject the "sinicization thesis." Ho contends that Rawski has distorted his "macrohistorical perspective" in which multiethnic empire-building and systematic sinicization were the two mainstays of the whole Ch'ing policy structure; they were complementary to each other and not conflicting factors. He argues that sinicization is an unending process that far transcends the narrow confines of interethnic relations and embraces the evolution of the whole Chinese civilization. A rejection of the sinicization theme, in his view, is almost tantamount to rejecting Chinese history and civilization. takes issue with Evelyn S. Rawski's presidential address on "Reenvisioning the Qing" (JAS, 54, 4, 1996), which used Ho's article on "The Significance of the Ch'ing Period in Chinese History" (JAS, 26, 2, 1967) as a point of departure to propose a new emphasis on the importance of China's "cultural links with non-Han peoples of Inner Asia" and to reject the "sinicization thesis." Ho contends that Rawski has distorted his "macrohistorical perspective" in which multiethnic empire-building and systematic sinicization were the two mainstays of the whole Ch'ing policy structure; they were complementary to each other and not conflicting factors. He argues that sinicization is an unending process that far transcends the narrow confines of interethnic relations and embraces the evolution of the whole Chinese civilization. A rejection of the sinicization theme, in his view, is almost tantamount to rejecting Chinese history and civilization.

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