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  • Higher Education Press (China) x

Ma Xili

Resorting to the immensely state-centric international legal system to regulate corporate human rights abuses is often viewed as inadequate. Among many proposals aiming at filling the international regulatory gaps, imposing international human rights obligations directly on corporations is a bold one, which, due to profound doctrinal and practical challenges, is yet to be materialized. However, state-owned enterprises (SOEs), given their prima facie “state–business nexus” that blurs the traditional public–private divide, might provide a renewed opportunity to push forward the “direct international corporate accountability” campaign. This study investigates whether SOEs represent a golden chance for direct corporate accountability in the international legal regime. This study provides a legal analysis supported by case law, and by comparative and empirical research when appropriate. After providing a definitional account of SOEs, it examines the legal status of SOEs under international law. Then, in the reverse direction, it proceeds to explore if the state–business nexus of SOEs as non-state actors could render the argument toward direct international corporation accountability more convincing. Major findings reveal that SOEs, to a limited extent, represent a renewed opportunity to rethink direct corporate accountability under international law.

Xudong Zhang

The paper examines the ways in which memory is constructed in Lu Xun’s writings, above all his essay (zawen) by means of an artistic staging of its antagonism with forgetting. The author emphasizes the primacy of forgetting, as opposed to recollection conventionally understood, as the centrality of Lu Xun’s stressful, tragic principle of memory. The author argues that, by turning to forgetting as a register of and formal-spatial space for historical and political content, Lu Xun puts his signature stylistic maneuvers and mannerisms in full display. Hence, “memory for the sake of forgetting” must be understood literally, that is, as forgetting functioning as a heightened and intensified form of social protest, albeit in modernistic rather than realistic terms; and through this pressurized and agonistic inner space of convoluted temporality. Furthermore, the author seeks to show that forgetting also serves a representational function that goes hand-in-hand with Lu Xun’s zawen as poetics and chronicle all at once. In Lu Xun’s writing of reminiscence, that which fails to be repressed into silence, despair and oblivion roars back from the depth of an existential void, and reorganizes historical experiences of chaos and danger into a more powerful and intimate encasement and mimesis of reality. Thus, in Lu Xun, a modernist intervention into nothingness makes palpable history’s own structure of conflict, oppression and impasse which simultaneously stands for a metaphysics of defiance and hope.

Rina Marie Camus

The late Zhou of China and the Classical age of Greece both saw great impetus in intellectual thought and were marked by intense warfare. Being closely linked to warfare in antiquity, sports was a vital, commonplace activity whose jargon and practices naturally informed philosophical discourses. One can thus observe convergences between athletics and ethics in texts which took shape in these times and places, a phenomenon which I shall refer to as “athl-ethics.” In this paper, I separately examine and then compare athl-ethic phenomenon in Mencius and in the Nicomachean Ethics. Both texts are rife with sports metaphors. I regard the use of sports-derived imagery as a thin form of athl-ethicism. Sports, however, did more than inspire useful analogies. Physical training and competition were considered occasions for nourishing and practicing virtue. This generated thicker forms of athl-ethicism.

Huan Jin

The publication of The Taiping Heavenly Chronicle (Taiping tianri) in 1862 marks a critical moment in the development of the Taiping propaganda machine. Printed with copper plate printing technology that evinces imperial authority, this text is the only official history written by the Taipings in their quest to institute an overarching narrative of the movement. A systematic description of the origin and nature of the Taiping movement, The Taiping Heavenly Chronicle aims to establish Hong Xiuquan as the sole religious and political leader after the internecine Tianjing Incident (1856), which radically restructured the Taiping leadership. Using imagery, popular literary tropes, and narrative devices, this text incorporates the heterogeneous elements found in the Christian-inspired Taiping discourse to rewrite thousands of years of Chinese history.

Guanglin Qiaozi

With the development of the international community, public morals have attracted increasing attention from states. Nevertheless, the “public morals” exception clause in Article XX(a) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is hardly invoked by state parties as a distinct basis for trade-restrictive measures. The EC-Seal Product dispute is the first case in which the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) considered this issue, after which it addressed the issue in the Columbia-Textiles and the Brazil-Taxation disputes. This article aims to analyze the kinds of public morals that can be justified while implementing trade-restrictive measures. It proposes that the human rights standard is a significant moral concern and that human rights law and trade law may be integrated. The article also addresses the question on the procedures that should be followed in applying Article XX(a) to avoid abuse. It concludes that Article XX(a) attaches intrinsic importance to striking a balance between trade liberalization and state sovereignty, for which it must be reserved in the GATT.

Xin Zhang

Academic and popular accounts of the Opium War have gone through nearly two centuries of change in focus, view, and scope. My study probes this extensive historiography by tracing the evolvement of our understanding of the war through various phases among which we saw the rise of the “China-centered approach” and the beginning of a new trend towards combining government archives with personal records such as memoirs, personal correspondence, and private journals in research. Based on the observation, I will indicate, despite their undeniable achievements, most of the existing scholarships have paid little attention to the ordinary people in China whose lives were deeply affected by the war. It is high time that we pay more attention to human experience of the Chinese people in order to understand not only the war itself but also the history it helped shape.

He Guimei

As we enter 21st century, with China’s economic rise, Chinese intellectual circle have come up with some new narratives regarding China’s position in the world order. Among these narratives, one that attracts most attention is the “civilization narrative.” It holds that China is not a general “nation-state,” nor a traditional “empire,” but a political body that should be described in terms of “civilization.” This article, by combining together intellectual history and social history, tries to make a critical evaluation of this “civilization narrative” from four aspects: first, the narratives about “civilization-state”; second, the relation between “civilization” and “China”; third, the contemporaneity of “civilization,” i.e. the historical condition under which classical canons and tradition are reconstituted in contemporary China; fourth, to examine the genealogy of “civilization narratives” and conceive the possibility for imagining a pluralistic world.

Berezkin Rostislav

This article examines special features of “Chinoiserie” or “Chinese fashion” (“Kitaischina”) in Russia from the late 17th to the early 18th century: The reign of Peter the First. It discusses this cultural phenomenon’s historical origins, demonstrates the role of Chinese luxury goods and art objects in the era’s Russo-Chinese cultural exchange, and illustrates how Chinese decorative arts were used in Russian palaces. While Chinoiserie in Russia was influenced by similar trends in Western Europe, it was rooted in the unique history of regular contacts between Russia and the Qing Empire. Chinese objects not only appeared as commodities in the higher levels of Russian society, they also contributed to the prestige of the Russian state. Peter the First had a political purpose behind the collection, display and imitation of Chinese art objects in Russian palaces, as these practices demonstrated the growing wealth and power of newly established Russian Empire, which enjoyed trade connections with the Qing Empire. While contemporary perceptions of China in Russia were derived mostly by the exotic images of export art, ethnographic collections of genuine Chinese utensils, which were founded during that period, also contributed to Russian views of China. This research uses a comprehensive methodology, combining studies of material objects preserved in Russian museums and written sources, including archival records.