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The Mandate of Heaven

Strategy, Revolution, and the First European Translation of 'Sunzi’s Art of War' (1772)

Series:

Adam Parr

The Mandate of Heaven examines the first European version of Sunzi’s Art of War, which was translated from Chinese by Joseph Amiot, a French missionary in Beijing, and published in Paris in 1772. His work is presented in English for the first time. Amiot undertook this project following the suppression of the Society of Jesus in France with the aim of demonstrating the value of the China mission to the French government. He addressed his work to Henri Bertin, minister of state, beginning a thirty-year correspondence between the two men. Amiot framed his translation in order to promote a radical agenda using the Chinese doctrine of the “mandate of heaven.” This was picked up within the sinophile and radical circle of the physiocrats, who promoted China as a model for revolution in Europe. The work also arrived just as the concept of strategy was emerging in France. Thus Amiot’s Sunzi can be placed among seminal developments in European political and strategic thought on the eve of the revolutionary era.

War and Geopolitics in Interwar Manchuria

Zhang Zuolin and the Fengtian Clique during the Northern Expedition

Series:

Chi Man Kwong

In War and Geopolitics in Interwar Manchuria Kwong Chi Man revisits the civil wars in China (1925-1928) from the perspective of the often-overlooked "warlords," who fought against the joint forces of the Nationalist and Communist parties. In particular, this work focuses on Zhang Zuolin, the leader of the "Fengian Clique" who was sometimes seen as the representative of the Japanese interest in Manchuria.
Using primary and secondary sources from China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, this work tries to revisit the wars during the period from international, political, military, and economic-financial perspectives. It sheds new light on Zhang Zuolin's decision to fight against the Nationalists and the Communists and offers an alternative explanation to the Nationalists (temporary) victory by revealing the central importance of geopolitics in the civil wars in China during the interwar period.