Liu Junping

The terminology tianxia has both historical evolution and cultural and philosophical connotations. This concept not only denotes a geographical and spatial meaning, but also implies the moral construct of metaphysics. A systematic study of its historical and cultural repercussions can show that the evolution of the meaning “tianxia” not only embodies the cosmological construction, moral belief and self-identity of the Chinese nation, but also manifests the historical processes of modern China evolving from “tianxia” to a modern nation-state. Meanwhile, the deconstruction of the tianxia cosmology has shattered the old Chinese concept of a single united tianxia, or the whole world under one Heaven. Also, “Confucian China” has been increasingly losing its vitality and strong hold on the people, while the concept of nation-state has gained its way into people’s consciousness, which has added more diversity and open-mindedness to the concept of tianxia.

Bjørnar Sverdrup-Thygeson

, and that these eras thus should naturally, and beneficially, belong to the historical canon of diplomacy. Keywords foreign relations of the Song Dynasty, diplomatic parity, Imperial China, tianxia , Jin, Liao, Xi Xia, tradi- tional Chinese diplomatic practices As the fish come and the birds go, so will

Imagining a Postnational World

Hegemony and Space in Modern China


Marc Andre Matten

This book analyzes the historical significance of rivaling concepts of world order in 20th century East Asia. Since the arrival of European imperialism in 19th century – coupled with its different schools of political philosophy and international law – China has struggled to combine ideas on national sovereignty, spatiality and hegemony in its quest of either imitating or replacing European norms of world order. By analyzing Chinese visions of regional and international order and comparing them with Japanese proposals of that era, this book discusses in detail the relationship of territoriality and political rule, discourses of amity and enmity, and finally the role of hegemoniality in the process of imagining a possible postnational world in 21st century East Asia and beyond.

Understanding the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

An Initiative to Make China Great Again?

Y.-Y. Chang

feasibility and prospects for the project. Contributions indicate that the BRI is understood from different perspectives—economic, security, political and strategic—and, without denying this, this article looks at the idea of the ‘Chinese Dream’ and the concept of Tianxia (‘all under heaven’) to reveal the

Ban Wang

tianxia (all under heaven). In his Discourse on the New Citizen , Liang calls for personal outlooks based on culture and morality rather than institutions or actual politics. The novel analyzes China’s debates on reform and revolution; the present paper traces the connection between this moral quality of

LI Dalong

“The Central Kingdom” is pregnant of political implications as well as of geographical and cultural significance. It was believed that whoever controlled Zhongguo (the Central Kingdom or China) would be the legitimate ruler over Tianxia (the realm under heaven or all under heaven). It was the contention for “the Central Kingdom” among the varieties of dynasties, notably those established by the Han-Chinese and the various ethnic groups in the northern borderland, that lead to the alternation of disintegration and unification of the territory. It was not until the Qing Dynasty that the unified “Central Kingdom” composed of a variety of ethnic groups turned into the ideal “realm under heaven” with “the Central Kingdom” at its core, which naturally put an end to the formation of territory in ancient China.