How was China born?

Bill Hayton

China appears to us as timeless and permanent, homogenous and unified - but how true is this? How did modern day China emerge?

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China appears to us as timeless and permanent, homogenous and unified - but how true is this? Many of the biggest problems in Asia - from Taiwan and Tibet to Hong Kong and Xinjiang - all stem from different visions of what China is, or should be.

So how did modern day China emerge? It’s a surprising story. The ideas of nation and race and territory were imported from abroad through foreign missionaries and exiled revolutionaries. In many ways, the vision of China that Chinese hold today was invented in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. What does history tell us about the birth of China?

Bill Hayton, author of 'The Invention of China' joins us in The Garden to take us on a historical journey through China's past. Bill has been writing about East and Southeast Asia for over 15 years: for the BBC, for Chatham House and as an independent author.

Talk outline

Duration

50 minutes

About the Fellow

Bill Hayton

Bill has been writing about East and Southeast Asia for over 15 years: for the BBC, for Chatham House and as an independent author.