The Chinese Military History Society held its 2021 annual conference online on May 14. Six papers were presented:
Clemens Büttner (Goethe University Frankfurt), "Recontextualizing the 'Struggles' of Xi Jinping: Comparing Current CCP Ideology to the New Life Movement of Chiang Kai-shek"
Since Xi Jinping's ascendancy to the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the People's Republic of China in late 2012/early 2013, renewed emphasis on ideological work and increased efforts to reinforce the party's socio-political control have become characteristic of his rule. Accordingly, parallels between Xi Jinping and his -- presumed -- spiritual predecessor Mao Zedong (1893-1976) have been drawn. The revival of the terms "struggle" (fendou) and "fight" (douzheng) since around 2017 has also corroborated the belief that Xi is increasingly resorting to militant Maoist ideological precepts to consolidate his party's grip on power. While this paper acknowledges the recent de-ideologization drive in Chinese politics, it argues that it is hardly leftist: As Xi is neither willing to relinquish his party's exclusive claim to political power nor to abandon his ideological persuasions (and after slowly exhausting pragmatic means to legitimize his rule), he has begun to make use of syncretic ideas and concepts that -- in their entirety -- only converge in the militaristic ideology of fascism: the invocation of increasingly belligerent nationalistic, holistic, (pseudo)-palingenetic, and capitalist-socialist ideas, coupled with renewed party control and charismatic leadership. In order to substantiate this claim, this paper will juxtapose Xi's measures to fortify CCP rule with those taken by Chiang Kai-shek in the 1930s, when he, at the suggestion of military circles, initiated the -- often deemed fascist -- New Life Movement (Xin Shenghuo Yundong) to militarize and mobilize society in an attempt to modernize China and destroy the Communist threat to his claim to national power.
Issue 10.1 of the Journal of Chinese Military History was published in June 2021. It includes four book reviews and the following articles:
Yan Hon Michael Chung, "The Development of Hong Taiji's Artillery Corps (1631-1643), pages 1-40.
Dan Orbach, "Foreign Military Adventurers in the Taiping Rebellion, 1860-1864," pages 41-72.
As part of the ongoing celebration of ten years of publication of the Journal of Chinese Military History, Brill will be making another set of five articles available for free download at https://brill.com/view/journals/jcmh/jcmh-overview.xml beginning in early July.
The editors of On Contested Shores: The Evolving Role of Amphibious Operations in the History of Warfare (Marine Corps University Press, 2020) are seeking contributions to a second volume. The second volume will deeper explore the doctrine, training, materiel (weapons and equipment), leadership development (education), personnel, and facilities (DOTMLPF) needed to theorize, plan for, equip, lead and conduct amphibious operations. With chapters focused on historical case studies, current analysis, and future prescriptions, On Contested Shores II is intended to influence academics and practitioners alike.
The volume is not intended to be by Marines, for Marines, about Marines despite the editors' backgrounds and previous Marine Corps University Press involvement. Rather, we seek a variety of viewpoints, experiences, and interpretations, especially those from non-American nations or contributors.
The editors are looking for 15-18 chapters (of between 4,000 and 6,000 words each) for inclusion in the forthcoming volume. All chapters will be peer-reviewed in a double-blind system by at least two reviewers. (Those unable to submit chapters but interested in serving as peer reviewers are encouraged to contact the editors.) Chapter proposals are due December 31, 2021, and chapters will be due for editing and peer review in July 2022.