Bai Chongxi’s life spanned the Late Qing, the founding of the Chinese Republic and its fracturing into the so-called “Warlord Era,” the Nanjing Decade, the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese Civil War, and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. His displacement from the mainland to Taiwan in the late 1940s was jarring. Beyond being very far and very different from Guangxi, the move required a quick realignment of ethnopolitics and outreach to anticolonial Muslims around the world. Suddenly, the goals of retaking the mainland from the Communists subsumed the long efforts of Chinese Muslims to be included into visions for the emerging Chinese nation-state. This talk will examine some of the tensions between the ways that Bai tried to ensure that Muslim voices were heard in postwar politics and the ways that he navigated the new geopolitical realities in the Global South. By doing this, we see that Bai attempted to foreground Muslim concerns as a pressing geopolitical issue for the Nationalists.
Kelly Hammond is an Associate Professor of East Asian History in the Department of History at the University of Arkansas. She is also the Associate Director of International and Global Studies. Hammond specializes in modern Chinese and Japanese history, and her work focuses on Islam and politics in 20th-century East Asia. She serves on the editorial board of Twentieth-Century China and is the Associate Editor for Modern China at the Journal of Asian Studies.
Chair: Tong Lam (Director of the Global Taiwan Studies Initiative and Associate Professor of Historical Studies, University of Toronto)