Chinese mainland, Taiwan jointly compile first modern history book

World Today

Photo: Xinhua

Experts from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan have jointly compiled a modern history book of China, the first since 1949.

The work, which covers the period from 1912 to 1949, has been published by the Social Sciences Academic Press, according to the Institute of Modern History under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, which organized the project.

Since October 2010, 57 historians, including 34 from the mainland, 21 from Taiwan and two from Hong Kong, have worked on the project.

The 1,268-page work elaborates on a series of major issues concerning politics, the military, foreign affairs, ideology and culture.

The work was composed of two books, one on the general history of that period and the other on various special subjects.

It is the first work on Chinese modern history to be jointly compiled by experts from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan since the Communist Party of China (CPC) established the People’s Republic of China in 1949 after defeating the Kuomintang, which retreated to Taiwan.

During the 1912-1949 period, the CPC and Kuomintang came together twice to defeat the warlord government and the Japanese invasion, but went on to fight each other.

The work respects the different readings of history, and while there are some areas where both sides agree, the publication contains different readings of the same issues, according to Wang Jianlang, head of the Institute of Modern History under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Wang is one of the chief compilers of the book, another is Huang Ko-wu, a research fellow with the Institute of Modern History under Taipei-based Academia Sinica.

Another work of Chinese modern history about the late Qing Dynasty (1840-1911) will also be compiled by historians from both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

Story by Xinhua