Launch event at the China Centre for books by Miriam Driessen and Kyle Jaros

The China Centre recently held a book launch event for: Tales of Hope, Tastes of Bitterness: Chinese Road Builders in Ethiopia (Hong Kong University Press, 2019) by Miriam Driessen, University of Oxford, and China’s Urban Champions: The Politics of Spatial Development (Princeton University Press, 2019) by Kyle Jaros, University of Oxford.

What is the nature of political change in China?  How is it reflected in the changing face of the economic change at home and in the world, in the cities and in Africa?  This forum brought together two scholars who have been working on powerful academic insights on these questions and many more.  Bringing together deep research and new theoretical viewpoints, the new books discussed  are examples of the cutting-edge scholarship developed at Oxford’s China Centre.


Rana Mitter awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship

Rana Mitter, Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China, has been awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship for 2019–22.

This £170,000 Fellowship will support Rana Mitter as he writes a new revisionist account of the postwar history of Asia. The project, ‘The Chinese postwar and the making of Asian order, 1945–55’, will look at the role China played as an emergent world power in the late 1940s. It will contrast this international strength against the domestic issues faced under a nationalist government.

Leverhulme Major Research Fellowships are awarded to established humanities and social science researchers in UK Higher Education, to enable them to produce pioneering original research.

Three new researchers to join the ‘China, Law and Development’ project

We welcome three new post-doctoral research associates to the ‘China, Law and Development’ (CLD) research team.

Dr Do Hai Ha is an expert on Vietnamese labour law. Ha trained in law in both Vietnam and Australia, completing a PhD in 2017 at the University of Melbourne Law School where he is now a research fellow. He has worked extensively with international development organizations, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and local lawyer associations.

Dr Miriam Driessen is an anthropologist with several years of experience in working on the Chinese presence in Ethiopia. She obtained her DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2015, and is now a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Oxford. Miriam’s core focus is on bringing an anthropological dimension to the study of Chinese in-migration into Africa and its effects on labour and economic development.

Dr Irna Hofman is a rural sociologist with a focus on sustainable development and agrarian and social change; specifically, on the Chinese presence in the agricultural industry in Central Asia. Irna received her doctorate from Leiden University in 2018. She is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Area Studies in Leiden and a research consultant at the International Organization for Migration in Tajikistan.

All three researchers will start in September 2019, and contribute to the overall aim of the CLD project: to analyse Chinese approaches to law and development in recipient or host states where ‘law and development’ pertains to the role of law and legal institutions in promoting economic growth and sustainability.

Annie Hongping Nie publishing book on the Selden Map of China

The Selden Map of China: A New Understanding of the Ming Dynasty will be published in June 2019.

Dating from the seventeenth century at the height of the Ming Dynasty, the Selden Map of China reveals a country very different from popular conceptions of the time, looking not inward to the Asian landmass but outward to the sea. Discovered in the stacks of the Bodleian Library, this beautifully decorative map of China is in fact a seafaring chart showing Ming Dynasty trade routes. It is the earliest surviving example of Chinese merchant cartography and is evidence that Ming China was outward-looking, capitalistic and vibrant.

Exploring the commercial aims of the Ming Dynasty, the port city of Quanzhou and its connections with the voyages of the early traveller Zheng He, this book describes the historical background of the era in which the map was used. It also includes an analysis of the skills and techniques involved in Chinese map-making and the significance of the compass bearings, scale and ratios found on the map, all of which combine to represent a breakthrough in cartographic techniques.

The enthralling story revealed by this extraordinary artefact is central to an understanding of the long history of China’s relationship with the sea and with the wider world.

Hongping Annie Nie is a Teaching and Research Associate of the University of Oxford China Centre and a Senior Member of St Anthony’s College, Oxford.

  • Hardback
  • 96 pages, 259 x 237 mm
  • 40 colour illustrations
  • ISBN: 9781851245246
  • Publication June 2019