Destruction, Survival and Renewal: Jining’s Urban Identity in the Political and Social Storms, 1937-2003

  •  Jinghao Sun    


This article explores the recent experience of a once prosperous late imperial Chinese city from the Japanese occupation to the post-Mao reformist era. It focuses on the effect of the drastically changing political and social environments on the city’s identity, and how the city responded to the challenges. Over the last seven decades, Jining suffered, survived, restored and transformed like other places in China, whereas yet from its trajectory we can still see its distinctive individual characteristics. The article reveals the deterioration of its late imperial legacy and the destruction of its new “Westernizing” identity from the late 1930s to the late 1970s, while it also shows a seeming return of the city’s certain traditions in the following post-Mao New Era though not where all positive.

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