Editor's Note by Shiping Hua and Patrick Fuliang Shan
This issue presents six articles on Chinese efforts to resolve internal conflicts, its endeavors to establish a positive image in international affairs, and its strong ties with the global community. The six authors are all professors of various disciplines in social sciences at American universities and many of them have done research on China and Chinese relations with other countries for decades.
As the most populous country in the whole world, China has long attracted attention from academic circles. Many scholars have already focused on its history and its recent rise as an Asian power to assess its role in world affairs. Joining this trend, the six professors have offered their new scholastic findings. From a unique angle, each of them offers insightful analysis by highlighting Chinese ways of resolving conflicts. Dr. Jieli Li proposes a theory called “a double-track sociolegality” through his investigation of the existing and changing legal systems in China. Through this perspective, Li underlines the nature of Chinese social control and legal regulations. Even though double-track sociolegality is still developing, Li’s assertion reveals Chinese attempts to avoid social and political discord. Dr. Xiaobing Li traces the path of Chinese military modernization in recent decades and argues that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has transformed from a manpower intensive army to an international operated force. From his study of China’s recent strategies, Li claims that it is possible for the PLA to avoid a major war for a long period of time. Dr. Patrick Fuliang Shan investigates conflict and reconciliation between Christianity and Chinese culture in the early 20th century. Shan analyzes the then complicated situation and argues that a changing official stance for granting religious freedom, foreign missionaries’ adoption of new strategies, and native believers’ endeavors for indigenizing Christianity all facilitated the booming Christian enterprise. Consequently, millions of Chinese were converted to that religion.
Dr. Yunqiu Zhang did research on the impact of globalization upon China’s labor law reform in the post-Mao years. According to Zhang, China is increasingly integrated into the world economic system. This new trend inevitably exposes China to international pressure. To resolve any existing and potential conflicts, China has reformed its traditional labor laws and started to follow internationally accepted legal practices on labor. Dr. Kheang Un surveys China’s investment in Cambodia and its implication in Cambodian economic development and political life. Un confirms that Chinese involvement has had positive effects on economic development, but he argues that its impact on Cambodian democratization is not as deterministic as some have imaged. Dr. Tricia Gray examines China’s relations with the South-South coalition. Gray traces the Chinese ties with the Third World ever since the Bandung Conference, and finds that China has increased its support to this coalition of the developing countries for international trade and global cooperation. Gray further argues that the South-South Coalition challenges the existing international status quo and may cause potential problems to the international order in the new century.
Such a parade of recent scholarship by a group of distinguished scholars offers in-depth interpretation of China’s position in global affairs and Chinese moves to build a new society at home. Having a quarter of all human beings living in that country and having attained a recent status as a rising economic power, China inevitably deserves more serious studies. With these six articles, the editor hopes that this issue at least offers a platform for the reader to view the Chinese position in the world, its efforts in remolding itself for globalization, and its potential impact upon mankind.