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Euronews | Sep 27
A court in China has rejected an appeal by the country's most famous dissident artist Ai Weiwei against a $2.5m fine for tax evasion. If he does no...
The history of China taking a new form - as a graphic novel. It’s by Jing Liu, a Beijing artist and advertising executive. He’s just finished the 1st of a three volumes of "Understanding China Through Comics," which takes us through the first half of China’s 5 thousand year history. Jing Liu's on Skype from his office in Beijing. Welcome to LinkAsia, Mr. Liu.
You say you started the project for your son and your friends both in China and abroad. Why do Chinese people, you think, need such a history?
Because I believe that anyone who wants to really understand today’s China should understand China’s past.
One thing that struck me is the huge cost pay by ordinary Chinese people everytime there is a change in dynasty. Rebellions, civil wars, and lawlessness killed a huge proportion of the population. How do these episodes of disorder play a part in Chinese collective memories?
Most Chinese people firmly believe that a strong government is the only thing standing between peace and destruction. When there was not much protection from weak governments, the people had to find ways to protect themselves. Take foot-binding for example, it was a tradition that parents bind the feet of their younger girls to prevent their feet from growing. Some historians believe that foot-binding became popular because originally people used it as a self-defense during a time when imperial government was too weak to resist nomad invasion. Because nomads wouldn’t take away Chinese women with foot-binding. These such women couldn’t ride horses, not suitable for nomadic life.
One thing that you talk about in your book is the Chinese way of thinking about foreigners. Why do so many Chinese think foreigners are in China for dubious reasons?
When China had to interact with the Western countries which were strong both militarily and culturally for 19th century. You know in history, China only faced nomads, who are strong militarily but not culturally. Now, China is integrated into the global context to an extent it has never experienced before. This change is only about 170 years, very, very short comparing to China’s long history. Many Chinese are still not sure how to deal with foreigners, let alone trust them.
Thank you Jing. That was Jing Liu, who has just published volume 1 of his 3 volume History of China Through Comics. It is available for download on Amazon Kindle and ITunes. Volumes 2 and 3 are coming out next year.