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A Frog in a Well: People's Daily and its Geographic Landscape
Unformatted Document Text:  ICA-2-10365 A frog in a well: People’s Daily and its Geographic Landscape 4 Closed-society and its open policy As a Central Kingdom with a 5000-year-civilization, China was regarded as a “closed society” in recent centuries. As noted by western scholars, in imperial China, “Closure has been the norm and openness the exception. Outsiders were traditionally prohibited from entering the country with few exceptions such as traders and missionaries” (Farmer, 1990). As a result, the average Chinese civilians were isolated from foreign contacts and this was further compounded by their prohibition from leaving the country. The static kingdom was forced to open its door from 19th century under unequal treaties after being defeated by foreign countries (Rowe, 1959). In current Chinese high school textbooks, “China’s modern history” begins with the Opium War, from which China started its “century-long disgraceful history with blood and tears because of foreign invasion”. Hatred of foreign invaders is deeply embedded in the Chinese mind. If China’s isolation was “self-imposed” in ancient time, “it’s not China’s choice” after Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took over the power (Farmer 1990). When Mao Zedong declared, “the Chinese people had stood up” in 1949, the CCP’s endeavor to bring a New China standing among the international community was dampened by the exclusion posed by western world. The only door opened to China at that time was the former Soviet Union and its eastern allies. In the late 1950s, the door to the East was closed and during the ten-year-long Cultural Revolution, China was totally out of any contact from any foreign country. Civilians with any foreign connection or any form of foreign contact were labeled as “reactionaries” and expelled to rural China. Parker (1975)

Authors: Chen, Danielle. and Yan, Xiaoying.
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ICA-2-10365 A frog in a well: People’s Daily and its Geographic Landscape
4
Closed-society and its open policy
As a Central Kingdom with a 5000-year-civilization, China was regarded as a
“closed society” in recent centuries. As noted by western scholars, in imperial China,
“Closure has been the norm and openness the exception. Outsiders were traditionally
prohibited from entering the country with few exceptions such as traders and
missionaries” (Farmer, 1990). As a result, the average Chinese civilians were isolated
from foreign contacts and this was further compounded by their prohibition from leaving
the country.
The static kingdom was forced to open its door from 19th century under unequal
treaties after being defeated by foreign countries (Rowe, 1959). In current Chinese high
school textbooks, “China’s modern history” begins with the Opium War, from which
China started its “century-long disgraceful history with blood and tears because of
foreign invasion”. Hatred of foreign invaders is deeply embedded in the Chinese mind.
If China’s isolation was “self-imposed” in ancient time, “it’s not China’s choice”
after Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took over the power (Farmer 1990). When Mao
Zedong declared, “the Chinese people had stood up” in 1949, the CCP’s endeavor to
bring a New China standing among the international community was dampened by the
exclusion posed by western world. The only door opened to China at that time was the
former Soviet Union and its eastern allies. In the late 1950s, the door to the East was
closed and during the ten-year-long Cultural Revolution, China was totally out of any
contact from any foreign country. Civilians with any foreign connection or any form of
foreign contact were labeled as “reactionaries” and expelled to rural China. Parker (1975)


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