While the phrase ‘Seek Truth from Facts’ is a concept that dates back to ancient Chinese philosophy, it was introduced to the People’s Republic of China as a hallmark phrase of Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Though used throughout the PRC’s 66-year history, the phrases’ relevance was cemented in Deng Xiaoping’s’ 1978 speech as the central ideology of “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” The CCP’s narrative of its history is a critical component of the Party’s domestic and foreign policy, as it aims to legitimize its own power and maintain the supremacy and authority of the Chinese Communist Party. However, to “Seek Truth from Facts,” has tragically resulted in the revision of history, human dignity, and the pursuit of “adherence to the Party.” Through the use of political work groups and education, the Chinese Communist Party utilizes its narrative of history to shape and define the discourse on the Party, rule of law, and foreign policy.
This conference will bring together an expert panel to identify and assess the impact of the CCP’s war on history at home and abroad by addressing the Sino-Japanese War, the Party’s historical claims to Tibet, and confronting the use of history to consolidate national identity and its relevance to the ‘rise of China.’
2:00 – 3:00 PM
Panel One: “The Sino-Japanese War ―On the 40th Anniversary of Mao’s Death”
Moderator: Rachael Burton
3:00 –4:15 PM
Panel Two: “Historical Narratives in the PRC and its impact on the ‘Rise of China’
Moderator: Kelley Currie