Reins of Liberation: An Entangled History of Mongolian Independence, Chinese Territoriality, and Great Power Hegemony, 1911-1950
The author’s purpose in writing this book is to use the Mongolian question to illuminate much larger issues of twentieth-century Asian history: how war, revolution, and great-power rivalries induced or restrained the formation of nationhood and territoriality. He thus continues the argument he made in Frontier Passages that on its way to building a communist state, the Chinese Communist Party was confronted by a series of fundamental issues pertinent to China’s transition to nation-statehood. The book’s focus is on the Mongolian question, which ran through Chinese politics in the first half of the twentieth century. Between the Revolution of 1911 and the Communists’ triumph in 1949, the course of the Mongolian question best illustrates the genesis, clashes, and convergence of Chinese and Mongolian national identities and geopolitical visions.
Xiaoyuan Liu is Associate Professor of History at Iowa State University and a recent Fellow at the Wilson Center. He is author of Frontier Passages: Ethnopolitics and the Rise of Chinese Communism, 1921–1945 (2004).