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Welfare and warfare: how China’s past is shaping its present – and future

Rana Mitter, Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China, University of Oxford and BBC Radio 3 presenter

Date/Time: 1st November 2012

As China’s leadership changes, Beijing’s policies continue to dominate the news. Will China and Japan clash in the seas of East Asia? Will China be able to implement social welfare policies that will calm dissent and social unrest? Why did it take so long for China to become such a major power? One unexpected, but crucial story, that helps answer these questions is that of the China’s experience during World War II, in the war with Japan from 1937 to 1945. Over 14 million Chinese died and some 80 million became refugees during those years. In this lecture, Rana Mitter explored how the battered China of wartime became today’s superpower in the making – and why.