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Mainland China’s Global Historiography in Search of Grand Narratives - A Discourse-Analytical Case Study of Recent Historiography on the Zheng He Maritime Missions (1405-1433 CE)

Sebestyén Hompot

The present dissertation is a discourse analysis of recent mainland Chinese historiography on the major maritime missions led by the imperial eunuch and admiral Zheng He 郑和 at the order of China’s Ming dynasty between 1405 and 1433 CE. The missions were aimed at establishing tributary and trade relations with a number of foreign states across the Indo-Pacific maritime space as far as the East African coast. In recent academic discourses in China, the missions have often been discussed for their potential referential value for China’s present-day maritime strategy. At the same time, they have become a significant part of the Chinese state’s cultural diplomacy towards other countries in the Indo-Pacific region, especially since the inauguration of the Belt & Road Initiative in 2013, incl. its “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” constituency. Based on discourse-analytical theory and methodology, the present dissertation analyzes historiography as discourse, focusing on its interlinkages with domestic and global power relations and ideologies/worldviews. In the dissertation, the theoretical frameworks of “Silk Roads Power-Knowledge Complex”, “Belt & Road Worldview” and “Belt & Road Historiography” are proposed for the better understanding of the interlinkages of global historical knowledge production, ideologies/worldviews, and state-promoted global historical narratives in today’s China.

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften
Anzahl der Seiten
ÖFOS 2012
602045 Sinologie, 601023 Globalgeschichte
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