Monthly Archives: February 2023

[Review] 李小尉《新中国初期的中国人民救济总会研究》(Li Xiaowei: Research on the People’s Relief Association of China in the Early Period of the PRC)

Li Xiaowei 李小尉, Xin Zhongguo chuqi de Zhongguo renmin jiuji zonghui yanjiu 新中国初期的中国人民救济总会研究 (Research on the People’s Relief Association of China in the Early Period of the PRC), Beijing: Renmin chubanshe 人民出版社, 2020. ISBN 9787010221021, 441 pages, 90 RMB.

Reviewed by Henrike Rudolph (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)

In the 1930s and 1940s, refugees flocked to the larger cities of war-ridden China in search of safety, a steady income, or at least something to eat. Many returned to their villages or found work in the expanding industrialization programs after 1949. Others, such as disabled veterans, orphans, and impoverished peasants, still roamed the streets when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took power. In the existing scholarship, we find diverging assessments of the extent of the problem and the need for state relief programs. While some scholars claim that urban poverty was a problem quickly solved by expanding industrial employment,[1] others argue that it severely affected the consolidation of the new regime.[2] Officially, social relief (shehui jiuji) targeted only those who fell through the cracks of the proposed production unit and commune system because they could not work and had no family to support them. However, especially in the early 1950s, large parts of the population were still affected by devastations of war or natural disasters and looked to the government for assistance.

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Illegal Caravan Trade and Outlaw Armed Escorts in the Qing Dynasty: Critical Analysis of Two 18th Century Memorials

by Laurent Chircop-Reyes (CEFC, associated CECMC and IrAsia)

Cases of attacks on merchants by brigands abound in the official reports of the Qing dynasty (1644–1912). Successive emperors ordered local governors to solve the brigandage problem. Apart from imperial measures intensifying military patrols in certain areas where brigandage was endemic at varying degrees, merchants (especially those from Shanxi Province) hired private escort companies (biaoju 鏢局) to ensure caravan protection during journeys over land and water.

Full text of the research note see: