Abstract

In her recent presidential address, “Reenvisioning the Qing,” Professor Evelyn Sakakida Rawski attacks the “sinicization” theme originally presented as one of the five major aspects of my 1967 article, “The Significance of the Ch'ing Period in Chinese History” (Ho 1967). In her essay—frankly admitted to have been based exclusively on “recent secondary literature”—she states that “a notable outcome of the new scholarship is the rejection of the sinicization thesis and its Han-centered orientation in favor of an empire-building model that emphasizes the importance of the Chinese empire's cultural links with the non-Han peoples of Inner Asia” (Rawski 1996, 827). It ought to be pointed out at the outset that my 1967 paper was not delivered, as she mistakenly presumed, from the podium of the president of the Association for Asian Studies; for I did not receive this honor until 1975–76, when, after having shifted my research interest so far away from the Ming-Ch'ing period, I addressed the Association with a paper entitled “The Chinese Civilization: A Search for the Roots of its Longevity.” The 1967 paper was an AAS panel presentation, not a presidential address.

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