This article rethinks the history of Chinese script reforms and proposes a new genealogy for the Chinese Latin Alphabet (CLA), invented in 1931 by Chinese and Russian revolutionaries in the Soviet Union. Situating script reforms within a global information age that emerged out of the nineteenth-century communications revolution, the article historicizes the CLA within a technologically and ideologically contrived Sino-Soviet space. In particular, it shows the intimate links between the CLA and the Unified New Turkic Alphabet (UNTA), which grew out of a latinization movement based in Baku, Azerbaijan. The primary purpose of the UNTA was to latinize the Arabic script of the Turkic people living in Soviet Central Asia, but it was immediately exported to the non-Turkic world as well in an effort to latinize languages across Eurasia and ignite revolutionary internationalism. This article investigates the forgotten figures involved in carrying the Latin alphabet from Baku to Shanghai and offers a new framework to scrutinize the history of language, scripts, and knowledge production across Eurasia.

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