Yan Haiping explores Kang Youwei’s Book of Great Harmony, a utopian portrait of the peoples of the earth living together without racial, national, or cultural divides that emerged, almost miraculously, at the height of Chinese resistance to the Japanese invasion of the 1930s. Placing the book into its tormented historical context, Yan Haiping takes his cue from Calhoun’s observation that “statements of cosmopolitanism as universalism echo rather than transcend nationalism.” Arguing that figures previously conceived as nationalist can also be thought of as cosmopolitans, he lays out a tradition of cosmopolitanism that is both Chinese and cross-cultural.
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