Republican personality cults in wartime China: contradistinction and collaboration
Taylor, Jeremy E. (2015) Republican personality cults in wartime China: contradistinction and collaboration. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 57 (3). pp. 665-693. ISSN 1475-2999
Official URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayFulltext?type=1&fid=9805188&jid=CSS&volumeId=57&issueId=03&aid=9805183
This paper explores the development of the Wang Jingwei personality cult during the Japanese occupation of China (1937–1945). It examines how the collaborationist Chinese state led by Wang sought to distinguish its figurehead from the person he had replaced, Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek. Drawing on visual, archival, and published sources, it traces the development of the Wang cult from the early years of the war, and argues that the unusual context in which the cult evolved ultimately undermined its coherence. The case of Wang Jingwei illustrates how the Chinese case more broadly can enhance our understandings of personality cults that develop under occupation. To this end, I compare the Wang regime with various European “collaborationist” governments that sought to promote their leaders in similar ways.
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