CHP-130-Morris Two-Gun Cohen Part 1

Today I wanted to introduce a sort of lovable rogue who haunted the hotel lobby’s of Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, London and Edmonton. Today’s subject was by no means a historic figure. In fact, I don’t think you can even call him a bit player. Nonetheless, Morris Abraham Cohen had a China story that deserves a telling. Today’s episode will look at his early life, how he ended up in Canada and how he got hooked up with the local Chinese Canadians.  We’ll get as far as the death of Sun Yat-sen in early 1925.  We’ll finish up next time with Morris Cohen’s life after Dr. Sun.  I mainly used Daniel S. Levy’s superb biography: Two-Gun Cohen, A Biography. Continue reading “CHP-130-Morris Two-Gun Cohen Part 1”

CHP-129-The Incident at Xuanwu Gate

In this episode we revisit the founding of the Tang Dynasty and focus in on the events leading up to, during and right after the Incident at Xuanwu Gate. This slice of historic theater took place on July 2, 626. It resulted in the victory of Li Shimin over his two brothers. Not long afterwards Li Shimin was promoted by his father to the emperorship and reigned as Tang Taizong. Continue reading “CHP-129-The Incident at Xuanwu Gate”

CHP-128-The History of American Chinese Cuisine

After a record-breaking pause in the action Laszlo is back with one last episode to finish of 2013. This time we look at the interesting and amusing history of Chinese cuisine in America, an oft-requested topic here at the China History Podcast. This is a history that goes hand-in-hand with the earliest Chinese immigration to the US. If you’re interested to learn more on the subject check out Andrew Coe and Jennifer 8 Lee’s books: Continue reading “CHP-128-The History of American Chinese Cuisine”

CHP-127-The Birth of US-China Relations

In this episode we take a look at the circumstances and times when the brand spanking new nation of the USA came a calling to China for the very first time. The so-called “Most Important Relationship in the World” had very humble origins indeed. When representatives of the United States first arrived in Canton in August 1783 they really had a lot of explaining to do about who they were and where they came from. Repeatedly they had to explain to the Chinese who interacted with them that they weren’t British. Continue reading “CHP-127-The Birth of US-China Relations”

CHP-126-Yelü Abaoji

This week we look at the Khitan people of the steppes. These people came from the lands in between Manchuria and Mongolia. Their most famous son was Yelü Abaoji who took his people to great heights in the early 10th century. His Liao Dynasty in the north of present day China ran concurrently with the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (as well as the Song Dynasty) that resulted after the breakup of the Tang Dynasty. Continue reading “CHP-126-Yelü Abaoji”

CHP-125-Zhuge Liang

In this episode we explore the life and times of Zhuge Liang (181-234 AD). He’s a very good example of a well-known name from Chinese history that many have heard of but aren’t quite sure why. He lived during the Eastern Han and Three Kingdoms periods. Zhuge Liang is mostly remembered for his cleverness and many consider him right up there with Sunzi (Sun Tzu) as far as the works of strategy and military science he left behind. Continue reading “CHP-125-Zhuge Liang”

CHP-124-Sir Y.K. Pao

Today after a month-long break the China History Podcast is back with another episode. This time we look at the life and times of Sir Y.K. Pao. In telling the story of Sir Yue-kong Pao (Bao Yugang in Mandarin) we can also relive the periods in China and Hong Kong during the 1960’s, 70’s and into the 80’s. Through the life of Sir Y.K. Pao we can also look back on those difficult times between China and Britain that preceded the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration in December 1984. Sir Y.K. lived an amazing but all too brief life and was one of the early Hong Kong Chinese to rush to aid China when Deng Xiaoping emerged and began setting China on the path of reform and opening up to the world. Continue reading “CHP-124-Sir Y.K. Pao”

CHP-123-The History of the Chinese in Mexico

After the longest delay in between CHP episodes ever, we resume our Chinese history voyage. This time we look at a topic that isn’t particularly well-known but offers a glimpse of one sliver of the Chinese diaspora that began once the Qing Dynasty began to fall on hard times. The story of the Chinese Mexicans is typical in some respects.  They came to Mexico either because they wanted to and saw it as a land of opportunity or they came because it was the next best thing to emigrating to the United States.  Many stayed in Mexico despite great hardships and the usual racism directed against them.  But most either moved on to try their luck in the US or they were forced out by racist and nationalistic anti-Chinese immigration policies.  I suggest three books if you are interested to read more about this subject:

The Chinese In Mexico 1882-1940 by Robert Chao Romero published by the University of Arizona Press

Making the Chinese Mexican – Global Migration, Localism and Exclusion in the US-Mexico Borderlands by Grace Peña Delgado, published by Stanford University Press and Chinese Mexicans

Transpacific Migration and the Search for a Homeland 1910-1960 by Julia María Schiavone Camacho published by University of North Carolina Press. Continue reading “CHP-123-The History of the Chinese in Mexico”

CHP-122-The Chinese Civil War Part 4

In this part 4 episode we conclude our overview of the Chinese Civil War.  After the Pingjin Campaign ended in January of 1949 it was time for the Communists to finish off what they started.  Victory was imminent but by no means would it be easy and simple.  The PLA forces dramatically crossed the Yangzi River in May and their great generals led their forces to a smashing victory, finishing off the KMT forces of Chiang Kai-shek by December 1949.  On December 10, 1949 the Generalissimo boarded a flight to Taiwan, leaving his rival Mao Zedong as the undisputed leader of China. Continue reading “CHP-122-The Chinese Civil War Part 4”

CHP-121-The Chinese Civil War Part 3

This episode mainly covers the year 1948 and the three great campaigns that sealed Chiang Kai-shek’s fate on the Chinese mainland.  The focus will be on the Liaoshen, Huaihai and Pingjin Campaigns that not only grabbed all of north China and Manchuria for the Communists but the heartland and everything north of the Yangzi River as well.  By the end of 1948 all treasures, gold bullion, silver, currency and tangible assets that the KMT could get their hands on was well on its way to Taiwan….just in case.  Things had never looked more grim for Chiang and all supporters of the Nationalist regime. Continue reading “CHP-121-The Chinese Civil War Part 3”