1989 / 3月
The article "Chinese--A Hot New Subject Around the Globe," of last June, received a rather large response. It was reprinted in the Chinese and English editions of Reader's Digest, and many readers wrote to us for more information about studying Chinese on Taiwan. At the same time, the Oscar-winning film The Last Emperor created a new enthusiasm for China and things Chinese in the West.
For us "China fever" raises a number of interesting questions. From the land of marvels described by Marco Polo, through the utopia pictured by philosophers of the Enlightenment and the Sick Man of Asia coveted by imperialists, to the future world power predicted by Arnold Toynbee, just what attitudes have Westerners held toward this ancient country isolated by oceans on one side and forbidding plains on the other? And why? The Western Powers removed many cultural treasures from the country during the course of the nineteenth century. Where are they now? And how do the Western scholars who study these treasures view China?
This issue's cover story, "When West Meets East . . ." is the first installment in a new series, "Sinology Around the Globe," in which Sinorama travels to North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia to report on the Chinese cultural treasures kept in other countries, to visit the sinological institutions there, and to interview noted foreign scholars in the field of Chinese studies.