Newsletter No. 23 (Jul 2000)



No. 23, July 2000

Note from the Editor
Convening of General Assembly Meetings
EACS Nominations for Election to the Board
Proposed Revisions to the EACS Constitution
XIIIth EACS Conference in Torino
News and Announcements
New Research Projects
New Publications


This Newsletter is the last to be published before the XIII EACS conference in Torino. Many issues regarding the Association are planned to be discussed at no less than two General Assemblies! One topic for debate is the amending of the current constitution of the EACS. The new proposals to be presented by the Board and discussed by members at the General Assembly (see the announcement below) are included in this issue. For purposes of comparison the present constitution is placed beside the new proposals in a table. By doing so, I hope to have given you adequate time to reflect on the novel directions and intentions of the Board.

For those readers not planning to attend the conference in Torino there are also some items of general interest in this issue. My call in the last issue for short descriptions of ongoing research projects has resulted in two interesting reports from Duisburg. I do hope that more members will find it worthwhile to share their major research projects with the members of the Association. Or perhaps invite relevant researchers to participate in these projects? Do not forget to convey to us the actual research results when publications are produced!

I hope to see as many readers of the Newsletter in Torino!

Mette Thunø

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June 11th, 2000

To all members of EACS:


You are hereby cordially invited to take part in the Thirteenth General Assembly of the European Association of Chinese Studies. This will take place on the first day of the forthcoming EACS conference in Torino, and will be followed immediately by an Extraordinary General Assembly, convened on the initiative of the EACS Board to propose amendments to the EACS constitution. After the adjournment of that meeting a second Extraordinary General Assembly will be held on the fourth day of the conference to consider and vote on the constitutional amendments. (These elaborate arrangements are required under the current constitution.) The schedule of the meetings will be:

Thirteenth General Assembly: Wednesday, August 30th, 2000, from 11:00 – 13:00 at Teatro Piccolo Regio,Piazza Castello

  1. Report by the President
  2. Report by the Secretary
  3. Report by the Treasurer
  4. Presentation of bids to host the 2004 Conference of EACS. Institutions wishing to bid for this are asked to inform the Secretary in writing. They will be asked to make a brief presentation at the General Assembly.
  5. Any other business. You are invited to communicate any matters for discussion under this item in writing to the Secretary in advance of the meeting.
  6. Election of the President and new Board. Note: the proposed new constitutional amendments provide for direct election of the President. Therefore the list of candidates for election to the Board will identify at least one candidate for the office of President.

Extraordinary General Assembly: Wednesday, August 30th, 2000, immediately following the above.

  1. Presentation of proposed amendments to the constitution of EACS.
  2. Adjournment vote.

Reconvened Extraordinary General Assembly: Saturday, September 2nd, 2000, from 11.30am at Villa Gualino – Sala Gualino

  1. Consideration of proposed amendments to the constitution of EACS.
  2. Voting on amendments to the constitution.

Glen Dudbridge
President of EACS

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The Board is made up of 24 members, and four members of the previous Board will complete their full period of service at the coming meeting. So members are encouraged to take an active interest in nominating new members.

Under the current constitution candidates for election to the new Board have to be nominated by five paying members of EACS. These nominations should reach the Secretary by August 15th, 2000. A brief CV of the candidate in 3 to 5 lines would be appreciated.

Nomination for election to office of President

The proposed amendments to the EACS constitution provide for direct election of the President by the General Assembly and require nominations for this election to be in the hands of the Secretary at least two months before the date of the General Assembly. Although the old constitution will remain in force until those amendments are accepted or rejected on September 2nd, 2000, we are putting forward the name of one candidate in anticipation of the constitutional vote.


Glen Dudbridge

Proposed by:

  1. Hans van Ess
  2. Christian Henriot

The candidate’s name will appear among the list of candidates for election to the Board. If the constitutional amendments are adopted, any votes recorded for his name will be treated as votes for the office of President. If the constitutional amendments are rejected his candidacy will be treated in the same way as any other candidate for the Board. The newly elected Board will then choose its Chairman/President in the traditional way.

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The Board embarked on these proposals for a number of reasons. One was the unsatisfactory state of the existing constitution, which presents certain incoherencies and infelicities requiring correction. But it was also felt that the present state of the Association made certain more fundamental changes desirable. Accordingly, the new text now proposed represents a careful and thorough revision of the whole document. Each clause in the new text has been exhaustively discussed and revised by the Board at its meeting in Torino, September 1999.

Aside from strictly technical matters, such as the more open provision for national registration (Art. 1), the procedural rules for Board meetings (Art. 8), and the provisions for constitutional amendment and dissolution (Art. 23–25), three important changes now appear:

  1. Membership categories are differently formulated (Art. 4), and eligibility for Ordinary Membership is more openly defined than before. This was a conscious decision by the Board, which felt that the time had come to make the Association accessible to a wider range of members, and that the more strictly professional requirements of the original constitution had already been superseded in practice.
  2. The size of the Board remains at 24
    in the new proposals (Art. 8), since the participation of more voices will better represent the interests of the membership at large than a smaller group, however efficient. But the provision for representation from every country desiring it has now been removed, since in modern European conditions it has become unworkable. Instead, a limit on Board membership by residents of any single country has been introduced (Art. 9).

  3. Direct election of the President by the General Assembly has been introduced (Art. 9), which will give more legitimacy to the holder of this prominent and responsible office than the present opaque and informal procedures permit.

The introduction of an amended constitution at the Torino 2000 Conference has made it necessary to convene two General Assemblies, both to meet the stringent requirements of the present constitution and to allow time for discussion of normal Association business alongside the presentation of the proposed new constitution.

Glen Dudbridge
June 2000

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The web-page of the EACS conference in Torino continues to be:

Contact telephone: 0039 011 6703759 (on Tuesday from 9.00 to 12.00, except from Aug. 11th to Aug. 20th, 2000) and 0039 011 5171050 (from 22.00 to 24.00)
Fax: 0039 011 5171050

Tentative Conference Programme

Four panels are to take place simultaneously according to the preferences expressed by those participants who registered on time. Details about panels and participants are available on the web-page.

August 29th
Evening Board Meeting
August 30th
09:30 – 11:00 Opening Ceremony at Teatro Piccolo Regio
11:00 – 13:00 General Assembly at Teatro Piccolo Regio
15:00 – 17:00 Conference session
17:00 – 17:30 Coffee break
17:30 – 19:30 Conference session
August 31st and September 1st
09:00 – 11:00 Conference session
11:00 – 11:30 Coffee break
11:30 – 13:30 Conference session
15:00 – 17:00 Conference session
17:00 – 17:30 Coffee break
17:30 – 19:30 Conference session
September 2nd
09:00 – 11:00 Conference session
11:00 – 11:30 Coffee break
11:30 – General Assembly at Villa Gualino

* All conference sessions will take place at Villa Gualino.

Other events:
Aug. 31st, 21:00 Torino by night: bus tour of the city offered by the Municipality of Torino.
Sept. 1st, 20:30 Special dinner offered by the Organization Committee of XIII EACS Conference.

Due to the particular importance of the General Assembly on September 2nd, participants are requested to book their home flights no earlier than late afternoon. Present Board members should be alert to the meeting on August 29th in the evening. A meeting of the newly elected Board will be held on the evening of August 31st.

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The Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation has generously provided the EACS with a grant of US$30,000 to support one–week visits for specialised research in sinological libraries in Cambridge, Heidelberg, Leiden, London, Oxford or Paris in 2000 – 2001.

Applicants should be Sinologists based permanently in Europe and paid-up members of the EACS. Applications from non-members will be considered, however, especially in the case of young scholars, if accompanied by a recommendation from an EACS member.

Grants include travel expenses and a per diem allowance, which vary according to local conditions.

Application details, information on the relevant libraries and contact addresses are available on the EACS website.


Deadlines for CCK conference and seminar grants and CCK subsidies for publication have been changed. There are now two deadlines for each category of grant: February 15th for conferences, seminars and publications taking place the following July – December; October 15th for conferences, seminars and publications taking place the following January – June.

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Invitation to European sinologists to lecture at Mexican Embassy in Beijing (posted 15 May 2000)

A group of Mexican diplomats stationed in China would welcome lectures at the Embassy of Mexico, from itinerant scholars visiting  Peking. There is an acknowledged need to further study Chinese Affairs on site, on the job, for a good number of diplomats of many countries who are posted to China.

After two years in Peking as a Cultural Counsellor to the Mexican Embassy, myself, and I assume other diplomats, would share the view that we would benefit, and better serve understanding between our countries and China,  if we could acknowledge and fight against our academic shortcomings on Chinese affairs.

One modest way of doing this would be to foster contacts with scholars, authors on Chinese affairs, foreign correspondants and more experienced diplomats, who are passing through Peking, and who would be willing to present the content of their articles or books already published or in the process of writing.

Most embassies of developing countries have no budget to invite academic lectures to China, but would be interested – I suppose – to extend invitations to scholars willing to come to China to present their views. The Mexican Embassy has an easy door policy which permits cordial access to the Chinese public, students, and other diplomats in a relaxed atmosphere.

Sincerely yours,

Abraham Montes de Oca, Cultural Counsellor, Embassy of Mexico
Dong Wujie 5, San Litun, Beijing, China
ZIP CODE 100600
Tel. 0086 10 6532 2070

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Two new research projects at the Institute of East Asian Studies at Gerhard-Mercator University, Duisburg, Germany

Discourses on Political Reform and Democratization
in East and Southeast Asia in the Light of New Processes of Regional Community-Building (funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)

Beyond the purely economic dimension of the financial and economic crisis in Asia there is also a political dimension that has generated a discourse on the political reasons for the crisis and thus the future of political structures and political systems. Albeit the discussion may take different turns in each of the countries involved, emerging transnational processes and discussion contexts can still be discerned.

This project intends to:

  • trace and analyse the conceptions of the political future since the mid-nineties at the levels of the political elite, the intellectual elite, and the NGOs;
  • look at the influence exerted on the political reform process by political discourse;
  • discern whether a second debate on “Asian values” is emerging or has emerged on the basis of democratic values;
  • analyse whether the conceptions formed by political discourse tend to be indigenous, “Western” or syncretic;
  • provide an exhaustive answer to the question whether political discourse is contributing to a debate reaching beyond the earlier one on “Asian values” and whether a common identity oriented towards democratic elements is formed.

This will be analysed in the case of two authoritarian states (China, Vietnam), a multi-ethnic, formally democratic state with strong authoritarian features (Malaysia), and a democratic state with significant parochial structures and patterns of behaviour (Japan).

A special “Discussion Paper” series related to this project (No 1 was published in June 2000) is available under

Ethnic Entrepreneurs between Market Behaviour and Social Morality. The Impact of Ethnic Entrepreneurship on Social Change and Ethnicity. A Case Study Among the Yi in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in China (funded by Volkswagen Foundation)

Aspects of ethnic mobilisation during processes of modernisation have until now only marginally been investigated. In particular there are scarcely any academic investigations or analyses of the development of a new entrepreneurship among indigenous minorities and its role in ethnic mobilisation and ethnic consciousness. In China, a multinational state with 55 ethnic minorities, we have a good area for specific research, particularly as there are very few investigations that deal with tensions between economic modernisation and social change among minorities. This is where our project starts out, with four basic questions:

  1. The role of new entrepreneurs for social change and social structural change in Yi society.
  2. The development of an Yi ethnic entrepreneurship and its impact on social mobilisation.
  3. The changing role of social organisations (lineage) and of economic thinking following economic and social change.
  4. The relationship between entrepreneurship, ethnic identity and ethnicity.

The double role of entrepreneurs as social actors in the market place on the one hand and as members of an ethnic group (Yi) on the other hand is an important interface for our investigation. Individuals (in our case entrepreneurs) operate simultaneously as individuals and as members of personal-relationship groups, like ethnic, regional or language groups. Such a double role can also be found in the ethnic entrepreneur. Here ethnic mobility goes along with individual mobility. An investigation of ethnic entrepreneurs as actors with not only individual but also ethnic mobility contributes to a better understanding of the processes of change in social structures.

The project will be carried out in co-operation with the Research Institute for Yi Studies of the Yi Liangshan Autonomous Prefecture in Xichang.

Further information: Prof. Dr. Thomas Heberer, Institute of East Asian Studies, Gerhard-Mercator University Duisburg, Germany.

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Allan, Sarah and Crispin Williams, eds., The Guodian Laozi: Proceedings of the international conference, Dartmouth College, May, 1998 (Early China Special Monograph Series No. 5). US$35.

  • Contents: 1. Background papers by Li Boqian, Liu Zuxin, Peng Hao,  William G. Boltz, Harold D. Roth, Qiu Xigui, Gao Ming, Li Xueqin, P. M. Thompson. 2. An account of the discussion. 3. Edition of the Laozi and Tai Yi Sheng Shui by Edmund Ryden. 4. Supplementary materials including “Review of Guodian scholarship in China” by Xing Wen.
  • This book can be ordered from the Institute of East Asian Studies Publications, 2223 Fulton St., Berkeley, CA 94720-2318. E-mail:

Moritz, Ralf and Lee Ming-huei, eds., Der Konfuzianismus. Ursprünge – Entwicklungen – Perspektiven. (Mitteldeutsche Studien zu Ostasien, Vol.1). Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 1998. 278 pp. ISBN 3-933240-03-4.

Pohl, Karl-Heinz, ed., Chinese thought in a global context: A dialogue between Chinese and Western philosophical approaches. Leiden: Brill, 1999. 406 pp. ISBN: 90-04-11426-2 (ISSN: 0169-9563: v. 45; Sinica Leidensia). US$ 47.50.
(With contributions by Lin Yü-sheng, Liu Shu-hsien, Cheng Chung-ying, Yip Wai-lim, Li Zehou, Zhang Longxi, Li Shenzhi, Heiner Roetz et al.)

Von Senger, Harro, Lebens-und Überlebenslisten aus 3 Jahrtausenden. Strategeme. Vol 2: Strategeme 19-36. Bern, München, Wien: Scherz Verlag, 1999. 816 pp. ISBN 3-502-15654-9. DM 89.

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