Friday, May 8, 2009

May Fourth Movement五四運動

I nearly forgot the May Fourth Movement五四運動/五四运动; on 4th of May,the student demonstration in Beijing on 4-5-1919, which demonstrated against the unfair treatment of Treaty of Versailles after the first world war on China(a victor country), especially on Shandong problem. Shandong problem is the dispute over article 156 of the Treaty of Versailles 1919. The article transferred the German concessions in Shandong Peninsular to Japan, rather than returning the sovereign authority of the land to China. Treaty of Versailles was the peace treaty signed on 28-6-1919 at the end of WW1, between Germany and the Allied Power at Paris Peace Conference. China did not signed the treaty, but signed a separate treaty directly with Germany in 1921.

May Forth Movement is also refered to the period between 1915-1921, also called New Cultural Movement(新文化運動/新文化运动). The New Cultural Movement was formed after the failure of Chinese Republic found in 1912 which overthrown the Qing dynasty, when Yuan Shikai(袁世凯)become the 2nd President of China,when Dr Sun Yat Sen resigned.He was a warlord who attempt to become the new emperor of China. The movement called for the creation of new Chinese culture against the traditional Confucian culture(儒家). The new culture will be based on the global and western thinking at the time,especially science(科学)and democracy(民主). They called it Mr Science(赛先生) and Mr Democracy(德先生). The people who involved in the movement were Chen Duxiu(陈独秀),Cai Yuanpei(蔡元培),Cai Yuanpei(李大钊),Lu Xun(魯迅),Hu Shih(胡適/胡适), who are all famous scholars from Peking University(北京大學) or Beida(北大).

Cai Yuanpei(1876-1940蔡元培)

The person who facilitate the initiation of the movement was Cai Yuanpei(1876-1940蔡元培) who is the chancellor of Peking University, who recruited many famous scholars and thinkers, even from different or opposing views,they are Hu Shih(胡適),Li Dazhao, Chen Duxiu and Gu Hongming(辜鴻銘). Gu Hongming(1857-1928),from Penang who is a scholar who advocate Confucian value and monarchy, which was having opposing views from others.Hu Shih(1891-1962) promoted Vernacular Chinese(白话)which is spoken Chinese and against the classical Chinese which is difficult to understand . Most of the scholars at the time was having political thinking inclined to communism, except Gu Hongming and Hu Shih; Cai Yuanpei as a university chancellor allowed the students to expose to the different thinking at the time. That is democracy, respect of different views and thinking. He was the man that facilitate the movement. Peking university later on produced many great scholars,writers,academician which have influence the modern China.Without Cai Yuanpei,there will be no Beida(北大) or Peking University, no New Cultural Movement,no May Fourth Movement, it all because of democracy spirit of Mr Cai Yuanpei, the chancellor of Peking University. The Peking University of today still maintain the tradition, and produced students who dare to give their view, even difference from the ruling party. Because it is the birth place of New Cultural Movement, the May Fourth Movement.

Gu Hongming(辜鴻銘)(1857-1928), from Penang,Malaysia.

The May Fourth Movement is more a political movement that called for the awakening of Chinese on nationalism and changes based on the New Cultural Movement initiated by the academician and scholars. It shifted the awakening from the small base of academic to mobilization of the masses of Chinese people from various background. It moved the Chinese from cultural issues of the academician and scholars to political movement of the people or masses to change, and later lead to revolution to form a new People Republic of China in 1-10-1949.

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