Wang Jingwei’s Political Discourse: Selected Essays, Speeches, Letters and Telegrams

編輯 EditorAbout the books, Announcements

Wang Jingwei’s Political Discourse: Selected Essays, Speeches Letters and Telegrams —The Newly Compiled and Revised Edition, the first anthology of Wang Jingwei’s writings spanning his entire political career from 1905 to 1944 — and the first e-book of Wang’s handwritten manuscripts ever published — will be published on January 31, 2023. The printed book published by the Wang Jingwei Irrevocable Trust in collaboration with Eight Corners Books is available worldwide on April 1, 2024 through Elephant White Cultural Enterprise. Readers can purchase the printed book from online retailers such as, Eslite, Kingstone

Why is it important to publish Wang Jingwei’s Political Discourse as first e-book in the series?

“My speeches and writings are the truest form of my life story. There is no need for any other autobiography.”WANG JINGWEI

More than seventy years after his death in 1944, Wang Jingwei continues to fascinate. As a popular topic of discussion, Wang Jingwei enjoys a robust presence on social media. Television programs, videos, talk shows on the mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong feature Wang Jingwei in fictional and nonfictional presentations, often with varying degrees of blurriness between the two.

Clearly, people are eager to talk about Wang Jingwei, but what are they talking about? How much do they know about the person who has sometimes been reduced to a caricature or written out of history altogether? More importantly, what did Wang say about himself, his ideas and the reasons behind his decisions?

Free from the tyranny of labels, those who want to know more will welcome the opportunity to form their own opinions based on Wang Jingwei’s own words.

The series Wang Jingwei & Modern China has already been published as a print edition, why is it necessary to do a digital version?

Since its 2019 publication, all copies of the six-volume series have sold out in less than two years. Responding to readers’ requests for reprints and individual volumes, we have decided to reintroduce the series as individual books in digital format. In addition to aiming for the widest possible readership, we have also taken the opportunity to enhance our content with additional research, gleaned from newly available primary source materials.

The digital edition includes everything that was published in the original print edition and makes the best use of the digital format across multiple devices, allowing readers to select and search for explanations of specific terms via the Internet, use bookmarks to highlight particular pages or passages, as well as enlarge images.

If the writings of Wang Jingwei can be found elsewhere, why must we read Wang Jingwei’s Political Discourse: Selected Essays, Speeches Letters and Telegrams —The Newly Compiled and Revised Edition?

Material available on the Internet, or in published books, is uneven in quality and accuracy. For example, a photograph of the well-known Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune is still frequently used to depict Wang Jingwei. Even official archival documents, newspaper articles and other publications contain information that deviate from one another. For example, in the essay “Outline of Current International Affairs,” one book refers to “north of the Yellow River” while another book refers to the same information as “north of the Black River.”WANG JINGWEI POLITICAL DISCOURSE EDITORIAL TEAM

Our first task was to unearth all extant—albeit nearly impossible to find—primary source material published at the time. We then study and compare different versions of a particular text and consult Wang’s other writings including handwritten manuscripts, taking note of his writing styles and commonly-used phrases. We then painstakingly identified variations in different publications of the same works that may be incorrect or distort Wang Jingwei’s original meanings. The team corrected these mistakes, and when faced with ambiguities, we kept the different versions so that readers can decide the correct meanings or interpretations for themselves.

As indicated at the end of each essay, we consulted with no fewer than three versions for each of the 121 essays published. For handwritten manuscripts, we remained faithful to Wang’s originals.

In addition, the editorial team has updated certain punctuations and paragraph breaks to enhance readability on electronic devices without altering the meaning of Wang’s original texts.

Why should we read these works created decades, even a century, ago? How are they relevant to our world today?

A nation that cannot face its past with honesty cannot be considered a mature nation, no matter how old its history.    WANG KE-WEN, Emeritus Professor of History, St. Michael’s College

In times of tumult and war, Wang Jingwei’s ideas about nationality, country, people, politics, etc. permeate many layers. Even though his words were written a century ago and more, his thoughts are as relevant now as they were then.

In the essay “Discussion on the Revolutionary Trends” published on February 1, 1910, which was pinned to his jacket during the assassination attempt against the Prince Regent Zaifeng, Wang Jingwei’s advocacy for democratic revolution against tyranny is pertinent still.

With a tyrannical government's power mightier than a tiger's, the people's lives are diminished, their property stolen, and every little act could end result in arrest. With suffering no less immense than death, why would it be necessary to tear off the mask of tyranny before one wakes up to reality?WANG JINGWEI

Wang’s forward-thinking ideas are worthy of consideration today. For example, in “An Introduction: China in the World after the Paris Peace Conference,” published on February 1, 1920, Wang foresaw the inevitability of peaceful coexistence among all nations. In “An Important Announcement,” published on April 9, 1939, he warned about consequences of continued war with Japan.

Those who read the 121 essays, speeches, letters and telegrams that highlight Wang Jingwei’s political career will discover truths that too many people—even scholars—have long ignored or suppressed.

There are many well-written published historical critiques and analyses today, why do we need to study primary source materials?

Much is still unknown about Wang Jingwei, one of the most debated historical figures of the Republican era. First-hand accounts, original handwritten manuscripts (published and unpublished) have been virtually inaccessible, even to scholars. Until now. The publication of this book will no doubt be good news to those interested in modern Chinese history.
I believe the publication of this book will open minds of those who truly wish to understand the real Wang Jingwei, and arrive at their own conclusions through the archival material it contains.HSU YUMING Associate Professor of History at National Dong Hwa University