CHINA HERITAGE QUARTERLY China Heritage Project, The Australian National University ISSN 1833-8461
No. 27, September 2011


From the CIW-Danwei Archive: Xinhai in the Chinese Media | China Heritage Quarterly

Xinhai 辛亥 in the Chinese Media in China
From the CIW-Danwei Online Archive

In July 2010, at the time of the establishment of the Australian Centre on China in the World (CIW), the Centre formalized a relationship with the Beijing-based Danwei Media Group. The CIW-Danwei collaboration is aimed at amassing web-based materials related to the research themes, priorities and interests of CIW academics. Developed on an intranet site, the CIW-Danwei Online Archive is building a research resource for general use. The following is a small selection of materials from the archive. My thanks to Jeremy Goldkorn, Joel Martinsen and colleagues at Danwei for their work. I am also grateful to Tanya Fan of CIW for her contribution to this section.—Geremie R. Barmé, Director, CIW


Below is a representative selection of uses of the term. Each article is summarized in English together with a link to the source and the original text.

90th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution

Attached below are examples of coverage in the Chinese media of the 90th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution in 2001 arranged according to date of publication.

Xinhua News Agency set up a special anniversary news channel under the title 'Complete the great cause of reunification; achieve national rejuvenation' (The page has since been deleted, but a cached version is available on

Jiang Zemin's address to a special meeting commemorating the anniversary also emphasized the need for national unity, particularly in regard to reunification with Taiwan.

1. A historical review of Xinhai Revolution
人民日报: 辛亥革命的历史评价

28 September 2001

This article by Xinhai Revolution scholar Jin Chongji was originally published in 1981 in the People's Daily. It examines the historical implications of the Xinhai Revolution, seeing Sun Yat-sen as a bourgeois evolutionary who did not end feudalism but set the stage for the later real revolution by the Communist Party. The article was republished by the People's Daily in 2001.

2. Complete the great cause of reunification; achieve national rejuvenation
新华网: 完成统一大业 实现民族复兴

8 October 2001

A Xinhua News Agency commentary commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution. The piece elaborates upon the theme for Xinhua's special feature on the anniversary: unification and rejuvenation.

3. Jiang Zemin addresses a session commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution
新华网: 江泽民:在纪念辛亥革命九十周年大会上的讲话

9 October 2001

Jiang Zemin's address positions the Communist Party as the inheritor of Sun Yat-sen's revolutionary tradition, and stresses the need for reunification with Taiwan.

4. The spirit of Xinhai Revolution and China's rejuvenation
人民日报: 发扬辛亥革命精神 实现中华民族复兴

9 October 2001

Another People's Daily editorial on the spirit of the Xinhai Revolution and China's national rejuvenation.

5. A great change in the 20th century China
人民日报: 二十世纪中国的第一次历史巨变

9 October 2001

An article that elaborates on the link between the Xinhai Revolution and the communist revolution:

'Most of the earliest communists were significantly influenced and inspired by the Xinhai Revolution. They would subsequently learn their lessons from the failure of the revolution, see its weaknesses, and eventually come to the conclusion that a capitalist republic was impossible in China, and they must find another route to save the country and the people…'

6. Great awakening of the Chinese people
人民日报: 任仲平:中华民族的伟大觉醒

9 October 2001

This People's Daily article comments on the historical implications of Xinhai Revolution, calling it a 'great wakening of the Chinese people'.

7. He Luoli speaks on Xinhai Revolution
中华网: 何鲁丽在辛亥革命90周年纪念大会上发言

9 October 2001

He Luoli, vice secretary of Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and leader of Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang, said at a commemoration ceremony that China today has achieved more than Sun Yat-sen tried to with his revolution.

8. Taiwan and Sun Yat-sen
新华: 秋雨秋风忆当年

10 October 2001

An article reflecting on Sun Yat-sen's visits to Taiwan and how Taiwanese people commemorate the 90th anniversary of Xinhai Revolution.

9. Documentary 'Sun Yat-sen' airs to commemorate 90th anniversary of Xinhai Revolution
北京青年报: 纪念辛亥革命90周年 纪录片《孙中山》开播

10 October 2001

The Beijing Youth Daily reports on a six-episode biographical documentary shot by the team behind the films Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. However, much of the article is devoted to introducing the upcoming historical drama Towards a Republic and contrasting it with the earlier Yongzheng Dynasty, also by screenwriter Zhang Jianwei.

10. CCTV starts shooting history drama on Xinhai anniversary
北京晨报: 纪念日开拍大型电视剧 《走向共和》展示英雄年代

10 October 2001

China's Central Television Station started shooting of 'Towards a Republic', a 50-episode TV drama that covers the period of history between 1895 to 1924.

11. The significance of Xinhai Revolution
中国网 : 回顾伟大的辛亥革命

10 October 2001

According to the article, written by a professor of Party History at People's University, the significance of the Xinhai Revolution lies in the fact that it showed Chinese people's spirit of exploration and courage and that it pioneered the notion that all Chinese people across the world should be united for a prosperous and unified China.

12. Sun Yat-sen is forever a banner for the Chinese people
人民网: 人民时评:孙中山——中华民族永远的旗帜

11 October 2001

An opinion piece: Despite his many weaknesses, Sun Yat-sen was a great political leader with a 'global vision, enlightened worldview and modern personality, and very little feudal baggage'.

13. Ethnic Chinese in Japan observe 90th anniversary of Xinhai Revolution
中新社: 旅日华侨纪念辛亥革命九十周年

15 October 2001

China News Service reports on a symposium held by ethnic Chinese in Japan to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution. The symposium emphasized Sun Yat-sen's drive for revolution, unity, and building a strong nation.

100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution

Below are examples of coverage in the Chinese media of the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution in 2011 arranged according to date of publication.

1. History professor says the fact that the Xinhai Revolution started in Wuhan was no coincidence
长江日报: 郭世佑:辛亥革命的先烈们体现了'人为'精神

16 September 2010

Guo Shixiang, professor of history at China University of Political Science and Law, said that it was no coincidence that the Xinhai Revolution started in Wuhan as the reforms initiated by Hubei governor Zhang Zhidong had cultivated large number of educated people, many of whom played key roles in the revolt. The rebellion in Wuhan was well planed and well organized in comparison with the more anarchic uprising in Hunan.

2. Zhang Kairuan on Sun Yat-sen 

凤凰网: 章开沅:辛亥革命需探索上下三百年

8 October 2010

Zhang Kairuan, Chinese historian and founder of the Institute of Xinhai Revolution Studies, praises Sun Yat-sen as the only 'global citizen among China's pre-modern political leaders'.

3. Taiwan historian says Xinhai Revolution should not be exaggerated
凤凰网: 张朋园:夸大辛亥革命不合适

9 October 2010

In an interview with Phoenix TV, Taiwanese historian Zhang Pengyuan said that the positive aspects of Xinhai Revolution should not be exaggerated as it set off decades of chaos. Zhang is quoted as saying 'It was not until Deng Xiaoping's Reform and Opening-up that Chinese society had peace and the country returned to the route of normal development.'

4. Low bloodshed and regional autonomy are two heritages of Xinhai Revolution
凤凰网: 辛亥百年回顾:'微流血'与地方自治

10 October 2010

Song Shinan Chinese historian and social commentator writes that the two heritages of Xinhai Revolution, low bloodshed and regional autonomy, remain inspirational to Chinese society today.

5. Xinhai Revolution survey
凤凰网: 辛亥革命百年倒计时相关问题调查

19 December 2010

In 2010, Phoenix TV did an online survey on public awareness of the Xinhai Revolution. Most respondents said they learned about it in middle school. 5,434 or 34.6% of respondents said the Xinhai Revolution was the most important of several events, including the 1949 revolution.

6. Ceremony held in Guangzhou to commemorate 100th anniversary Guangzhou Uprising
南方都市报: '没辛亥广州起义恐怕无武昌起义'

29 March 2011

Historians and descendants of revolutionaries gathered in Guanghzou to participate in a commemoration ceremony recognizing the 100th anniversary of the March 29th Guangzhou Uprising, which took place shortly before the Wuchang Uprising that lead to the fall of the Manchu government.

7. Taiwan intellectuals discuss Xinhai Revolution and cross-straits relationship
中国评论: 台湾专家学者众论辛亥百年与两岸关系_中国人中国龙_新浪博客

29 May 2011

Taiwanese magazine China Review invited local intellectuals to talk about Taiwanese political parties' attitudes towards the Xinhai Revolution and Taiwan's relationship with Mainland China. The discussion was reproduced on

8. Two causes of Xinhai Revolution
北京日报: 金冲及:辛亥革命是一次了不起的巨变

23 June 2011

Jin Chongji, a history researcher specialized in Xinhai Revolution studies, said that two main causes of Xinhai Revolution were mounting risks of China becoming a Western colony and the Manchu government's growing obsequiousness towards the Western powers.

9. Xinhai Revolution and its shortcomings
瞭望新闻周刊: '无法告别革命'

11 July 2011

Speaking to Outlook Magazine, Zhang Kairuan, a historian known for Xinhai Revolution studies, named Han chauvinism and failure to introduce a sustainable democratic political system as the shortcomings of the revolution.

10. Great grandson talks about Sun Yat-sen
侨报: 孙中山曾孙谈纪念辛亥革命:牢记捐躯的小人物

1 August 2011

Sun Guoxiong, great grandson of Sun Yat-sen, attended a commemoration ceremony for the Xinhai Revolution in Wuhan, Hubei Province and said that the many anonymous people who sacrificed their lives for the revolutionary course led by Sun should be remembered. Before retirement, Sun Guoxiong was a stunt double in Hollywood specializing in Asian soldier roles in war movies.

11. Great grandson of Sun Yat-sen talks about Xinhai Revolution
湖北日报: 孙中山曾侄孙孙必达在汉谈辛亥百年

15 August 2011

Sun Bida (孙必达), great grandnephew of Sun Yat-sen said when he visited Wuhan that his grand uncle would be very pleased to see China's developed railway system.

12. Sun Yat-sen should not be abstract symbol
北京日报: 章开沅:不能把孙中山当成抽象的政治符号(1)

22 August 2011

Zhang Kairuan (章开沅), professor of history at Central China Normal University praises Sun as a great Chinese political leader and a bona fide global citizen. 'His integrity and vision should serve as an example for his descendants.'

13. Overseas Chinese scholars talk about overseas Chinese contribution to Xinhai Revolution
长江商报: 海内外学者在汉畅谈海外华侨对辛亥革命的贡献

25 August 2011

The Overseas Chinese Department of the State Council and China Overseas Exchange Association invited overseas Chinese scholars from U.S., France, Australia, etc. to talk about the contribution made by overseas Chinese people to the Xinhai Revolution. One of the scholars was quoted as saying: 'There would be no Xinhai Revolution, had there no overseas Chinese.'

14. CCTV's new TV series pays tribute to Xinhai Revolution
南海网: 央视献礼辛亥百年 《小站风云》掀红剧风(图)

27 August 2011

CCTV has produced a historical drama called the Turbulent History of Xiaozhan to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution. The drama was directed by a Hong Kong director, with actors and actresses from Taiwan and Mainland China.

15. Why a Revolution?
钱江晚报: 为什么革命

30 August 2011

This is the introductory article to a Qianjiang Evening News feature series on the Xinhai Revolution. The article sketches a brief history of the decades leading up to the revolution by noting a number of revolutionary movements that were launched in August. The series' first installment examines the role of youthful idealism; future installments will look at historical context, Sun Yat-sen, and enlightenment thinking.

16. Sun Yat-sen and unification
新华网: 孙中山:统一是中华民族的根本利益和共同希望(1)

30 August 2011

The article quotes Sun Yat-sen: 'China has been a unified country, and unification has been imprinted into our historical view, which is the reason that we have been preserved as a country, despite all the destructive forces' and contends that the statement perfectly illustrates the reason that China needs to be unified.

17. Xinhua: Commemoration of 1911 Revolution mounting in China

13 September 2011

Xinhua published an English article about the Xinhai Revolution and a film about it that premieres on September 23, 2011.