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Seminar: We are victims, aren’t we?
Date: 9 March 2011 

SMLC seminar series

“We are victims, aren’t we?”
Self-victimizing nationalism as an obstacle to Sino-Japanese reconciliation

Martin Chung Chi-Kei 鍾子祺
(Europe Studies)

Date: 9 March 2011 (Wednesday)
Time: 4:30pm
Venue: 812 KK Leung Building

Summary of the Presentation:
In late 2010, anti-Chinese and anti-Japanese protests erupted in Japan and China respectively. The ostensible “cause” was the sovereignty dispute over Diao Yu Tai/Senkaku Islands (釣魚台/尖閣諸島), which few, if any, of the protesters, have actually seen with their own eyes or personally set foot on. What does this tell us about the state (and the problems) of the relationship between the Japanese and the Chinese?  What are the predominant perceptions and misperceptions? Are there common characteristics among them? How can comparative research bring in new perspectives that may point to new ways of talking about the myriad of issues?
Borrowing from the German-Polish and German-Jewish experiences of “coming to terms with the past”, the speaker will explore the relational illness that purportedly lies beneath the Sino-Japanese territorial dispute, namely, a type of nationalism that has self-victimizing characteristics. Attempts will be made to trace its cultural roots in Chinese historiography and hermeneutical thinking. From this diagnosis, the talk will finally lead to the discussion of “mutual-turning” as a possible – and emergent – remedy in East Asia.

Martin Chung Chi-Kei 鍾子祺 was a lecturer at the University of St. Joseph in Macau (from 2007-2009). He is now a Research Postgraduate, PhD in European Studies, at the University of Hong Kong. He has published a number of articles and essays on different aspects of Europe-Asia comparative studies. His latest publication is “From Nation to Region: Comparing Joint History Writing in Europe and East Asia” (in Vasilache, Seidelmann and Sales Marques (eds.) States, Regions and the Global System: Europe and Northern Asia-Pacific in Globalised Governance. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2011). He is also a frequent contributor to the Macau Observer (澳門觀察報), a Chinese weekly published by the Catholic Lay Association of Macau.

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