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Uneasy Encounters

The Politics of Medicine and Health in China 1900-1937

Iris Borowy

Early twentieth century China went through a tumultuous period, marked by the end of an ancient monarchy, political instability and profound cultural upheaval. The medical discourse both reflected and contributed to these transformations. Western medicine arrived in China as part of missionary, foreign imperialist and internal modernization efforts. In various ways it interacted with Chinese practices and belief systems. The contributions in this volume explore important episodes of this multi-faceted process, describing key institutions, personalities and their respective motives and interests. Collectively, the chapters reveal a complex web of interlocking dimensions, which evade simple categorizations of Western or Chinese, exploitive or supportive, traditional or modern.
Contents: Iris Borowy: Introduction – Qiusha Ma: From Religion to Science: Western Medicine’s Role in Reforming China – Florence Bretelle-Establet: From Extending French Colonial Control to Safeguarding National Prestige: The French Medical Dispensaries in Southern China – Liping Bu: Social Darwinism, Public Health and Modernization on China, 1895-1925 – Liew Kai Khiun: (Re)Claiming Sovereignty: The Manchuria Plague Prevention Services (1912-31) – David Luesink: The History of Chinese Medicine: Empires, Transnationalism and Medicine in China, 1908-1937 – Socrates Litsios: The Rockefeller Foundation’s Struggle to Correlate Its Existing Medical Program with Public Health Work in China – Iris Borowy: Thinking Big - League of Nations Efforts towards a Reformed National Health System in China.