Beijing, the Invisible City

China Heritage Quarterly, a publication of the China Heritage Project, The Australian National University, has published a special issue focusing on Beijing, the Invisible City. From the Introduction:

We feature the historical investigative journalist Dai Qing’s 2007 Morrison Lecture, both in English and Chinese, in which she discusses the 1948 ‘peaceful liberation’ of Beiping and the plangent fate of some of the ancient city’s men of letters. Other features introduce unrealized plans for Beijing that date from the 1900s (the late-Qing era) and through the period of high socialism; there is also an account of the Beijing Underground (as well as its ‘cousin’, the Pyongyang Metro), and a short discussion of the beginning of the end of the walls of Beijing during the 1910s (see ‘The Silver Shovel of Zhu Qiqian’). We also discuss the heritage of the planned evisceration of the city and its rebuilding, in both word and image. In ‘Hidden Mansions’ readers are introduced to some the parts of the city that are sequestered from the public, the secret Beijing known not merely to the ‘cashed up’ cognoscenti, but also to the nomenklatura and their progeny. A photographic essay by Lois Conner in Features, and an essay on the Beijing City Planning Exhibition Hall by Kelly Layton, in Articles, depict the city made manifest through images and models.


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