Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
China Initiative

Chen Jian ─ Zhou Enlai and China’s Revolutionary Era

Thursday, March 25, 2021

4:00pm – 5:30pm

Register here to join the webinar.

Professor Chen Jian has been working on a comprehensive Zhou Enlai biography for almost a decade. In this presentation, he will share with the audience some of his critical reflections on Zhou and China’s dilemma-ridden revolutionary era, of which Zhou was a creator, a participant, a leader, and also a victim. In particular, he will try to trace Zhou’s life and career as a Communist revolutionary, a statesman, a diplomat, and, in the final analysis, a person who had his own vision, love, hatred, empathy, inclination, and rejection. To be sure, Zhou had his bright times and also dark moments. His stories have epitomized—or even embodied—not only the constructive results of China’s revolutionary era but also its profound paradoxes and complex legacies.

Chen Jian is Distinguished Global Network Professor of History at NYU-Shanghai and NYU. He is also a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC; Hu Shih Professor of History Emeritus at Cornell University; and Zijiang Distinguished Visiting Professor at East China Normal University. He is a leading scholar on Cold War international studies, history of Chinese-American relations, and history of modern China. Among his many publications are China's Road to the Korean War (1994), The China Challenge in the 21st Century: Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy (1997), and Mao's China and the Cold War (2001). He is now completing a major biography of Zhou Enlai (in both English and Chinese).