Recent Posts

“Long Road to Abolition,” The World of Chinese

My new post for The World of Chinese on the legal, social, and cultural barriers to ending China’s forced labor tradition.



Long Road to Abolition

On January 31, 1910, the Qing court issued an imperial rescript which officially abolished slavery throughout the empire.
It wasn’t the first time a government in China had tried to end slavery. Nor was chattel slavery unique to China. But throughout Chinese history, edicts, laws, and proclamations against slavery ran up against a system that perhaps uniquely conflated human bondage with criminality, social debasement, and cultural prejudices toward certain classes of people.