Zhendong XU

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (MPHIL)


Political Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Chan Che-po

Second Advisor

Dr. Chung Chien-peng


In 1898, with the foundation of the Metropolitan University of the Qing Dynasty (Jingshi da xuetang) in Beijing, the modern higher education system was established in China. After the Qing Dynasty, China has been ruled by two political parties before and after 1949: Kuomintang (KMT) dated from 1911 to 1949 and Chinese Communist Party (CCP)1 dated from 1949 to present.

The history of Nanjing University (NJU) can be traced back to Sanjiang Normal School founded by the Qing government in 1902. The NJU witnessed the development of modern higher education in China. The Nanjing city used to be the capital of the KMT regime and National Central University (NCU) was under the control of the KMT. Nevertheless, today Nanjing is the capital of Jiangsu province and NJU is under the control of the CCP. As commonly known, the KMT and the CCP followed different political systems. The political status of the city and the university has changed a lot. It is worthwhile to do a research on the party controls of the KMT over NCU and the CCP over NJU within a changeable century to find which political system benefit the university more.

This thesis introduces and compares the party controls of the KMT over NCU and the CCP over NJU in chapter two (party controls over personnel) and chapter three (party controls over the whole university). Afterwards, chapter four discusses the continuum of the political controls from the Qing Dynasty, to the KMT and then to the CCP and chapter five gives a summary as the conclusion.

It is commonly known that China has a long civilized history for more than five thousand years. Within this long period of time, China formed a traditional Chinese authoritarianism with a typical Confucian orientation and three related structural aspects, hierarchical system, paternalism and bureaucratic pattern. This traditional Chinese authoritarianism was widely accepted and adopted by all dynasties and political regimes in China. All the modern universities (including NCU and NJU) and political parties (including the KMT and the CCP) in China are influenced by this type of authoritarianism while they are at the same time influenced by the Soviet Union (mainly in party constructions of the KMT and the CCP) and western values (mainly in university affairs including university settings and university administrations) in the late days. So the traditional Chinese authoritarianism, Soviet Union influence and western values are the three most important backgrounds in the party controls of the KMT over NCU and the CCP over NJU. Based on the analysis of this thesis, there is a continuum underlying the political controls of Qing Dynasty, the KMT and the CCP. It is found that the traditional Chinese authoritarianism is the dominant element in this continuum. Both the party controls of the KMT and the CCP have the characteristics of a typical Chinese Confucian orientation with its hierarchical structure, paternalism and bureaucratic pattern.

Recommended Citation

Xu, Z. (2008). Party controls in National Central University and Nanjing University before and after 1949 (Master's thesis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from