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Republican BeijingThe City and Its Histories$
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Madeleine YueDong and Reginald E. Zelnik

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520230507

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520230507.001.0001

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Power: The City and Its People

Power: The City and Its People

(p.54) Chapter 2 Power: The City and Its People
Republican Beijing

Madeleine Yue Dong

University of California Press

This chapter examines how major interest groups involved in the reshaping of Republican Beijing's urban form struggled over the meanings of political concepts, commercial interests, and cultural and historical identities of local communities. It explores the operation of and interaction among the municipal government, commercial interests, and ordinary urban residents through the Xuanwu Gate project; the establishment of the street-car system; and the naming of streets. The chapter argues that while the reshaping of Republican Beijing was initially planned and initiated by the state, the state's efforts to establish a certain urban identity were balanced to a considerable degree by residents' struggles for their material interests in the spaces being transformed.

Keywords:   Republican Beijing, urban form, political concepts, commercial interests, local communities, municipal government, Xuanwu Gate project, street-car system, urban identity

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