Shellen Wu’s new book, Birth of the Geopolitical Age: Global Frontiers and the Making of Modern China traces the global history of the frontier in the twentieth century, particularly in China. The global history approach offers a new perspective on the continuities and evolution of the construction of Chinese territoriality from the late nineteenth century through to the People’s Republic of China after 1949. She weaves a narrative that moves through time and space, the lives of individuals, and empires’ rise, fall and rebirth, to show how the reshaping of Chinese geopolitical ambitions in the twentieth century, and the global transformation of frontiers, continues to reorder global power dynamics in East Asia and beyond to this day.

In an interview conducted on November 9, 2023, Shellen Wu, in conversation with James Carter, discusses how China, despite political turmoil and war, navigated the twentieth century with its imperial territory basically intact.

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