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Reshaping the BoundariesThe Christian Intersection of China and the West in the Modern Era$
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Song Gang

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390557

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390557.001.0001

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Russian-Chinese Cultural Exchanges in the Early Modern Period

Russian-Chinese Cultural Exchanges in the Early Modern Period

Missionaries, Sinologists, and Artists

(p.35) 2 Russian-Chinese Cultural Exchanges in the Early Modern Period
Reshaping the Boundaries

Nikolay Samoylov

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter investigates the development of Sino-Russian exchanges from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. The author emphasizes the role of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Beijing for transmitting social-cultural information between the two neighboring empires. Through their writings on late imperial China, missionaries like Archimandrite Iakinf (Bichurin) played a key role in the burgeoning of Russian Sinology and created an idealistic image of China in political, legal, and educational terms. The author further ponders at the diverse and even conflicting perceptions of China among Russian missionaries and intellectuals. They did not represent China as it was but as what they expected it to be—a symbolic mirror image for them to reflect upon the reality in Russia.

Keywords:   Sino-Russian relation, Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Beijing, early Russian Sinology, Archimandrite Iakinf (Bichurin)

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