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Introduction to “Eurasian Studies”


   
The present site—“Eurasian Studies”—is maintained and managed by the research group on China’s foreign relations, a division in the Institute of History of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. It reports on the latest academic undertakings as well as the latest discoveries of concerned scholars in the field.
    What we mean by “Eurasia” on this web site refers to the continental Eurasia, ranging from the valleys of the Heilongjiang and Songhuajiang rivers in the east to the valleys of the Danube and the Volga in the west. Specifically, it includes—in addition to Central and Eastern Europe— China’s three northeastern provinces, Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, the Mongolian Plateau, Siberia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and northwestern India. The geographical center of the area is the so-called Eurasian Steppes.
    The study of the history and culture of continental Eurasia is an indispensable component of the study of world history and culture. Many intriguing and challenging issues in the historical studies of East Asia, West Asia, South Asia, Europe, and the Americas can only be resolved by an intensified and enhanced study of continental Eurasian history and culture, that is, by taking the region’s history and culture as a whole entity and examining it in its entirety.
China, as an important Eurasian country, has an unshirkable obligation to deepen Eurasian Studies, not only because the field is interesting and exciting academically—there are many discoveries to make, but also because it can help foster and enhance friendship among neighboring countries, contribute to a border situation that is congenial to reformation and openness and the building of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Hence the field’s immediate political significance.
    Among the subjects of continental Eurasian Studies are the nations that have historically inhabited the Eurasian Steppes and neighboring areas (especially China’s Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai provinces, Tibet, Asia Minor, Iran, Arabia, India, Japan, Korea, even West Europe and North Africa), and their interactions with other areas of the world—economically, politically, culturally. As a result of the particular natural geographical environment of continental Eurasia (especially its central area), its history and culture are characterized by special regional features.
    With the advent of the new century and the gradual revelation the area’s importance in the world, continental Eurasian Studies has become one of the key academic areas.
In China, continental Eurasian Studies has been a discipline both old and new. Over half a century, especially since 1978, China has made great strides in the studies on the history and culture of Central Asia, North Asia, Northeast Asia, even Eastern and Central Europe, with a growing number of discoveries continuously being made. But it has to be acknowledged that, compared with other countries, we still have a long way to go, especially in the study of continental Eurasia as an entity in itself. China is one of the countries with a long history and a highly developed culture, and is currently engaged in an unprecedented constructive effort. Since China has a long relationship with continental Eurasia, we, a new generation of Eurasian scholars, are obliged to conduct innovative researches and make appropriate contributions, while following the standard of the academic world and taking into consideration the schools of various countries.
    From the founding of the journal Eurasian Studies in 1999 to the destined birth of this web site, Eurasian Studies in China has made an auspicious beginning. We believe that, by the cooperation of scholars from various countries and various schools, Eurasian Studies will thrive and prosper.
    This web site is divided into “Eurasian Forum,” “Researches,” “Introductions to Major Publications,” “Miscellanies,” “Bibliography,” “Reviews,” “Other Schools and Approaches,” with articles, debates, queries and answers, and discussions; exegeses and editions of historical texts, and translations and interpretations of the classics and other materials of other countries and China’s ethnic minorities. We will pay close attention to the trends in this field, to its historical achievements and its prospectus, report on conferences, lectures, field trips, and other academic and scholarly activities. Reviews and digests, information about new publications, the curricula vitae of Eurasian scholars from various countries (China, Europe, America, Japan, and Korea) are also this web site’s emphasis. We welcome reading notes, academic essays, memoirs, travelogues, descriptions of historical sites, and miscellanies, and we will also publish a selection of important works in related disciplines and in philosophy, sociology, and natural sciences, as well as a bibliography of monographs and journal articles, hoping to expedite the researches of our colleagues. In the future we will add such columns as “Eurasian Archeology,” “Eurasian Religion,” “Dunghuang-Turfan Studies,”     “Anthoropology,” “Sino-Korean Relations.” We welcome your contributions, and we hope to build a spiritual home for Eurasian and other scholars.
 



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