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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents concluding remarks for this book, which addresses a major theme in twentieth century Chinese history: the penetration of the central state into local society. By jettisoning binary models, one can better appreciate the dynamics of state-society relations and the dynamism of economic development currently taking place in China?s western region as the continuation of a political integration that has for centuries challenged the central state. The analysis of local variations in the book looks not merely at social organizations across ethnically different communities, but also at the operation of government administrations between the frontier and interior. The southwest frontier was shaped by conquest and development. Political integration and economic development reinforced each other, facilitating transformation. The new economic drive to develop China?s western region seeks to sustain domestic growth while maintaining and reinforcing border security.

Keywords: economic development; political integration; state-society relations; twentieth century Chinese history



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