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The Christian Student Movement, YMCAs, and Transnationalism in Republican China

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image of Journal of American-East Asian Relations

On Monday, 9 December 1935, the morning stillness in the frozen fields northwest of Beiping (Beijing) was broken by the sounds of singing and chanting. Several hundred Chinese students from Yenching (Yanjing) and Tsinghua (Qinghua) Universities, many of them members of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), were marching into Beiping to express their outrage over the pending dismemberment of northeast China by the Japanese Army. Although the police forestalled the march by closing the city gates, several hundred other students from schools inside the city wall publicly vented their dissatisfaction with their government's failure to oppose Japanese imperialism. The “December Ninth Movement” (Yierjiu yundong) had begun. The patriotism of the students would eventually influence others in Chinese society, convincing them that national oblivion was near, and China would find the collective will to resist Japan for the next ten years.


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