The early history of the Red Cross Society of China and its relation to the Red Cross Movement
The Red Cross Movement : myths, practices and turning points
Manchester : Manchester University Press, 2020
The Chinese Red Cross Society was founded in 1904 by a group of Chinese elites intent on helping their countrymen trapped by the Russo-Japanese war in north China. But even before this date, the Red Cross Movement was familiar to the imperial Chinese Government and to a growing cadre of Chinese intellectuals, merchants and officials. How did the Chinese understand the Red Cross Movement? How did they come to adopt a western organisation, permeated by principles and preoccupations foreign to China’s own cultural and material context? This chapter uncovers the original Chinese debates regarding China’s adherence to the Geneva Conventions and the formation of a Red Cross society sparked by the 1899 meeting at The Hague. These debates reveal important insights and correctives to the idea of ‘universality’ in the Red Cross principles.