In early 1910, Chinese revolutionaries attempted to assassinate the regent of the Qing Empire by planting a bomb near his residence in Beijing. Two years later, an explosive of a similar type was used by Indian revolutionaries in their attempted assassination of the viceroy of the British Raj in Delhi. Through investigating these two seemingly irrelevant events, this article demonstrates that radical political activists in both China and India acquired their explosive-making skills from diasporic Russian revolutionaries in Japan and France respectively after the failure of the 1905 Russian Revolution. Although both assassination attempts failed and have largely been marginalized in the national narratives in both countries, the transnational connections between Chinese and Indian revolutionaries in their pursuit of learning the portable dynamite technology overseas sheds light on how modern Chinese and Indian history entangled with one another.
About the Speaker
Cao Yin (PhD, National University of Singapore) is an associate professor in the department of history, Tsinghua University. His research interest mainly covers modern India, the British Empire, and the Sino-Indian connections in the twentieth century. He is currently working on a project of how India became China’s home front during the second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). His first book, entitled From Policemen to Revolutionaries: A Sikh Diaspora in Global Shanghai 1885-1945, was published by Brill in 2017.
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