Volume 15, Issue 2, 2018
Conceptual History: China, Asia, and the Global
The Experience of L’Internationale in Modern China
During the 20th-century Chinese revolution, L’Internationale was one of the most important political symbols. After the failure of the Paris Commune in 1871, Eugène Pottier wrote the poem titled “L’Internationale” which was published for the first time until 1887. It was set to music by Pierre Degeyter in 1888 and introduced into China from both France and the Soviet Union (USSR). Qu Qiubai and Xiao San made great contribution to the work of translation that influenced the official version in 1962. From a hymn for the International Workingmen’s Association to the revolutionary song of all the proletariats, L’Internationale was the historical witness of the National Revolution, the Chinese Communist Revolution and the Continuous Revolution, whose symbolic meanings were connected closely to the tensions between nationalism and internationalism.