Ning Zhang


  • Newton International Fellow
  • College advisor, St Antony’s College

Education Background:

I achieved my Fudan University.

Research interests:

I specialise in social and political history with a focus on modern Chinese historical events and movements. My primary areas of interest include:

  • The 1911 Revolution, and the 1949 Revolution.
  • The Cultural Revolution and its impact on society.
  • Global Maoism in Southeastern Asia, particularly its influences and manifestations.

My current project, funded by the British Academy, is titled “Chinese Sent-Down Youth and the Communist Movement in Burma (1968-1989).” This book-length study delves into the lived experiences of Chinese volunteers in Burma who supported the Burmese Communist Party against the Burmese government from 1968 to 1989. This project sheds light on the lesser-known aspects of “international communism” and its implications in Southeast Asia.

Journal papers:

I am working on several papers from my current project and my doctoral studies on the Chinese Sent-Down Youth Movement, which explore various facets of Modern Chinese history and international communism.

Those papers include:

  • Refusing to be Stigmatised and Forgotten: The Hidden History of Chinese International Communism Volunteers in Burma
  • Growing up in Beijing: the Burmese ‘Orphans’ and a History of International Communism in Southeastern Asia
  • Fighting for International Communism? Chinese Sent-Down Youths in Burma during the Mao Era
  • Fighting in a Utopia? Chinese Volunteers and Political Paranoia of the Burmese Communist Party
  • Revolution or Work Points? Sent-Down Youth’s Navigation of the Maoist Emotional Regime in Rural China
  • Re-examination of ‘Persecution of the Sent-Down Youth by Rural Residents’: A Case Study Centered on Xiajiang County in Jiangxi Province


Selected publications:

Monograph: Yen Hsi-shan in 1927, Taipei: Mulan Culture Co., Ltd, 2015. 《1927年閻錫山易幟研究》,臺北:木蘭文化出版社,2015. 

Research Papers:

  • “Revolution, Workpoints and Reeducation: Yunzhuang Village in Jiangxi Province During the Sent-Down Youth Movement”, Twenty-First Century (Hong Kong), October 2021, pp.82-101.《革命、工分与再教育——上山下乡运动时期江西云庄村的案例》,《二十一世纪》(香港),2021年10月号。
  • Co-authored with JIN Guangyao. “‘Comrades in all Rural Areas should Welcome the Sent–Down Youth’: Investigation on the Sent–Down Youth’s Resettlement in Jiangxi Province”, Remembrance, Vol.4 No.1,3, 2022, pp.30-38, 31-40. 《“各地农村的同志应当欢迎他们去”:江西省接受上海知青的考察》,《记忆》,2022年第4卷第1、3期。
  • “Some Thoughts on Research on the History of Sent–Down Youth Movement through the Prism of Peasants”, CPC History Studies, No.9, 2018, pp.61-64. 《对以农民视角为切入点的知青史研究的思考》,《中共党史研究》,2018年第9期。
  • “Investigation on Yen Hsi-shan’s Mediation of Feng–Ning–Jin Alliance during the Northern Expedition”, Unity News (Beijing), 24 November 2016, p.05. 《北伐时期阎锡山斡旋奉宁晋联盟钩沉》,《团结报》(北京),2016年11月24日第05版。
  • Co-authored with Shen Xiaoyun. “On Eight Banners’ Livelihood after the 1911 Revolution (1912-1924)”, Journal of Beihua University, No.5, 2014, pp.57-60. 《辛亥革命后(1912-1924年)旗人生计问题研究》,《北华大学学报》,2014年第5期。
  • “From Comrade to Stranger: Shen Dingyi and the Chinese Communist Party”, Historian Teahouse, 2, 2012, pp.45-51. 《从同志到陌路:沈定一与中共》,《历史学家茶座》,2012年第2辑。

Conference Papers:

  • “The ‘Work-Point Argument’ in a Revolutionary Discourse: An Examination Centred on a Shanghai Sent-Down Youth Group in Jiangxi,” “Collecting, Collating and Employing Unofficial Materials in Contemporary China History”, East China Normal University, Shanghai, 17-18 October 2020, pp.157-179.
  • “The Death of One Re-Educable Youth: A Case Study from the Perspective of Oral History”, 2019 Annual Conference of Chinese Sociology, “Contemporary China Studies: Oral History, Collective Memory and Social Identity”, Kunming, China, 12-14 July 2019, pp.31-39.