Nouvelle ressource documentaire du Maoist Legacy Project (Université de Fribourg, Allemagne), le Zhongfa Directory est une base de données qui répertorie les titres, dates, sources, et autres données de 2881 documents émis par le comité central du PCC, de 1954 à 1986.
Introduction, by Puck Engman and Yueran Tian
In the massive paper flow connecting the bureaucratic network that is the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the documents identified with the two characters “中发” (zhongfa), or “issued by the Center,” are the most authoritative. Yet, despite their unrivaled status within Chinese administrative communication, our knowledge about the drafting, content, distribution, and implementation of these Central Documents (CDs) remains unsystematic.
The Maoist Legacy Project is taking a step towards remedying this issue by making public the Zhongfa Directory; a compilation of information we have collected on the CDs: titles, document numbers, dates of approval, issuing unit, classification, and attachments.
The Zhongfa Directory expands upon two earlier attempts to systematize our knowledge about these key documents.
The first such attempt was made in 1978 by Kenneth Lieberthal, with the assistance of James Tong and Sai-cheung Yeung. An annex to his Central Documents and Politburo Politics in China contained partial information of 201 CDs issued between February 1966 and October 1977.
Fifteen years later, Michael Schoenhals expanded this list significantly by compiling a database with records of 457 CDs issued between May 1966 and April 1969.
The Maoist Legacy Project’s Zhongfa Directory currently contains 2881 records of CDs issued between March 1954 and November 1986. By making this new resource freely available to the scholarly community we hope to contribute to the knowledge of how the central authorities in Beijing attempted to influence events in the localities through the dissemination of information.
By inviting the research community to make use of this directory, we hope that others will help us make improvements by pointing out potential inconsistencies and filling in the remaining blanks. What we are presenting here is therefore only the first version of the directory, which will be expanded upon in the future.