Evolutionary Asiacentrism, Peking Man, and the Origins of␣Sinocentric Ethno-Nationalism

Hsiao pei Yen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This paper discusses how the theory of evolutionary Asiacentrism and the Peking Man findings at the Zhoukoudian site stimulated Chinese intellectuals to construct Sinocentric ethno-nationalism during the period from the late 1920s to the early 1940s. It shows that the theory was first popularized by foreign scientists in Beijing, and the Peking man discoveries further provided strong evidence for the idea that Central Asia, or to be more specific, Tibet, Xinjiang, and Mongolia, was the original cradle of humans. Chinese scholars in the late 1930s and 1940s appropriated the findings to construct the monogenesis theory of the Chinese, which designated that all the diverse ethnic groups within the territory of China shared a common ancestor back to antiquity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-625
Number of pages41
JournalJournal of the History of Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 31 Oct 2014


  • Amadeus Grabau
  • Chinese Central Asia
  • Davidson Black
  • Evolutionary Asiacentrism
  • Henry Fairfield Osborn
  • Johan Gunnar Andersson
  • Paleontological nationalism
  • Peking Man
  • Sinanthropus


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