At the beginning of the 20th century, the alien idea of century began to replace other traditional concepts of chronology in China and reshaped Chinese idea of time. Following the application of 20th century in Chinese context, other related concepts such as 19th century, 18th century and their sequence emerged as derivatives of 20th century. Before 1900, the concept of century had almost not been discussed in this sense in China and never used as the self-consciousness of our era. The notion of century is closely connected with the 20th century, its distinction from past eras being not just a simple temporal demarcation but an understanding of singular propensity of the time, which render the history of the
others into a history of one’s own, while situating it within history in toto for explanation and identification. This is the birth of global synchronicity in the history of China. How did intellectuals theorized the idea of 20th century? This talk will examine the birth of the notion of the 20th century in China from an intellectual history perspective and analyze its particular position in the history of China from the perspectives of time (history), space, self-identification, social ideals and etc.