Grand Council of the Qing Dynasty, 1898
The Grand Council of the Qing Dynasty explores the celestial empire in its darkest hour. Foreign imperialist powers have carved out spheres of influence in Canton, Hong Kong, and Formosa and have thrust open the doors of Chinese trade in these free ports. Cheap European goods have flooded the Chinese market, setting off an economic decline as local manufacturing industries are outcompeted. The military is weak and demoralised after a litany of defeats. The populace is war-ravaged and vengeful, and stirrings of an uprising abound. Your role as an adviser to the Son of Heaven is to hold back the forces of chaos that threaten great China and lead it into the 20th century.
Hello there delegates,
Welcome to HNMUN 2019. My name is Franklin Hang and I am so excited to meet you all come conference day! My crisis director, Bary, and I have been preparing a treat of a committee that I hope you will enjoy in the Grand Council of the Qing Dynasty. This committee is the culmination of all my hopes and dreams in my entire Model UN career, and this letter will help you get to know a little bit more about how those hopes and dreams came to be.
I was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and immigrated to the United States at the age of four. Throughout my entire time in the States, I remained stuck in San Diego, CA, where I grew indulgent and complacent to good, sunny weather. Despite its worldliness, San Diego felt like I was living in a local bubble where the people, the attitudes, and ideas moved at a slower, and sometimes unchanging pace. So I took up Model UN, like all young boys with grandiose ideas of world domination do. MUN brought that element of worldliness and awareness into my life that I craved about the issues and challenges facing our world today. Through MUN, I was able to turn myself from a blithering mess into a somewhat coherent public speaker.
The more I did MUN, the more I began to think of why I did it aside from the basic pleasures of discourse and debate. I looked to my mother, who has been an ardent supporter of all my endeavours. Here was a woman who was born in an age of genocide under the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and grew up in a country that’s even now still healing from the scars of the past. The inspiration of this committee lies in my struggle to understand the past and the structural reasonings behind genocides carried out in the name of progress. This period in history, termed the Century of Humiliation, is critical in understanding the young People’s Republic of China and its governmental policies leading to the death of millions. It is also relevant in understanding the modern PRC as it moves away from its past and reaches out into the world and interacts with its players.
The Grand Council of the Qing Dynasty represents a cabinet in constant crisis where the structural integrity of a once grand empire are beginning to crumble. With threats from without and within, your task is to serve your Emperor in keeping the forces of discord and disloyalty at bay. With issues ranging from imperialist powers to economic decline, you will certainly not be bored. The challenges and frustrations you will face will make you as a bureaucrat a stronger negotiator and collaborator as you seek unusual avenues of success.
Beyond college MUN, there’s nothing particularly interesting about my life. I’m actively involved in Harvard’s International Relations Council, where I learn so much about the bureaucratic organisation of corpocracy! In my spare time, I volunteer at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, conduct research at the Women’s Media Center, and play competitive Overwatch.
All of this is coming to you from a rising sophomore, studying Government and is on the pre-health pathway, who’s staring at a screen that’s brighter than his future.
See you February 2019! Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments.
Director, Grand Council of the Qing Dynasty, 1898
Harvard National Model United Nations 2019
Crisis Director's Letter
I am delighted to welcome you to the Grand Council of the Qing Dynasty at HNMUN 2019! My name is Bary Lisak, and as your Crisis Director, I am immensely excited to join you all in immersing into a fast-paced, multifaceted simulation of a key transitional period in China’s history. Franklin has put incredible work into crafting this committee, so we hope you enjoy participating in it as much as we enjoyed planning it, regardless of your level of experience with crisis.
In this committee, you can expect an emphasis on the delegate experience as we move through a great number of possible crisis arcs. I am thrilled to be running a committee with so many potential directions to go in terms of crisis, and I’m even more excited to see the creative choices you make and where they lead the committee. I try to accommodate as many delegate-driven crises as possible, so I can’t wait to see how you combine your individual agendas with the Empire’s attempts to navigate these turbulent times.
A little bit about myself: I am a senior at Harvard studying Applied Mathematics with a focus in Economics. I was born in Haifa, Israel, and moved to Massachusetts at age three. My native language is Russian; I ascribe my lifelong interest in learning languages to the experience of growing up bilingual. Outside of Model UN, I am a passionate soccer fan, a decent chess player, and a mediocre pianist.
My involvement in Model UN began in middle school almost ten years ago. From the start, I was gripped by its immersive experience, focus on substantive debate, and community of internationally-minded young people. These aspects of MUN continued to motivate me as I gradually turned from delegate to conference organizer in high school, twice serving as Secretary-General for my school’s incipient conference. At Harvard, I have continued by staffing at both HMUN and HNMUN all four years, gravitating increasingly toward crisis-heavy committees. I served as Under-Secretary-General of Innovation and Technology at HMUN last year, as well as directing a Historical NATO committee at HNMUN 2017 and moderating for the OECD at HNMUN 2018.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns about the committee, or about crisis in general! We love hearing from delegates and are committed to making the experience a positive and memorable one for all participants, from first-time participants to the most jaded MUN veteran. I cannot wait to see you all in February!
Crisis Director, Grand Council of the Qing Dynasty, 1898
Harvard National Model United Nations