In 1964, Mao Zedong wrote that history education should ‘make the past serve the present’ and ‘make the foreign serve China.’ Today, under President Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is radically reassessing several important periods of Chinese history, the better to serve the country’s new ambitions on the world stage. Eyck Freymann’s new book, One Belt One Road: Chinese Power Meets the World (Harvard University Press 2020) investigates how CCP propaganda and history education curricula use historical analogies to explain Xi Jinping’s central foreign policy concept and legitimize his personal rule. In particular, they cast Xi as a second incarnation of the great emperor Han Wudi and his One Belt One Road scheme as a modern version of the imperial tributary system. In this conversation event, Eyck speaks with historian Rana Mitter. Eyck Freymann is a DPhil candidate in Area Studies at the University of Oxford and is the author of One Belt One Road: Chinese Power Meets the World (Harvard University Press 2020). Rana Mitter is Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at the University of Oxford.