A century ago, Paris was the centre of the world’s attention, including China’s. At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, unfair treatment of China triggered the May Fourth Movement – with profound repercussions for China’s intellectual, social and political development. Amid protests and boycotts, Chinese society was radicalised away from intellectual elitism. Western liberal democracy was discredited while Bolshevism appeal grew. The Communist Party of China was founded two years later. The movement’s legacy has resonated through recent Chinese history.