Our society is celebrating fifty years of friendship and understanding with the Chinese people (1965-2015). Over the year we will be holding events to mark this important milestone.
SACU are arranging a tour to China 16th October - 1st November 2016 through the ABTA travel agents Ian Dickson Travel Service ➚. A few places are still available on this specialist tour, but we require a firm booking as soon as possible to reserve flights and accommodation. If you have any queries please get in touch.
A couple of articles have been written to mark this important event in our history.
There is an article covering the background and formation of the society in 1965.
Another article surveys the history of understanding between China and the U.K. in the last fifty years.
A full 68 page booklet report of the 50th anniversary is now available for download as a free PDF: 50thAnniversayReport.pdf (4Mb). It includes a summary of the speeches, participant list and photographs of the major participants.
SACU’s 50th anniversary symposium at King’s College London on May 30th was a great success. Most of the 150 members and guests who registered to attend did so. Another fifteen arrived on the day. We were delighted to hear the Chinese Ambassador wish us well for the future. Feedback forms returned by attendees were complimentary of the organisation of the event, the quality of speakers and the buffet lunch. A number of non-members have since joined SACU and several existing members have indicated an interest in participating in organising future events.
A well attended meeting heard about the untold story of the many Chinese who served with the Allies in WWI. Steve Lau spoke eloquently in support of the Ensuring We Remember Campaign. We then improved our fitness and relaxation with Qigong exercises.
On 9th March, SACU Council member, Andrew Hicks, gave an engaging talk based on his new book, A TRUE FRIEND TO CHINA. At the spectacular premises of EY (Ernst and Young) overlooking Tower Bridge on the Thames, Andrew presented the story of his book, of how hundreds of pacifists sailed to China in the turbulent nineteen forties as members of the Friends Ambulance Unit 'China Convoy' and for ten years until 1951 distributed medical supplies and did crucial medical relief work. His presentation was illustrated by a selection of the 500 newly-discovered photos that are in his book which showed just how desperate and challenging conditions were in China at that time.
As well as the core theme of how practical friendship was extended to the people of China when at their lowest ebb, Andrew showed his own photographs of China taken at intervals from 1978 to the present day. These vividly showed China's extraordinary achievements in modernising and pulling so many millions out of poverty and creating a vibrant urban society.
Andrew also demonstrated how China is now seeking to rediscover and preserve its history and is keen to find examples of positive contacts, such as that of the Friends Ambulance Unit in supporting China in her time of greatest need. This is evidenced by an active movement to preserve buildings such as those on the campus of the West China Union University at Chengdu, now part of Sichuan University, which positively honours the contribution of foreigners in establishing western education in China. Andrew said that his experience in researching these stories in China is of a generous spirit of warmth and openness and that people want to remember and celebrate the best things that have come out of mutual contacts over the years.
EY's generous sponsorship of this event with its superb facilities and lavish refreshments are gratefully acknowledged and made the evening most enjoyable for the large audience that braved a wet and windy evening to attend.
Our China Cafe sequence of talks roared off in high gear on Sunday with Jemima Steinfield’s presentation on gender and sexuality in China today. The talk drew an enthusiastic audience of mainly young people who also enjoyed the spectacular view of St Katharine Docks from our meeting room.
© Copyright Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding (SACU) 2015,2016 : SACU 50th Anniversary
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