The door to China SACU in Chinese

The Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding (SACU) was founded 50 years ago to promote friendship and understanding between the peoples of Britain and China. It is a registered UK charity and is the only friendship society of its kind in the country.

Our Magazine section has extracts from the latest issue of China Eye including contents of all issues over the last ten years.

About China is a reference resource with over 400 web pages of information about China. Including language, history, geography, photographic gallery and traditions

50th anniversary Our 50th celebration is well under way, see Golden Anniversary programme for details.

20th February - Felix Greene film.
9th March - China in Change talk.
13th March - Sex +Youth in modern China, first SACU Cafe networking event.
3rd April - Cultural and Political barriers, second SACU Cafe networking event.
8th May - The Cultural Revolution, third SACU Cafe networking event.

We have launched the George Hogg Fund to promote educational exchanges between Britain and China with special emphasis on the Shandan School where he was headmaster. For more details please see George Hogg Fund Appeal


Historic Film by Felix Greene to be shown on 20th February 2016
Winter issue of China Eye available online
Read the latest news stories about China in our Sinofile column


SACU Newsletter

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February/March 2016

The Year of the Monkey is rapidly moving in to high gear with numerous shows, lectures and presentations on offer starting with the launch of SACU’s ChinaCafe, a series of three networking and information events designed for professionals with an interest in the social and political culture of modern China. This programme of talks aims to attract new members to the Society with topical discussion in an informal and friendly setting.

The ticket price of £50 includes an annual membership in SACU (or renewal of existing membership) and three Networking Sessions:

Sex and Youth in Modern China by author Jemima Steinfield (March 13)
Cultural and Political Barriers by Dr Richard Boyd (April 3)
The Cultural Revolution Dr. Frances Wood (May 8)
Time for each is 3 pm to 5 pm. Events 1 and 3 take place at 12 Ivory House E1W 1AT (with a fantastic view overlooking St. Katharine Docks) and Event 2 is at 126 Curtain Road, EC2A 3SQ. Book onEventbrite listing .

And for SACU members in the North

SACU members in the North are planning a get together with a Year of the Monkey meal on Saturday March 19th in Manchester. All welcome.

We propose to book a table for 1.30pm at the Middle Kingdom Restaurant, 86 Princess Street, M1 6NG(excellent food and convenient for Oxford Rd/Piccadilly Stations). Cost approximately £16 to £17, excluding drinks.

It is best to order food in advance; we can make a selection of dishes (vegetarians should order their own). Please reserve a place before Monday March 14th by contacting us.


The Christian churches and the Chinese government - from the Nestorians of the Tang Dynasty to the Jesuits of the Ching and all religions in the early days of the PRC - have had a sometimes fraught relationship. In recent years though, the various denominations are thought to be increasing rapidly in membership if not influence. On January 28th, Asia Times reported that Pope Francis “sent Chinese New Year’s greetings to the Chinese people and President Xi Jinping, the first extended by a Pope to a Chinese leader ... in 2,000 years”.


SACU council member Ros Wong discovered a review in the first ever edition (1965) of the SACU newsletter for the Felix Greene film “China”. You can read the review on this page - and see the film again on Saturday, February 20th at the Nash Lecture Theatre at King’s College Strand campus. A discussion chaired by SACU VP Dr. Frances Wood, writer and former Curator of the Chinese Collections at the British Library, follows the film.

Book your free place via Eventbrite .

Our colleagues at The Meridian Society are also sponsoring a film by Xiaowen Zhu titled “Chinese Silk: Tradition. Culture. Identity” about the life and world view of Kenneth Wong, owner of the first silk importing company in Los Angeles. The film will be shown on February 19th from 6:30 to 8 pm at 32 Gerrard Streetin London. Please contact the film maker himself at mail@zhuxiaowen.com to reserve a place.


The BBC is now about halfway through their new presentation of The Story of China, Michael Wood’s six part series:

Michael Wood tells the story of the world’s newest superpower, exploring the stories, people, culture and landscapes that have helped create its character over 4,000 years.

The show airs on BBC2 at 9 pm on Thursdays and episodes are downloadable from their web site . A synopsis is also available from the Radio Times .


The Chinese Visual Festival, in association with the Department of Film Studies and the Lau China Institute, both of King’s College London, is presenting a free screening of Zhang Wei’s “Factory Boss” a film about the “high pressure environment of sweatshop mass production” followed by a Q&A with the director, Zhang Wei who is himself a former factory boss. The venue is Room S-1.04, Strand campus on February 25th from 09:30 to 13.00

And more news from the Lau China Institute whose Director, Professor Kerry Brown will publish his latest book “CEO China: The Rise of Xi Jinxing”, an account of the life and career of the President of the People’s Republic. The book will be available in April from publisher I.B. Taurus or from Amazon .


Internationally renowned pipa virtuoso Cheng Yu with award-winning guzheng player Wu Mengmeng will showcase a selection of traditional, regional music from China as well as modern compositions and improvisations. The pipa (4-stringed lute) and guzheng (21-stringed zither) are two of the most celebrated Chinese stringed instruments. Both have over two thousand years of history with distinctive sounds and a rich musical repertoire.

The Silk String Duo will play on February 24th at 7:45 pm (doors 7:15) at Sands Films Studio, 82 St Marychurch St,. Rotherhithe, London SE16 4HZ.

For more on this music and the musicians see web site . Tickets are available here .


“That Damned Thing She Said”: four short stories from China to celebrate International Women's Day on 8th March. Read Paper Republic has selected four short stories from China, focussing on hot issues such as sexual freedom, political disappearances, “left-over” women and compromising situations.

Monday 14th March at 6:45 pm at the Free Word Lecture Theatre (EC1R 3GA)

For more information about this interesting event and Read Paper Republic please go to their web site .


The Chinese Brush Painters Society (Yorkshire) has two very interesting workshops coming up. The first is a Chinese Calligraphy workshop led by Vivien Ng on Saturday March 5th from 10 am to 4 pm at Pool-in Wharfedale Village Memorial Hall.

The second is a seminar on the “Basics of Chinese Brush Painting” led by Vanessa Cooper and Anne Allan on Sunday March 20th, 10 am to 4 pm again at the Village Memorial Hall, Arthington Lane, Otley, West Yorkshire LS21 1RY.

If you would like to attend either of these sessions please contact CBPS(Y) Chair Anne Allan at mail@anneallan.com for fees and further information.


The SOAS China Institute Monday Forums are free and open to the public, no booking required though admission is on a first come, first served basis.

Two upcoming lectures may be of particular interest to SACU members (though please note they will be held on Tuesdays). On March 8th, Dr Tian Qinyun of Zhongnan University will lecture on Characteristics of the Qing dynasty’s feudal phases and on March 15th, Dr Wang Xiaodong discusses The May 4th New Literature Movement.

Both lectures will be given in the Russell Room, Russell Square, SOAS from 12 noon to 2pm

More information here .


A recent essay in Asia Times Online suggests an answer to the Needham Question

The author of Science and Civilisation in China, Joseph Needham, asked why China in about the 1500s seemed to have abandoned technological innovation although it had led the world in that area up until then.

Correspondent C. Ikehara submitted this thoughtful piece titled “The answer to the Needham Question?”


On March 9th at EY London headquarters office, author and lecturer Andrew Hicks will show a selection of the 500 historic photo images from his new book “Jack Jones - A True Friend to China” that tell the story of a unique Quaker project that took medical aid to China during World War 2 and show the remarkable scale of China’s modernisation in so very short a time.

We have plenty of seats and the wine/beer/soft drinks and canapes at EY certainly add something extra to the evening - which isn’t of course to say that Andrew's talk alone won’t be a great draw!

Wednesday, March 9, 6pm to 8pm, Ernst and Young, I More London Place, London SE1 2AF

Book your free place via Eventbrite .




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See Also

Meridian Society   Membership organisation based in London with similar aims to SACU, regular events and tours to China.
Chinatown   A large U.K. site with background cultural information and events information.
Between East and West   Background on British Born Chinese people
Mother Bridge of Love   Help and information for adopting children from China and general chinese understanding
C.S.S.A.   The Chinese Students and Scholars Association's web site aimed at Chinese students studying in the UK
Half and half   Documents the history of British born who are half Chinese, mainly children of Chinese sailors
Oasis Adoption   Support and information for people adopting children from Overseas orphanages
British Council   Web site giving information about Britain to people in China

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