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 under way, see Golden Anniversary plans

Read about our Foundation and fifty year's of Understanding China


SACUIf you would like to attend our main anniversary event on 30th May, “Challenging British Perceptions of China – 50 years of SACU”, please book a place so we can estimate numbers, with Event Brite .


The China News section has a selection of news stories from the web which is updated every day.

Spring 2015 issue of China Eye available online
Read the latest news stories about China in our Sinofile column

SACU Newsletter

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May/June 2015



This is the final newsletter before our 50th anniversary Symposium on May 30th at the Strand campus of King’s College London.

Our guests now include Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, Minister Counsellor Xiang Xiaowei, and Press Counsellor Shao Zhang as well as a five person delegation from Beijing led by the recently appointed Vice President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship Foreign Countries, European Department, Song Jingwu. Professor Sun Hua from Peking University’s China Centre for Edgar Snow Studies will present our first annual Needham essay prize to the winning student from Oundle School.

A complete list of our distinguished speakers and moderators is available here.

If you have not yet made a reservation but wish to attend you can email me directly or reserve a place through the Eventbrite booking service.

Thank you to all who have made a reservation to attend and to the Lau China Institute at King’s College London for providing the meeting space. Our special thanks to all who have donated to help defray the expense of hosting the large number of people who have reserved spaces. If you would like to donate for this purpose, you can do so at our web site PayPal page or send a cheque (made payable to SACU) to our Treasurer, Jane Hadley, at 66 Blackbutts Lane, Walney Island, Barrow in Furness, Cumbria LA14 3JZ.


SACU Council member Andrew Hicks has just published “A TRUE FRIEND TO CHINA”, described on Amazon UK as “An absorbing history of the Anglo-American Quaker relief organization, The Friends Ambulance Unit China Convoy between 1945 and 1951, told through the writings of one of its members.” This unit delivered relief supplies and essential public health services to the civilian population of Sichuan during the war. A vivid picture of China during those years has been reconstructed from the reports of Jack Jones, the son of a Congregational Church minister from Hertfordshire.

Andrew conceived an interest in the FAU while lecturing in Law at the University of Hong Kong, as a result of meeting in HK some of the still ex-pat members of the China Convoy. The book involved five years of research in the Quaker archives in Philadelphia and London and is available from either the author or Amazon in the UK and online from Quakerbooks (https://www.quakerbooks.org) in the USA. For more details please see our Friends Ambulance Unit page.


The 2015 Chinese Visual Festival is currently running between until May 22 at BFI Southbank in London. The shows include “surprising stories, award-winning documentaries and China’s first art-videos”. The web site has detailed information and trailers at http://chinesevisualfestival.org and also provides a link to The Photographers Gallery where the Chinese Photobook show - “reveals the richness and diversity of China’s largely unexplored history of photobook publishing” - is running from 17 April to 5 July 2015.

See http://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/the-chinese-photobook-4


The growing artistic and commercial success in the West of Chinese films like ‘ Hidden Tiger, Crouching Dragon’,‘ House of Flying Daggers’, ‘Raise the Red Lantern’, and others (see a list of 'Chinese movies you need to watch’ here is beginning to change Hollywood attitudes toward the 'bankability' of Asian actors, according to this story by Public Radio International (PRI).


SACU and our compatriots at the Meridian Society take turns arranging each year’s China tour. 2015 is Meridian’s year and they have announced an exciting and interesting trip to Yunnan on the Tea Horse Road from the 13th to the 25th of October, which retraces the route taken by trade caravans since the Tang Dynasty. The name Tea Horse refers to the trade itself in which Chinese tea was exchanged for Tibetan ponies, used by Chinese cavalry against the nomad hordes on the other side of the Wall.

If this may interest you, please contact Meridian at themeridiansociety@gmail.com to discuss reserving a place. You can download an attractive brochure describing the tour from the Meridian web site.


SACU member Kerry Brown’s latest book, “Whats Wrong With Diplomacy?: The Future of Diplomacy and the Case of China and the UK”, is available in Australia as a Penguin paperback but only, as yet, as a Kindle download in the UK and US. The book draws on Kerry’s experience in the UK diplomatic service in Beijing and his thesis plays alongside Xi Jinping’s own advocacy of the value of ‘people to people’ diplomacy.

“Secrecy, pomp and elitism may have dictated diplomatic strategy of the Cold War era, but in a digitised twenty-first century, inclusivity and transparency are values of increasing importance. Access to information is being democratised for a global citizenry, and nowadays everyone is a potential diplomat. From the handover of Hong Kong to recent high-profile political scandal, former diplomat Kerry Brown explores the chequered relationship between the UK and China, offering fresh insights into the fraught and ever-changing dynamic between these two countries.”


The Chinese Brush Painters Society (Yorkshire) is hosting a two day workshop led by Angela Reich, on Saturday the 20th and Sunday the 21st of June, for which Secretary Anne Allan recommends early registration.

“Angela has studied Chinese Brush Painting for over 20 years with artists Qu Lei Lei, Cai Xiaoli, Kaili Fu, Shuhua Jin, Eric Ng, and Marie Sherville. She has learned Chinese calligraphy with Li Jia, Qu Lei Lei, Li Xuzhuang and Paul Griffiths..... Angela loves the expressiveness and simplicity of Chinese Brush Painting, where only a few brush strokes are needed to evoke a whole scene, a season or an atmosphere.”

Please contact Anne at mail@anneallen.com for further information.


BBC News featured a story recently about a photographer in China who travels around the country asking people if he may photograph everything they own. “Photographer Huang Qingjun is famous in China for his photo series, Family Stuff. Since 2003 he has been asking subjects to pose with everything they own, neatly displayed in front of their homes.”

The article illustrates what happened when Huang decided to photograph what people had bought over the Internet and goes some way toward explaining why Alibaba (the parent company of Taobao, China’s largest online retailer) had the world’s largest ever IPO in 2014. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-32498456)


Following a link from a Google reference to Han Tomb Rubbings, I came across one of the most unexpected and interesting web sites I have yet encountered in my research for this newsletter. The History of Chinese Science and Culture Foundation (www.chineseHSC.org) features an extraordinary range of topics and exhibits from Chu Kingdom Rubbings to Chinese Cartography with an even larger range of topics soon to be added.

I was even more surprised when I asked for some background information on the Science and Culture Foundation to find myself corresponding with Robert Temple, the author of “The Genius of China” which Joseph Needham (who wrote the introduction to it) called “a brilliant distillation of my Science and Civilisation in China”. An equally interesting web site (also owned by Professor Temple and his wife, Olivia) links to it - a photographic display of Beijing of 100 years ago (http://www.beijingofdreams.com). Professor Temple notes that his collections are available to qualified academics and researchers upon request from the contact page of the CHSC web site (http://www.chinesehsc.org/contact.shtml)


Academics and researchers may also be interested in exploring the Chinese Foreign Policy Database, of the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program, an online resource containing nearly 1,500 declassified documents on the international relations of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) since 1949.

“The freely-accessible database fills the critical need for sources and reliable information relating to China’s foreign policies.” Available here


SACU’s Facebook page recently received this email from a representative of China Business Solutions, an independent China specialist firm based in Cambridge which may be of interest to your students (or yourself).

We are launching a unique UK-China Summer Internship Programme, tailored for Chinese students studying in the UK, which might be of interest to you and your Association members. The “UK-China Internship Programme” aims to offer Chinese students the opportunity to gain experience in UK businesses, enabling them to put learning into practice, be it science, engineering, IT, marketing or business skills.

The working experience will greatly enhance the resume of the Chinese student. This new programme is a wider offering to an already successful Chinese student placement program that China Business Solutions has been operating for over six years, so we understand the needs and requirements of Chinese students.

Working as a Chinese speaking intern can be an opportunity and it is exciting to be part of the sustained UK-China growth. Our aim is to match the interests and skills of the Chinese intern with the requirements of the British employers. Students just need to register on our website, find one or more suitable internship positions (constantly updated) and apply. We will take care of all the rest, from the logistics to the formalities and the engagement.

For further enquiries please e-mail us at intern@chinabusinesssolutions.com.


Finally, an invitation to SACU members from our friends and associates at the Belgium-China Association, two of whose representatives will be at our anniversary event on the 30th May.

We invite you Sunday, October 11 at 15 00 to join us in our office Avenue Deschanel 92, for a pleasant afternoon of celebration and friendship, and to meet our friends in the Chinese community in Belgium. Attend a performance of the choir led by Mrs. Yang Guang LU Jin Hua and talented dancers show EU-China Y & Y group led by Ms. SHI Xiaodong. Afterwards, enjoy delicious Chinese dishes "homemade" by our Chinese friends, just to tantalize your taste buds! Finally, we will close this festive afternoon blowing 15 candles on the birthday cake of our beloved magazine Current China.

The cost is € 15 for members and € 20 for non-members (including artistic activities, meals and soft drinks). Space is limited, we suggest you book and pay your tickets quickly.Info and reservations:Secretariat: 02 803 8033 (office hours) - info@belchin.be

Ms. YUVALI: 0488 91 85 92 (weekdays from 14 am to 19 pm) - lale@chine-evasion.be



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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
Dim Sum   A range of news and cultural topics serving the U.K. Chinese community.
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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