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


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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March 2015



The Little Red Book Also Turns 50! This article in Caixin Online (http://english.caixin.com/2015-01-30/100780272.html ) is written by an expat. who married in China and has settled there.

“When I first met my now-husband, Jindong Cai, in Shanghai in the late 1990s, there were many reasons he attracted me. He was handsome, charming, funny and kind... a talented orchestra conductor and great cook. But, ....... one of the things that most impressed me was how, given the tiniest prompt, he could recite almost all of Quotations from Chairman Mao by memory.”


The Meridian Society is hosting award-winning photographer and oral historian Mike Tsang who presents his latest exhibition - Between East and West - in a gallery talk organised especially for Meridian Society and SACU members, exploring the fascinating stories of the British Born Chinese and their families’ lives in Britain. The date is April 1st, 6:30 to 8 pm, at the London School of Economics, Atrium Gallery (LSE Old Building), Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE. Admission is free but please email the Meridian Society at themeridiansociety@gmail.com to let them know you are coming.


Archaeology: “The history of China is complex but its archaeology is more complex still”, says Peter Weiming Jia, one of China‘s leading archaeologists of prehistory. In this article in China Daily, (http://www.chinadailyasia.com/people/2015-02/06/content_15224703.html ), he talks about the enormous and relatively unexplored field and the forgotten people of pre-Shang China.


King’s College Study - Participants needed for a Cross-Cultural Study! PAID £20. Working in collaboration with the University of Hong Kong and the University of Oxford, King's College London is investigating how people from different cultures may process information differently. It has been well-documented in Western populations that some people show systematic patterns of thinking, known as cognitive biases, but these have never been investigated in Eastern cultures. We are currently looking for healthy volunteers (age 16-65) to take part in the project. Your parents and grandparents must have lived in China (including HK) and you must have resided in the UK for over 2 years OR less than 2 months. Payment is at a flat rate of £20 to cover your time and travel.

If you would like to participate in this study, or if you know someone who might, please go to http://louiseesmith.wix.com/cross-cultural-study for more information on the project or contact Louise directly at louise.e.smith@kcl.ac.uk.


Free to Confucians! This story appeared on the Xinhua news wire a few days ago:

“JINAN, (Xinhua) -- Foreigners who can recite five famous quotes of Confucius will be given free tours to his birthplace, according to a new policy by China‘s Qufu City aimed at promoting the wisdom of the ancient philosopher. To be eligible, you can recite them in English, Chinese or whatever is your native language.”

Full story here: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-12/26/c_133881271.htm


The Chinese Brush Painters' Society (Yorkshire) has two exciting workshops coming up. On Saturday, March 28th Nick Hornigold will lead a workshop titled ‘Figure with Pine’. The illustrations that accompany the CBPSY’s notices are not reproducible in an email newsletter but will be viewable on SACU's web site when it is posted there. Fee for this workshop is £10 (£12.50 for non-members). In April they have a two day workshop planned with Shuhua Jin, a master of Chinese brushwork who has exhibited his paintings at shows worldwide - London, Oxford, Europe, the USA and China. He works with themes originated during the Ming and Qing dynasties. See some of his work at his web site www.sjin.co.uk. The date is 11/12 April, cost is £20 for members for one day and £35 for both days. For directions, times and more information please email SACU member Anne Allan at mail@anneallan.com. To see work by members go to their web site at http://www.cbpsyorks.co.uk


A worrying article in the Atlantic a few months ago, noted that 28,000 of China's estimated 50,000 rivers had disappeared in the last 20 years. (http://www.theatlantic.com/china/archive/2013/04/28-000-rivers-disappeared-in-china-what-happened/275365/ ). On closer reading it appears that the loss was partly caused by reclassification, partly by administrative error, but also by climate change. The article also noted the coincidence of rapid industrialisation and urbanisation in the last 30 years, both of which exacerbate the problem of shrinking agricultural land and contaminated water.


China Dialogue (https://www.chinadialogue.net/blog/7643-China-s-polluters-hit-with-biggest-ever-fines/en ) reports a case in which the biggest fines ever (160 million renminbi / $26 million /£17.2 million) were recently levied against companies found guilty of polluting rivers. The problem, though, continues to expand. The article references a second essay in its March edition that notes the combined effect of polluted soil and water will inevitably drive up world food prices.


“China’s urban sprawl raises key question” reports a story in the Guardian’s February 16th edition (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/16/china-mega-airport-symbol-flight-agriculture-urbanisation ) that says about 11 agricultural villages 30 miles south of Beijing are about to be demolished to make way for a new airport that will be twice the size of Heathrow. The ‘key question’ raised is ‘food security’, a perennial topic at EU-China agricultural conferences.


The Quaker China Group, which has a long involvement with SACU, is presenting a talk by Janet Ridley on March 28th at the Penn Club in London. Janet’s grandparents were Quaker missionaries Henry and Laura Davidson who founded the Suining Hospital in Sichuan 100 years ago. The Davidson family featured in SACU member Charles Tyzack’s recent book about that era in China, ‘Almost a Chinese’. Janet and her husband were guests of the hospital at its centenary celebration in November 2014 and will give a talk and slide show illustrating the event beginning at 2 pm. Please contact SACU member Ruth Baker at ruthbaker@btinternet.com if you would like to attend this talk.


‘His eyes were literally on fire’ is the title of a review in the London Review of Books by David Trotter of Christopher Frayling’s book ‘The Yellow Peril: Fu Manchu and the Rise of Chinaphobia’. Frayling spoke on this topic at the Meridian Society in February. He describes Fu Manchu as the ‘Osama bin Laden of his day’ and Trotter draws that comparison out, relating it to the ‘techno-orientalism’ of the Japan panic of the 1990s and, more recently, the perhaps manufactured hysteria over China’s supposed strategy of ‘cyber-warfare’., The review is here: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n05/david-trotter/his-eyes-were-literally-on-fire . Non-subscribers should register to read the full review but don’t worry - the LRB doesn’t spam you once they have your email.


Everyone who follows rugby is familiar with the separate rugby unions that make up the 6 Nations but how many of us know of the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) in which China plays? The sport in the People's Republic is growing fast, albeit from a small base. It is an official sport of the People’s Liberation Army and the national team is ranked 66th in the world, according to their entry in Wikipedia. SACU member Simon Drakeford has written a fascinating history of rugby in China called “Its a Rough Game But Good Sport”, ISBN -13: 978-988-16090-0-7, published by Earnshaw Books Ltd. Hong Kong. The book starts with the founding of the Shanghai Rugby Club in 1875 and continues to 2013 with commentary on the development of the game as China prepares to qualify for the 2019 World Cup. The Telegraph featured a story about Simon a few years ago that covers how he came to write the book (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatlife/7978338/Tracing-the-Shanghai-expats-of-yesteryear.html ).


On Tuesday 13th of May, The Chopstick Club will present a business/ cultural event:“ How to build business rapport by understanding the differences & similarities between Chinese & British Humour” featuring Anglo-Chinese comedian Phil Wang, a stand-up comic with a pleasantly smut-free act. His web site (http://www.philwang.co.uk ) has links to past shows posted on YouTube. Contact the Club at info@chopsticksclub.com for further information.



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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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