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

AGM and Chinese in WW1 London, 18th July
Summer 2015 issue of China Eye available online
Read the latest news stories about China in our Sinofile column

SACU Newsletter

To receive our monthly newsletter by e-mail, you need to become a member. Click here to find out more about becoming a member.

August 2015

Congratulations and welcome home to SACU member Dr. Kerry Brown who will become the next Director of the Lau Institute at King’s College, London in November. Kerry is currently Director of the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney and has been, in recent years, Head of the Asia Department at Chatham House and Team Leader of the Europe China Research and China Advice Network (ECRAN). A leading analyst of modern China and a prolific author, Kerry has also written for China Eye (Issue 26 - Joseph Needham Today). The announcement from the Lau is at

The SACU 2015 AGM was held at St Columba’s Church of Scotland in Knightsbridge, London on July 18th. The presentation that followed was the first of four planned or our 50th anniversary year and was well attended. Almost 60 SACU and Meridian Society members and guests listened to SACU Vice Presidents Jenny Clegg and Frances Wood, and Steve Lau, Chair of the Ensuring We Remember Campaign, describe the story of The Chinese in World War One - Chinese Labour Corps 1916 - 1920. Steve fell victim to a technology glitch and was unable to present the slides that accompanied his talk at the time. However, there are two informative videos at the Ensuring We Remember web site which describe China‘s entry in to the war, the subsequent recruitment of Chinese workers and the work they did.

China History Podcast (CHP) at featured a 2 part biography of Joseph Needham’s life and work as its June and July episodes. The presenter, Laszlo Montgomery, has an audience of approximately 100,000 listeners around the world which he says includes everyone from academics to hobbyists. His 157 presentations in the last five years cover every aspect of China’s history and culture and are factually sound but delivered in an engaging and informal style.

Laszlo is currently broadcasting a two part history of the Qin that reminds listeners of the simultaneous revolutions - in military affairs, economic development and social organisation - that were the context of Qin?s rise to control of China. CHP is a resource that anyone with an interest in China‘s history, in or out of the classroom, will find valuable.

On BBC 2, at 9 pm on the 4th August (available on iPlayer) and at the same time on Tuesday, the 11th of August the BBC is broadcasting the result of a two-part experiment involving the introduction of traditional Chinese high school teaching methods (and Chinese teachers) to a traditional British secondary school, the Bohunt School in Liphook (a town about 25 miles north of Portsmouth in Hampshire). The experiment is titled “Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School” and was apparently prompted by the Shanghai school system’s perennial first place in the Pisa tables. The BBC news magazine reports it here . So far, the evidence suggests ‘no’, if success is measured by the ability or willingness of British students to adapt to traditional Chinese classroom discipline. That may or may not be a good thing but it is certainly entertaining to watch. The BBC magazine story contains some interesting observations from participants on both sides.

The Chinese Brush Painters’ Society (Yorkshire) has a September workshop coming up with Xiao Bai Li, an internationally recognised master of brush painting. On September 5th, Saturday, he will demonstrate how to paint an English landscape using traditional brush techniques. On the 6th, Sunday, he will show students how to use traditional brushstrokes to paint portraits from black and white photographs. For SACU members in the south and south west of England and Wales, who may wish further information, Xiao Bai Li lives in Plymouth and regularly teaches Chinese Brush and Life drawing classes in Devon. He talks about his art in this article from Xinhuanet . Reservations for this workshop from

A SACU member with connections to the Confucius Institutes in both Cardiff and Lampeter wrote in recently to say that he is interested in corresponding with other members in his geographical area to possibly arrange an area meeting. Any members in the Wales / Southwest area with a similar interest please let me know and I will put you in touch.

2015 is also the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and this article in the Diplomat magazine , by Dr Chun Peng, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Peking University, discusses how Chinese intellectuals view the document today. He provides a number of links to further discussion of aspects of the Charter by Professors He Weifang, Zhang Qiafan and Jiang Shigong, also of Peking University, and the Ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, commemorating Magna Carta in a speech given earlier this year

This talk took place at LSE in London in June and the link to it was forwarded by a member who recommends it highly. “You may well have accessed the site already, but just in case you haven’t, I have pleasure in forwarding the link to the lecture which took place just two days after the Symposium at King’s. I find it a highly learned talk and continue to listen to it time after time. ”

The Rise of China and its Impact on the Future Global Order ” Speaker(s) : Kevin Rudd. Recorded on 1 June 2015 at Old Theatre, Old Building.

Drawing on both his high-level political insights and personal expertise, Kevin Rudd will discuss the rise of China, the enduring influence of the United States and the changing balance of power in the Pacific.

Three archaeological stories landed in the newsletter file during the last month. The first is from the European edition of China Daily and describes the discovery of a 10 kilometre section of the Great Wall believed to have been built during the Qin Dynasty:

The next two are from Archaeology magazine. The first describes the problem of tomb raiding in Henan province and what the authorities are doing to prevent it: . The second concerns the discovery of the 700 year old tomb of a ‘high profile Confucian doctor’ - Wu Jing - whose gravestone records that he “once cut flesh from his own arm to feed his sick mother in an act of filial piety”

LOST AND FOUND Did you leave a pair of reading spectacles at the 50th anniversary symposium on May 30th at King’s College? They are in a blue case with a Boots cleaning cloth. Please email us if these belong to you and I will send them to you.

Finally ...... SACU received this mailing from an outside company which may be of interest to members who are also educators:

“I am writing to inform you about a forum we are holding on the teaching of modern foreign languages in schools. This forum has limited capacity and I was wondering if you or any of your colleagues from Society For Anglo Chinese Understanding would be interested in attending?

Our timely forum ‘Raising the Standards of Modern Foreign Languages Education in UK Schools’ taking place on Thursday, 1st October 2015 in Central London will provide teachers, headteachers and school leaders with the vital knowledge of how to successfully implement curriculum changes as well as prepare for changes to GCSE and A-level exams. Furthermore, delegates will gain an insight into the inspection criteria for modern foreign languages teaching and can learn from interactive best practice sessions on how to deliver ’outstanding‘ MFL education. CONFIRMED KEYNOTE: AQA - Navigating the New Modern Foreign Languages Qualification Landscape.

Judith Rowland-Jones, Head of Languages, AQA will talk about:

To view the full agenda, click here:

Follow us on Twitter


Follow us on Facebook

facebookSACU on Facebook

China images

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

Copyright © SACU 1965-2015. If you have any comments, updates or corrections please let us know via our Contact page.