SACU Information

Here are some news and information stories, some from SACU's China Eye magazine sent out to members. If you have would like to publicise an event or promote an organization please use our contact form to let us know.

SACU ChinaCafés - “Making it in the UK”

SACU ChinaCafés are informal café events where people join SACU and network with SACU members and other young China enthusiasts, in a central London waterside café, Zizzi’s, St Katharines Dock, E1W 1AT. In this series, we hear from Chinese who are successful in their field in the UK and get the chance to ask them questions. Come along and listen to fascinating speakers in conversation with each other and get to have free coffee and cake and meet new people - all with an interest in China!


A successful young Chinese entrepreneur in conversation with Lady Xuelin Bates

Lady Xuelin Bates is a philanthropist and property developer who has lived in the UK for almost 28 years. She is Chair of the Walk for Peace Charity Foundation and holds senior roles in a number of UK China business associations. She and her husband formed the Walk for Peace charity in 2012 and pledged to do charity walks every year to raise money for it - 12000 kms to date! She contributes actively to communication, business and understanding between British and Chinese people. Second speaker TBC .

You can download our flyer with full information here so you can print it out.

Please book your place now via Eventbrite

China’s New Silk Road: setting the terms of an alternative globalisation?

Saturday 20 May 2017, 1.30-5.00pm: 1.30 Refreshments; 2.00 Panel Discussion

Strand Campus of King’s College London, WC2R 2LS

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been hailed as “the greatest economic development project ever undertaken”, of huge significance in redefining China’s place in the world through a different kind of globalisation. By reawakening the Eurasian super-continent, it may help to shift the global landscape fundamentally away from a Transatlantic axis.

The ancient Silk Road was the world’s first and greatest trade route, a meeting point of the major civilisations of Asia, Europe and Africa, and today’s new connectivities seek to build on this historical legacy of peaceful economic and cultural interchange. The scale of the project demonstrates huge ambition but is it really workable? To what extent will it open opportunities across the three continents to ‘hitch a ride on China’s economic express train’?

Sceptics view the scheme as a bid by China for greater land and maritime power. Might the initiative trigger a modern day great game, with Chinese influence spreading into the back yards of Russia and India? Or a new Cold War between East and West for dominance over Eurasia? Then again are the critics missing the point? Will the Belt and Road evolve a new type of ‘heritage diplomacy’, releasing a dynamic of inter-civilisational exchange to transcend today’s geopolitics of rivalry?

To coincide with the major international summit on the Belt and Road to be held in May in Beijing, SACU is bringing together a panel of experts to discuss the economic, intercultural and geopolitical dimensions of the project and to weigh its globally transformative potential. The panel will consider whether the West is taking the initiative sufficiently seriously and how we in Britain in particular should be responding.


Keith Bennett, Vice-Chairman of The 48 Group Club and long-standing SACU member;

Shao Zheng, Counsellor for Policy Analysis and Strategic Planning, Chinese Embassy to the United Kingdom;

Dr Frances Wood, SACU Vice President, historian and former Curator of Chinese Collections at the British Library.

Chair: Professor Dr Kerry Brown, Lau China Institute, King’s College London.

Event Programme:

1.30pm Registration and refreshments
2.00pm Talks and Q&A
4.00pm Networking and refreshments
5.00pm Event closes

This free event is supported by the Lau China Institute, King’s College London.

You can download our flyer with full information here so you can print it out.

Book your free place via Eventbrite

Tour of Shandong Province

15th to 29th October 2017

The Meridian Society is pleased to announce its plans for a tour to Shandong - in many ways the spiritual heart of China; home to Confucius and a mix of Buddhist and Taoist influence with glorious scenery, towering granite peaks and a wild yet welcoming coastline.

Our tour starts in Tianjin, the third largest city in China and one of China's four municipalities along with Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing. From here we travel to Jinan, the capital city of Shandong with many attractions to explore including the Great Southern Mosque, the Five Dragon Pool, Baotu Spring Park, temples and museums. Our journey continues to Qufu, birthplace of Confucius and a Unesco World Heritage Site where we visit Confucius Temple, Confucius Family Mansion and Family Graveyard - the largest imperial building complex after the Forbidden City

Continuing to Tai'an we visit the magnificent Dai Temple with its 150 ancient buildings at the foot of China’s most holy mountain, mystical Taishan and the starting point for pilgrimages up to the peak. Our next stop is Zhujiayu where Tricks on the Dead, the Canadian documentary on the Chinese Labour Corps, was filmed and then to the ancient village of Zhoucun, a major recruitment centre for the Corps.

We travel on to Qingdao - a great combination of German architecture, breezy seaside and the Tsingtao Beer Factory which uses spring water from LaoShan (Mount Lao) standing 3,700 feet above the city. We continue to Yantai, the largest fishing seaport in Shandong, and stroll along the promenade to watch the fishermen repairing their nets.

Our final destination is Weihai (formerly called Weihaiwei) from which port In 1917 Chinese labourers/farmers were transported to England and France after joining the China Labour Corps to assist in the war effort against Germany



15th October - 29th October 2017

Cost *

£940 per person sharing a double room (TMS and SACU members)
£980 per person sharing a double room (non-members)
Single room supplement £200
The price includes accommodation, half board, travel, site entry plus the services of a professional guide.
It does not include international flights, visa fees, insurance, personal expenses or gratuities.
Additional nights in local hotels at the start and end of the tour can be booked on request and at additional cost.
* Please note these prices are only valid if a minimum of 10 persons submit their completed booking form and pay the deposit of £260 per person by the deadline on Friday 28th April. The balance of the cost must be paid in full by Saturday 12th August.

Click here for the booking form .

Meridian Society: Chinese Labour Corps Commemoration Ceremonies in France and Belgium

The contribution of the Chinese Labour Corps (CLC) to the Allied effort during World War I is unquestionable. Yet, to date, there has been no official acknowledgement of their vital role. To honour their memory on the centenary of the arrival in Europe of the first batch of recruits, the Meridian Society will be holding two commemoration events in France and Belgium. A small group of CLC descendants will be coming over from China specially to attend these ceremonies. Let us show that their ancestors have not been forgotten by all.

Join us in honouring the Chinese Labour Corps

April 13th (Thursday) - France Visit to the Commonwealth War Graves Facility, Arras, to see CLC headstones being engraved, followed by a commemoration ceremony at the Chinese Cemetery, Noyelles-sur-Mer, where over 800 CLC members lie buried.

April 14th (Friday) - Belgium Visit to trenches and battlefield sites along the Western Front and tour of In Flanders Fields Museum, Ypres, with curator Dominiek Dendooven, followed by laying of wreaths to the CLC at the Menin Gate Memorial at the Last Post.

Depending on numbers, we may organise a minibus or coach to take us over from London, or we could carpool and share the cost of travel. Overnight accommodation will be required from April 12th to 14th inclusive. We will be happy to identify a range of hotels for you to choose from.

Please register your interest and indicate if you would be willing to drive your vehicle and, if so, how many passengers you can take. This will not commit you to attending, but will help us determine the feasibility of such a trip.

Please reply no later than Wednesday 15th March to:

For more details on the Chinese Labour Corps project, please click here.

Meridian Society : Chinese Labour Corps Project Launch Event - 19th April 2017

On 19th April, 1917, after a three-month journey over land and sea, a thousand Chinese men arrived in Le Havre, France, weary and bewildered. This was the first batch of the Chinese Labour Corps, recruited by the British to provide logistical help to the Western Allies. They would be followed by several tens of thousands, mainly from Shandong Province, thus forming one of the largest labour corps involved in the Great War. To mark this historically significant event, exactly one hundred years later on 19th April, 2017, The Meridian Society, with SOAS China Institute as host, will be holding a film screening and talks to launch our heritage project on the Chinese Labour Corps , with the support of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The key resource is a collection of unique interviews with CLC descendants from Shandong. Their distinctive memories have been captured on camera and at this launch, guests will be able to view for the first time, a public screening of the documentary ‘Forgotten Faces of the Great War’, containing oral histories by descendants both of Chinese labourers and Western CLC officers.

Alongside the screening will be talks by eminent speakers (Chaired by Lars Laaman SCI) including:

- Frances Wood, Author of Author of ‘Betrayed Ally’, former Curator of Chinese Collections at the British Library and Research Associate at SOAS China Institute
- Dominiek Dendooven, Curator at In Flanders Fields Museum
- Andrew Fetherston, Archivist at Commonwealth War Graves Commission and
- Zhang Yan The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

A small display of items, including photos, documents and memorabilia, will be on show. We will also be announcing details of the Society’s year-long series of activities to commemorate the CLC. The event will be brought to a close by a Ceremony for the Departed conducted by Representatives of the London Fo Guang Shan Temple . We hope you will be able to join us for this special event.

Please reserve your place no later than Monday 27th March by replying to The Meridian Society at

Date: Wednesday, 19th April
Time: 2.00-6.00pm
Venue: Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT)
SOAS University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Entry: Free, but places must be booked in advance
Click here for map to SOAS

For more details on the project, please click here .

Michael Lindsay

SACU VP Jenny Clegg was in Dunhuang recently along with Jim Lindsay, son of Michael Lindsay who was mentioned by President Xi Jinping as an example of Anglo-Chinese support and understanding when he visited the UK last year.

“Lord Michael Lindsay, the late member of the House of Lords of the UK Parliament, took an active part in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, helping China modify telecommunication equipment under extremely difficult circumstances and risking his life to deliver scarce supplies such as medicines and communication equipment to the Chinese army.” ( Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PRC)

Jim, an Australian, set up a website introducing Bold Plum’s (his mother’s) book, titled Bold Plum: With the Guerrillas in China's War Against Japan which Jenny says “has some great material countering claims that only the Kuomintang fought against the Japanese.”

Bold Plum also tells her story on YouTube .

Chinese Festivals

China, Chinese New Year is celebrated as the Spring Festival and is the most important festival in China. Each year is associated with an animal: the full sequence of 12 years is in this order; Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit (or Hare), Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep (or Goat), Monkey, Rooster (or Cock), Dog and lastly the Pig (or Boar).

2017 is the Year of the Rooster (Cockrel)

Major Chinese Festivals in 2017 are:

4 AprilQing Ming
30 MayDragon Boat Festival
28 AugustDouble Seven
1 OctoberNational Day
4 OctoberMid Autumn Festival
8 OctoberChong Yang

There are two, ‘Golden Week’ holidays in 2017; the first one around the Spring Festival in late January/early February and the second will follow National Day in October.

*Recommended book on Chinese festivals are:-

  1. 'Folk customs at traditional Chinese festivals' compiled by Qi Xing, Foreign Languages Press, Beijing 1988.
  2. 'Chinese traditional festivals' by Marie-Luise Latsch, New World Press, Beijing 1984
  3. (Mainly for children, but interesting for adults as well), 'Origins of Chinese festivals' compiled by Goh Pei Ki, Asiapac, Singapore 2001 and 'Fun with Chinese Festivals' by Tan Huay Peng, Federal Publications, Singapore, 2000.

Other Organisations

Asia House

Holds talks and exhibitions about the countries of asia in general.

63 New Cavendish Street, London. W1G 7LP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7307 5445

The Chinese Arts Centre

The CAC acts as the national agency to promote contemporary Chinese art and interpret Chinese culture. It holds exhibitions, organises artist residency schemes, national education programmes, seminars and training events and acts as an agency for performers.

The Chinese Arts Centre housed in the Market Buildings in the Northern Quarter of Manchester city centre on Thomas Street-in between Shudehill and High Street and not far from the Printworks and Arndale Centre. It features a gallery, a Chinese teahouse, an education and resource suite, a souvenir shop and a project space/studio. The building is fully accessible.

The shop offers a unique range of goods influenced by traditional and contemporary art and culture. An extensive range of art books, catalogues and magazines are now in stock. They include Art Review, Art Monthly, That's Art, Art Asia Pacific, Frieze, Art Forum etc.

The Chinese teahouse is a calm quiet zone with an ever-changing good selection of high quality teas to choose form. The CAC offers hire and hospitality facilities. The Gallery and Education Suite are available for hire. In the evenings, the whole centre may be hired. Catering and entertainment facilities are also available to suit any occasion. Contact or telephone 0161 832 7280

The Chinese Arts Centre offers a varied range of display and learning resources to schools to help demonstrate cultural traditions and pastimes. They include Lion heads and Chinese opera costumes. Further information please telephone 0161 832 7271. Free Gallery Tours are available for groups who book in advance-maximum group size is 20.

Chinese Arts Centre, Market Buildings, 7 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1EU. Tel 0161 832 7271. Website .

Museum of East Asian Art, Bath

This museum is housed in a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse and has one of the most extensive collections of East Asian art outside of London with almost 2,000 items dating from about 5,000 B.C. It received a grant of £41,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund which helped towards converting the Museum's third floor into a multi-purpose education room. (further details and bookings please call 01225 464640, e mail and website is Museum of East Asian Art .

With almost 2,000 exhibits, this museum has one of the most extensive collections of East Asian art outside of London. It was founded in 1990, by Brian McElney OBE who practised law in Hong Kong. It has some of the best bamboo carvings in Europe and a fine comprehensive collection of jade. Particular attention is given to the museum's educational role with special exhibitions, an active events programme and also new publications designed to encourage a greater understanding of East Asian art and cultures.

The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm and Sunday from 12.00 noon to 5.00 pm. Admission: £4 adults, concessions £3.50, students £3.00 and under 12's £1.00. Under 6's free. Family ticket, £9.00.

The Museum regularly holds children's workshops (with special activities during the half term holidays), museum tours, Mah Jongg evenings and other events during the week. All events are by advance booking only. Please contact the museum for details of events at ""

Yorkshire Chinese Brush Painting Society

With its disciplined approach and yet very versatile possibilities, Chinese brush painting holds exciting potential for many artists and budding artists. Success depends on having the right equipment and a willingness to learn the fundamental brushstrokes and basic techniques such as holding the brush in the correct way.

We meet at the memorial hall in Pool-in-Wharfedale.

For more details please go to the Chinese brush painting web site .

London Chinese Brush Painter Group

If you would like to learn more about traditional Chinese brush painting and have a go at this fascinating art yourself, you might want to join our group. We meet monthly to paint and discuss ideas and usually have a Chinese artist to tutor us. There is a membership fee and a charge for the workshops you attend. Details on web site web site

Yellow Earth Theatre

Yellow Earth Theatre produces performances and runs workshops for people of East Asian backgrounds. Yellow Earth will continue to run workshops and outreach and education performances throughout the year. They are always happy to hear from readers of any events and projects that may be running. To contact them and to obtain details of their programme contact Yellow Earth Theatre, 2nd Floor, Rupert St., London W1D 6DE. Tel 020 7734 5988 or marketing tel 020 7287 3141. Website "Yellow Earth" .

Hosting for Overseas Students (HOST)

HOST exists to provide some of the thousands of international students at universities and colleges in the UK with the opportunity to spend a weekend, or a few days at festival times such as Christmas or Chinese New Year, in private homes. The purpose is to enable them to explore the culture and way of life in a local community, feel at home for a few days away from the campus, and to see a different part of the country in the company of people who live there.

Our hosts are all volunteers - individuals, couples and families - who welcome the occasional guest from another country, learning from them and sharing their lives briefly with them. Sometimes lasting friendships are made.

We have nearly 2000 hosts across the whole of Britain, but are constantly needing to find more. Some 60% of the students applying for HOST invitations are Chinese, and would be pleased to visit hosts already interested or having connections in China. Such links with people in this country can have an invaluable influence on the students' perceptions of Britain, and the attitude with which they return home.

For more information please visit Host UK web site or call 020 7254 3039. Thank you.

Hosting of young Chinese students also required by The China HSK UK Committee. The Committee is looking for native English-speaking families to rent bedrooms-or full board to Chinese GCSE or A level students during their boarding school half term or vacation. Homes in greater London or south England are needed now.

Contact: Tina Chen, China HSK UK Committee, 124 Euston Road, London NW1 2AL, tel: 020 7388 8818 email

Intern China

The Intern China arranges internships for people to go and live in China so that they can learn something of the language and culture.

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.
Durham Oriental Museum   Lectures and events centred on the museum at Durham.
Chinese Music   Information about performing artists and musicians of all kinds available for events in the UK.
Manchester Arts Centre   Premier centre for Chinese art in the Northern England.
ArtChinese   Online showcase of contemporary Chinese art in the UK.
The London Jing Kun Opera Association   The only society in the UK that promotes both Jing and Kun Opera.
Needham Institute   The Research Institute founded by Dr Joseph Needham (who also founded SACU) is dedicated to continuing his work on Science and Civilisation in China.
Chinese language and culture forum   Discuss topics of the day with a large online community worldwide. Wide selections of topics from language to politics.

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