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Ah, I was never going to out-know him. It was refreshing to do one of these things with someone who could do public speaking though, he was better than John Garnaut, who wasn't too shabby himself. To be honest I might have preferred to ditch the interlocutor and let him talk about whatever he wanted for an hour or two.


I wouldn't say he was particularly sceptical about China as such, just that he doesn't see global dominance in its future - it couldn't do it, and it doesn't want to. He did say a bit about regional ambitions, although I don't seem to have much in the way of notes on that. I suspect he'd say that as long as the US holds firm (hold firm, US!) those can be contained. 

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This is a really useful resource, thanks. Almost makes me look forward to going back to London :D


Interesting that Julia Lovell is currently researching Maoism, as her otherwise well-researched book on the Opium War was marred by some very superficial readings of Chinese communism. Basically whenever the subject come up it was like reading Jung Chang!

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Excellent report! What did Western ambassadors used to feel like?

Deng Xiaoping once said in the early 1980s that China could have democracy by 2050 once it had developed its economy. Both Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang were very open to democratic reforms and talked about opening up the media.

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Reminded me of a couple of other things he said, although my recollections may be getting hazier...


Always remember that economic growth has always been in service to the Party. 

And also apparently (and this may be common knowledge, except to me) apparently when Wen Jiabao went off-message and started talking about reform a while back, there was actually a censorship order went around telling the media not to report what the Prime Minister was saying.


There was also some fairly standard stuff about the middle class not actually wanting a peasant-voting democracy anyway. 

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This one looks gloriously obscure


Tuesday 15 April 2014 

Sun Yat-sen, Henry Ford and the Guizhou car dollar of 1928

Paul Bevan


Celebrated as the first coin in the world to feature a car in its design, the Guizhou Auto Dollar, issued in China, in 1928, has for decades been surrounded by anecdote rather than fact. Through an examination of existing primary sources, I will trace the coin’s background – through a complex web concerning the history of the Ford motor car in China and Sun Yat-sen’s dreams of national development – as a symbol of a provincial governor’s road construction projects in one of the most remote areas of China.

http://royalnumismaticsociety.org/ for details...

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In case you have 2.5 grand burning a hole in your pocket, and a burning desire to learn about Chinese politics this summer -


SOAS China Institute Summer Programme SOAS, University of London

'Politics and Society of China and Chinese Language'  


The summer school will run from Monday, 23 June - Thursday, 24 July 2014


This combined language and politics course enables students to study Chinese language alongside a comprehensive introduction to Chinese politics and society. Students will undertake one of two levels of Chinese language. As well as the language students will be focusing on the transformations within society and politics that have taken place since the Communist Party came to power in 1949. In addition to providing a historical overview and factual information, the course aims to promote critical understanding of Chinese political events and social structures. An important aim of the course is to encourage students to move beyond the often one-sided image of China presented in the Western media.  




An early bird discount of 10% is available if fees are paid by 15 April 2014.

20% discount for current SOAS students.  

Tuition A tuition fee of £2,500 will be charged per 5-week programme.  


Politics and Society of China and Beginners Chinese (Level 1)

Politics and Society of China and Beginners Chinese (Level 2)  A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £55 will be charged to cover administration costs.  


Contact  For more information, please contact Dr Hongping Annie Nie, SOAS China Institute. Hard copies of the SOAS SCI summer programme as well as other SOAS summer programmes can be posted to you upon request. Email: [email protected] Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4892 www.soas.ac.uk/sci/summerschool/

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Here's another SOAS one, advises registration-in-advance which I've just done:


China: The Landscape


Date: 28 April 2014

Time: 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM


To celebrate the launch of the SOAS China Institute we are hosting “China: The Landscape”,  the first of our new SOAS China Institute Lecture Series.  The Series will present original and valuable perspectives on China that cut across business, media, government and academia.  


At this inaugural event, four senior-level China experts from different sectors will offer their views on the landscape they face in their personal and professional interaction with Chinese economic, political, social and cultural reality.


Panelists include:


Rosemary Foot

Stephen Lillie

Simon Robey

Wenguang Shao

Chair: Prof Michel Hockx (Director, SOAS China Institute)

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Audio now available for the talk by Fenby, Hilton, and Wu. The LSE talks can be subscribed on podcast.


Will China Dominate the 21st Century?

LSE IDEAS Public Lecture Series on Asia Rising

Tuesday 18 March 2014, 6.30 - 8.00pm, Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Speakers: Jonathan Fenby, Wu Jian Min, Isabel Hilton; Chair: Professor Arne Westad

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One more: 

How an event in Shanghai in 1925 challenged British policy makers and how the Shanghailanders (entrenched British settlers) complicated things

Date: Tuesday, 15th April
Time: 6:30pm
Venue: SOAS (School of Oriental & African Studies), Russell Square, Main Building G3

Entry: Members of The Meridian Society, SACU  & SOAS CSSA  free
Non-members £5 donation
Did you go to that one, Adrian? Looks interesting. And good to see you posting!
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Thanks Roddy.  I didn't manage to go, unfortunately, as although I'm in London around once a month, it's usually only for long weekends.  A friend of mine went and said it wasn't very good.  His reasoning was that it was arranged at too short notice and not everyone they wanted to speak was available.  You're posting some very cool stuff, and when in London I live 5 minutes' walk from SOAS, so it's irritating that I'm usually not there.


I don't post much as my Mandarin learning has stagnated. I try to not lose what I already know,  but I'm not really taking it forward at the moment.  Not a big Chinese community here in Basel, and those here tend to want language exchange with native (Swiss) German speakers. 

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Chinese Visual Festival at King's College, 7th to 18th May. Jia Zhangke's doing Q&A's after screenings of A Touch of Sin (8th, at BFI Southbank, see Lu's comments) and some of his early shorts (10th). Lots of other stuff too, but I don't recognise any of it.


There's also a SOAS Taiwan Studies summer school coming up, 18th-20th June. 

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I shall be happily trudging up hills in the Highlands on Monday, but for anyone interested...


'Sex and the Sinophone'
Dr Howard Chiang

Monday 19 May
Westminster Forum
University of Westminster
5th Floor
32/38 Wells Street
London W1T 3UW

This talk introduces Dr Chiang's current book-in-progress, which aims to accomplish three goals: it argues for the centrality of sexual scientific knowledge in modern China’s cultural formation; it highlights the role of the body as a catalyst in the mutual transformations of Chinese national modernity and the social significance of sex; and it establishes a genealogical relationship between the demise of eunuchism and the emergence of transsexuality in Chinese-speaking society.  By provincializing China, this Sinophone genealogy of sex change maps the underexplored history of China’s modern “geobody” onto the more focused history of the biomedicalized human body.

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Full day of events at University of Westminster on Chinese teaching in schools and universities, Wed 25th June. Looks interesting, but is a school day. Michael Hockx is a busy man, didn't know he was head of BACS as well as having starting the new SOAS China Institute (was anyone else at their opening event?)


Other main speaker Tim Clissold wrote Mr China

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