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

We have launched the George Hogg Fund to promote educational exchanges between Britain and China with special emphasis on the Shandan School where he was headmaster. For more details please see George Hogg Fund Appeal

Historic Film by Felix Greene to be shown on 20th February 2016
Winter issue of China Eye available online
Read the latest news stories about China in our Sinofile column

SACU Newsletter

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January/February 2016

Welcome to the Year of the Monkey, 2016, which begins on February 8th. The Daily Telegraph reports that the ‘biggest New Year celebration outside Asia will take place in London’, on February 14th, check with Chinatown London for time and route details . In Liverpool the celebrations start early , on Sunday February 7th, and in the North East the Chronicle has a rundown of events taking place in Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Sunderland, Durham and Houghton-le-Spring between Wednesday, February 3rd and Monday, February 22nd. In Manchester, the city is hosting four days of free celebrations from the 4th to the 7th of February and in Cardiff events begin on February 8th. Bristol museums are hosting a variety of traditional activities on the 6th and 7th of February.

New six-part TV series starting on Thu, Jan 21st, 21:00-22:00 on BBC2 for six weeks The Story of China; part 1 - Ancestors Michael Wood tells the story of the world's newest superpower, exploring the stories, people, culture and landscapes that have helped create its character over 4,000 years. He begins by looking at ancestry, one of the great themes of Chinese history. He joins a 300-strong family as they reunite to carry out rituals for an ancestor who died in 1049, witnesses a million pilgrims at the shrine of the goddess Nu Wa, and hears about China's greatest archaeological discovery, the Oracle Bones, which reveal fascinating clues http:/ about the first great dynasty - the Shan. Available on BBC iPlayer.

The Meridian Society invites you to join us for our Chinese New Year celebration. Firstly, we will be going for a Chinese new year lunch at The Bamboo Flute where owner, Guo Yue, will entertain us not only with delicious food but also wonderful music. Afterwards, we will be going to BFI Southbank for the UK premiere of the Chinese feature film ‘The Calligraphy Master’ with an introduction by our director Peng Wenlan. The two can be booked separately or together.

Times - 12.45 for 1pm at The Bamboo Flute
- 3:30 for 3.45pm at BFI Southbank

As spaces in both venues are limited, please e-mail the Meridian Society for costs and directions at to reserve your place and avoid disappointment. The deadline for booking is Sunday 17th January with payment as soon as possible and no later than Friday 22nd January.

An interesting item of news in the Independent yesterday - titled “The countries the British public thinks we should be biggest allies with” - suggests that the general indifference of the UK media to China may be out of sync with the feelings of the UK public. The newspaper quotes a YouGov survey which found that most of us (63%) think that Britain should be an ally of China. Only 18% think we should not. China ranks 4th in preference behind the USA, France and Germany in the survey.

Our colleagues at the Meridian Society, in cooperation with the Westminster University Contemporary China Centre, are hosting an illustrated talk by Diana Yeh titled From Peter Pan to Lady Precious Stream. The talk is about “a famous Chinese artistic couple who hit the London theatre stage in the 1930s with the play. Lady Precious Stream”.

It will be at Westminster University, Regents Street, room UG04 on Wednesday, 20th of January from 6:30 to 8pm. Admission is free for Meridian and SACU members and £5 for others.

To book a place please contact Jocelyn at by January 18th.

The Propeller TV web site is one of the most impressive multi-media, multi-channel broadcasting stations on the web. Propeller presents their mission as “Bringing the world to China and China to the world” and includes Propeller TV video, live video and video on demand, Propeller TV Radio, a mix of Radio 4 type features, live music and chat shows, a world and local news station, a business magazine that can be read by the page or as a slide show and a newsletter.

Propeller TV magazine reports in Opportunity China that the Chinese M&A market is set to grow exponentially and the majority of that growth will be in the Eurozone.

Chinese Brush Painters Society (Yorkshire) will hold its tenth Annual General Meeting on Sunday 14 February 2016 at Pool-in-Wharfedale Village Memorial Hall, Arthington Lane, LS21 1LG at 10.15 am. (Members only)

09.30 am - 10.15 am Arrival and Welcome
10.15 am - 11.30 am Annual General Meeting followed by open discussion
11.30 am - 12 noon Silk painting demonstration - Lisa Shackleton
12 noon - 1.15 pm Buffet Lunch and sale of materials
1.15 pm - 4.00 pm Workshop - Silk painting - or Free and Easy
For information or directions contact Chair Anne Allan at

As every student of China’s history knows, the country invented the civil service and civil service examinations, probably during the Western Han (206 BC - 9 AD). Two thousand years later, a civil service post is still a sought after appointment. This year 1.39 million applicants competed for 27,000 positions.

The web site of the State Council, PRC, has published a photo essay of this year’s activity.

The British Council invites SACU members with working experience in China to join their LinkedIn group Generation UK: China Network.

“The Generation UK: China Network aims to create an active network of UK nationals with experience in China from across different sectors and career stages. Joining the network will allow you to interact with other individuals who share your interest in China, and further develop your entrepreneurial, business and academic connections to China.

The network revolves around an interactive and events-focused group on LinkedIn, for which our goal is to gain 20,000 members by 2020. Your experience in China places you as an ideal member, and we hope you will join and contribute to the activities of the group. Please feel free to invite other British alumni of China to the group.”

If you would like more information on this initiative please contact either me, or our Chair Zoe Reed or Stephanie Jackson at the British Council (

This is pretty strange but if it's in the Guardian it must be true. Surely?. President Xi Jinping contributes backing vocals on a rap recording .

SACU welcomes to membership Mr. David Rosier, a specialist in Chinese Imperial Textiles of the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). David has lectured on all aspects of the history of this period with a focus on Court like, regulated costume, insignia of rank, and the structure and function of the Imperial government. He has lectured on these topics to school and community groups including NADFAS, Confucius Institutes, the Durham Museum and others. A video of a full lecture can be seen here and a sample of his work .

If you would like more information please contact me or David at

The Friends of the Oriental Museum at Durham University are hosting a talk titled ‘The importance of constructing ethnicity in Manchu history’ given by Dr Bart van Malssen on the 10th of February at 7:30 pm.

“This talk tries to understand who the Manchus were and how their ethnic identity mattered to maintain their power over China”

Please contact for more information

Some interesting archaeological news from the online scientific journal brings a report of the earliest evidence of tea yet found.

“...... grown 2100 years ago to cater for the drinking habits of the Western Han Dynasty and then carried toward central Asia by ca,200CE, several hundred years earlier than previously recorded”

As a last word, and to accompany the Independent link above that shows 63% of the British public in favour of engaging seriously with China, here is a link to a Chatham House essay written by Professor Kerry Brown of the Lau China Institute at King’s College London at the time of President Xi Jinxing’s October visit to the UK/

If the ‘golden age’ of the UK-China relationship being heralded by President Xi Jinping’s visit to London this week means anything, then it must be that the relationship will finally get classified where it belongs -in the first rank in terms of importance. This is finally being reflected in the attention and interest of the most senior political figures in the British government.

- See more here .

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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
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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