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

Autumn 2015 issue of China Eye available online
Read the latest news stories about China in our Sinofile column

SACU Newsletter

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September/October 2015

70th anniversary of the end of the war against Japan

There have been a number of events this month in China and Britain commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the war against Japan. On the 16th, I represented SACU at a concert at the Barbican in London sponsored by China’s Embassy. Madame Liu Yandon, Vice Premier of the PRC, who is in the UK this week to prepare for the October visit of Xi Jinping, attended along with Ambassador Liu Xiaoming. The concert featured prodigies Ms Elim Chan , the Assistant Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, and Haochen Zhang , who played the formidably difficult Yellow River Piano Concerto. A full report will be in the next issue of China Eye.

There has also been a great deal written about the events that lead up to Japan’s surrender and defeat much of which ignores or underplays the massive contribution made by the Chinese people, who fought and died in unimaginable numbers. SACU member Dr. Kerry Brown, writing in the South China Morning Post , proposes that it is they who should be remembered and honoured.

The second event planned for SACU’s 50th anniversary year will be Andrew Hicks’ presentation A TRUE FRIEND TO CHINA , about the life and work of Jack Jones and the Friends Ambulance Unit China Convoy, who brought medical aid, supplies and moral support to the people of China during the nineteen forties. The event will be held at EY (Ernst & Young), I More London Place, Riverside, London SE1 2AF on Friday 30th October from 6 pm to 8 pm. Please reserve a place through Eventbrite or by email to Ros Wong at

If you are unable to make the 30th, but would still like to attend, Andrew is presenting his talk in the Library at Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BJ from 6 pm to 7:30 on Tuesday 13th of October. Please reserve a place by emailing and reference A TRUE FRIEND TO CHINA.

The June 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine, noting that ‘no other country is investing so heavily in clean energy. But no other country burns as much coal to fuel its economy’, asked “Can China Go Green? ”. BBC Radio 4 brings the question up to date on Sunday, 20th of September at 21:30 with “China Going Green”. The programme is downloadable now if you can’t wait from the iPlayer Radio web page .

Also in the broadcast media, Secrets of the Terracotta Army on Channel 4 tonight at 8 pm or downloadable from the website ; the BBC 2 series “The Ascent of Women” has a segment on ‘the role of women in Asia under the religions Confucianism (sic) and Buddhism”, downloadable from the iPlayer on your television or from the BBC website .

In Compton Verney (6 miles from Stratford upon Avon off the M40) this weekend, and running from September 15th to October 1st, is China Revealed “a special programme of events celebrating Compton Verney’s Chinese Collection with music, storytelling, dance, art activities for all and a series of illustrated talks and tours”. Carol Michelson, the curator of Chinese jades and bronzes at the British Museum will talk on ‘The Qianlong Emperor and his passion for Chinese Jade’ on September 24th. Details of ticket prices and the schedule of events is here .

Listening to Haocheng Zhang play on Wednesday reminded me of this short article in Caixin Online “How the Piano Became Chinese” The makings of the piano’s status as a mainstream cultural institution descended from a mission by the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci to meet the emperor Wan Li.

Long-time SACU member Dr Tony Jeans mentioned recently that he is also a Qi Gong instructor, the ‘slow motion’ fitness exercises one often see being practised by people in Chinese parks and squares.

Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese system of slow gentle movements. It is designed to maintain health and well being. Practising Qi Gong reduces stress, helps with mobility and balance, and harmonises body and mind. It can be practised by anyone, any age, no previous experience is necessary. We meet about every two weeks. We are a small, friendly and supportive group and are always happy to welcome new members. We have a very experienced instructor called Lida who leads us through the exercises and movements in. For more information please email or, to find Qi Gong groups or lessons in your area, go to the web site - very straightforward and easy to follow way.

Peace History Conference: An International Perspective, 10th October 2015, Friends Meeting House Manchester, 6 Mount Street, Manchester, M2 5NS.

This year's Peace History Conference in Manchester is taking a wider-world view. As one of three elements relating to World War 1, SACU Vice President Dr Jenny Clegg will shine a light on the treatment of the Chinese Labour Corps by the British and French, highlighting the different racial attitudes in the two countries.

10.30-11.30am; £20 for the day (incl. lunch); £10 concessions (incl. lunch); £5 without.

Ticket prices and other options through Eventbrite .

BBC News Magazine, 25 August 2015, featured SACU member Yvonne Foley in a story about a WW2 injustice similar to that done to the workers of the Chinese Labour Corps in WW1.

After World War Two ended, the British government forcibly repatriated hundreds of Chinese sailors who had been recruited for the Merchant Navy. Their sudden departure had a devastating effect on families left behind, like that of Yvonne Foley.

CULTURE MONTH 2015 at the University of Leeds: A Chinese Watercolour Painting Exhibition - Britain through the eyes of a Chinese Diplomat.

“Discover the beauty of traditional Chinese brush painting and see Britain in a new light. Chinese Diplomat Wang Ying presents his interpretations of classic British scenes, painted during his diplomatic service in the UK. There will also be Chinese bamboo paintings by Nobel laureate in Physics, Professor Novoselov.”

September 26th to October 6th at the University of Leeds Parkinson Building, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9HE. Web site .

UK - China Alumni Network

SACU members in the UK may be interested in a new network sponsored by the British Council.

The British Council have recently launched a new initiative called the UK - China Alumni Network. This initiative aims to create an active network of UK nationals with experience in China from across different sectors and career stages. We have nearly 1,000 members already and are looking to grow the network further.

The attachment contains more information on what the UK - China Alumni Network is and on the benefits of joining, which includes attending biannual events in the UK, keeping informed on the newest job opportunities and interacting with our Leading Lights.

Membership of the UK - China Alumni Network will allow members to connect with other UK professionals with experience in China, creating new collaboration, exchange, and business opportunities. We also hope that members will share their experiences to help inspire and support the next generation of young British students to build links with China and further their careers.

To join the network go to this web page , or for more information email

Finally, migrants are much in the news these days and compelling their movement is not just war, violence and corruption but also severe climate deterioration, a worldwide phenomenon. This web page from China Dialogue - China’s Climate Migrants “underlines the difficulty of adapting to climate change” in the Middle Kingdom.

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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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