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The Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding/Peking University ESSAY/ ART COMPETITION 2023-2024

November 4, 2023 - May 10, 2024

Royalty-Free photo: Girl Typing on MacBook | PickPik


The Society for Anglo- Chinese Understanding (SACU) was founded over 50 years ago to build friendship and understanding between the peoples of China and the UK. The SACU/ Peking University Essay Competition began as part of the marking of SACU’s 50th Anniversary in 2015. Now in its 7th year the aim of the competition is to encourage the younger generation to define harmony by exploring literature, art, philosophy and/or international relations and to consider ways of promoting friendship and understanding between the peoples of the UK and China.


How do you see harmony in the cultural context of China and/or the UK?

Harmony is an ideal: a happy balance of mutual benefit, whether in our own relationships, in our attitude to nature and the environment or in the wider context of relations between cultures and nations. But how can it be achieved? How was it achieved in the past and how can we secure it for the future?

Both China and the UK have long philosophical traditions which seek in many different ways to achieve harmony. How do you see harmony in the cultures of the UK and/or China? We invite you to explore the meanings of harmony through literature, art, philosopy and/or international relations in the context of British culture and/or Chinese culture with wide ranging perspectives and profound analysis.


  • The submissions could be an essay or an artistic form, which could involve for example photography, other visual art, choreographed dance, etc.
  • We suggest essays should be a maximum of 2, 000 words and videos no longer than 5 minutes


  • Entries will be considered in two categories: 16 years and above; below 16 years.
  • Each school will run its own internal process in order to select up to 3 entries for each category – 16 years and above; and below 16 years.
  • The closing date for submissions for judging will be 10th May 2024.
  • Each school will be encouraged to forward their views on their entries via their SACU member link to the judging panel.
  • Schools will be asked to submit the email addresses for all entrants [not just the shortlisted 3 for each category] as all entrants will be given a free student membership of SACU for one year as a thank you for entering.


  • The awards will be sponsored by Peking University with three prizes of £200 / £100 /£50 in each category.
  • The prize winners in each category are encouraged to have a field trip in China for UK students or a field trip in the UK for Chinese students. They can apply for financial support by presenting a research-based field trip proposal by the end of 2024. The successful applicant in each category will be offered with financial support of £2000 and will be required to submit a research report to SACU after the trip to China or the UK.
  • The judging panel, chaired by Dr. Frances Wood, renowned author on China and former head of the British Library China Collection and SACU Vice President, will give their views on the entries.
  • There will be an Awards Event for all the shortlisted entrants in June 2024 in London, involving Dr. Frances Wood and Prof Sun Hua of Peking University – an expert in historical figures who have contributed to building friendship between the peoples of China and the West.
  • SACU is an officially registered charity in the UK. All entries submitted to SACU will be part of property of SACU, which endows SACU to use it for the purpose of promoting the friendship between the UK and China in the future.


With the mission of SACU to improve understanding of China and its culture, we would like to offer talks to the schools in the UK under the title of “China in the World”. Members of our Speakers Bureau are all established writers and speakers on China with many years’ experience of living and working in the Chinese world. It is hoped that the talks on China will bring more thoughtful and insightful perspective to the students who are interested not only in the competition but in the promotion of UK-China relationship in the future.


All competition entries and any accompanying material submitted to SACU will become the property of SACU.


Schools/Teachers who wish to participate please contact SACU and discuss how they would like to proceed via Mrs. Fang Wang, the coordinator of the event at EssayCompetition@sacu.org.uk.


November 4, 2023
May 10