2016: The Golden Monkey 金猴, a Year to Remember

This Year of the Monkey which begins on 8 February 2016 marks the anniversary of a number of significant moments in modern Chinese history. We have invited Geremie R. Barmé, Emeritus Professor of Chinese history at the Australian National University, Founding Director of the Australian Centre on China in the World and creator of The … more

Rock Stands and Mud Washes Away

Lois Conner, the New York-based landscape photographer, is fond of saying: ‘What takes time, time respects’. As we have trudged around China with her hefty banquet camera, ‘Max’, titanium tripod and hand-made film-holders pursuing joint scholarly and artistic projects, I have often heard her repeat the line. The photograph featured here was made in 1998 … more

CIW: Opening a Building

The building created for the Australian Centre on China in the World (CIW) 中華全球研究中心, the founding of which was announced by the then Australian prime minister, the Hon Kevin Rudd, during his George E Morrison Oration of April 2010, was conceived by Geremie Barmé and Benjamin Penny and designed by the Beijing-based architect Gerald Szeto … more

Shared Values: a Sino-Australian conundrum

The following speech was written as a keynote address for the annual meeting of The Oriental Society of Australia in December 2006, a year before the ouster of the John Howard-led Liberal Coalition Federal Goverment in Canberra. In it I refer to comments that I made nearly a decade earlier, in 1997, at the invitation … more

A Year without Pierre

Today, 11 August 2015, marks the first year since the passing of Pierre Ryckmans, known to most of his readers by the nom de plume, Simon Leys. Pierre Ryckmans was a mentor and inspiration to many students of China, in particular those he taught at The Australian National University from 1970 to 1987. A prolific author … more

In Memoriam: Anthony Yu 余國藩

Anthony C Yu was Carl Darling Buck Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Humanities at The University of Chicago. In his work he sought to reinterpret classical Chinese narratives and poetry in light of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. He is noted for his masterful four-volume translation of Wu Cheng’en’s Journey to the West 吳承恩著《西遊記》 and a profound … more

Tyger! Tyger! A Fearful Symmetry

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? — William Blake By September 2014, some forty-eight high-level Communist Party cadres, military officials and party-state bureaucrats (that is, those ranked at deputy provincial level/ ministry level and higher 副省、副部、副军级以上干部) had been swept up in … more

On this Day

The Australian Centre on China in the World is marking this day, one that some writers call ’35th May’, by screening the 1995 documentary film The Gate of Heavenly Peace. Produced by the Boston-based Long Bow Group, the film has enjoyed critical acclaim, and a measure of controversy, since its debut at the New York Film Festival. … more

Spiritual Pollution Thirty Years On

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Campaign to Eliminate Spiritual Pollution (清除精神污染运动), a short-lived purge that was dismissed at the time as being of little deeper significance. In fact, the campaign, which did peter out after a few months, was an extension of the attack by Deng Xiaoping et al on ‘bourgeois liberalisation’ … more