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China & ANU

China & ANU: Diplomats, adventurers, scholars OPEN ACCESS

William Sima
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: ANU Press
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  • Book Info
    China & ANU
    Book Description:

    The Pacific War and its aftermath radically transformed Australian perceptions of what was then called the ‘Near North’. Many recognised that in the postwar world Australia’s strategic interests and economic fortunes called for a new understanding of Asia and the Pacific. China loomed large in these calculations. Based on extensive research and featuring rare archival documents and photographs, China & ANU introduces the diplomats, adventurers and scholars who contributed to Australia’s engagement with China, the ‘Chinese Commonwealth’ and our region from the 1940s-1950s. In particular, this book focusses on the interconnection between Australia’s first diplomat-scholars in China and the founding of Chinese Studies at the newly established Australian National University.

    eISBN: 978-1-925022-97-1
    Subjects: Political Science, History, Education
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  1. FOREWORD (pp. xv-xix)
    Geremie R Barmé

    This story of Australia’s engagement with China and the founding of The Australian National University (ANU) starts in the 1940s during the Pacific war and ends with the opening salvos of the Cold War in the early 1950s. It is a sobering account written at a time when this country again finds itself in a period of transition and vacillation, one that some Chinese commentators call a Sino-Western ‘Chilly War’ 涼戰.

    Over the past seventy years thePax Americanain Asia and the Pacific has been the bedrock of Australian security; the regional arrangements stemming from it have vouchsafed unprecedented...

  2. Australia’s proximity to Asia has had a profound effect on this country’s history. Yet, despite this, much public discussion of Asia remains, even today, relatively uninformed by the past. Politicians, public figures, analysts, scholars and the media frequently discuss Australia’s proximity to ‘the region’ in a language that more often than not celebrates a new-found awareness of our place in the world; they do so in tones of ill-concealed excitement. Meanwhile, as political and economic transformation has swept the region, Asian countries like Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, Indonesia and India have been lauded as ‘rising’, or ‘emergent’. The notion of...

  3. One outcome of the Washington Conference of 1921–1922, with the threat of Japan apparently diminished and British prestige in the Pacific reaffirmed, was the dawning of an era of complacency in Australian foreign relations. If the country’s early leaders had been relatively outspoken and assertive in regard to Australia’s unique national interests, the conservative governments of Stanley Bruce (1923–1929) and Joseph Lyons (1932–1939), along with most members of the Labor opposition, were now hesitant in questioning their loyalty to Britain. The Washington Conference marked the end of the ‘Australian crisis’ and, as Neville Meaney concludes, left the...

  4. Frederic Eggleston was a widower of sixty-seven when he arrived in Chungking on 21 October 1941. After a day’s flying from Rangoon, Burma, with a stopover in Kunming, he glimpsed the dim lights of China’s wartime capital as his aeroplane approached, circled in descent and touched down at 8:00 in the evening at the city’s main aerodrome, a facility built on a tiny islet in the middle of the Yangtze River. The scholar turned diplomat, who suffered from gout that periodically left him immobile, eased himself into a wicker chair that had been arranged for him in the middle of...

  5. On 8 May 1945, Germany surrendered to the Allied Powers. By the middle of that year, US forces had succeeded in ‘island-hopping’ across the Pacific, retaking most of the territories that Japan had occupied during the Pacific War. From Saipan the US Air Force launched devastating raids on key cities on the Japanese mainland, including Tokyo and Osaka; in July, a combined force of predominantly Chinese, British and US soldiers recaptured Burma. It was still widely anticipated that the fighting on mainland Asia, and in China in particular, would continue well into 1946 — yet it ended abruptly with the...

  6. By the time Douglas Copland returned to Canberra to take up the position of vice-chancellor at The Australian National University in April 1948, the George E Morrison Lectureship, established in 1932 in the memory of the famed Australian China correspondent, was itself little more than a distant memory. The oration had suffered a number of setbacks: the passing of William Ah Ket in 1936 and Colin MacKenzie in 1938 deprived the enterprise of two of its founders and key proponents. From the late 1930s, the selection of prospective speakers, a task originally entrusted to the permanent committee of Liu, Ah...

  7. On 19 March 1951, CP FitzGerald presented the Thirteenth George E Morrison Lecture in Ethnology under the titleThe Revolutionary Tradition in China. A larger, and more popular, venue that the Institute of Anatomy was needed for the occasion and Albert Hall was chosen. Named after the Royal Albert Hall in London and the Consort of Queen Victoria, the British monarch who had proclaimed the Commonwealth of Australia, Albert Hall had been opened by Prime Minister Stanley Bruce in 1928. Located on Commonwealth Avenue between Commonwealth Bridge and what is now the Canberra Hyatt Hotel, the hall was the only...