Monthly Archives: March 2010

Calling young leaders: UK-China 400

If you are a young leader age 18-30 working, volunteering, or with a personal commitment on the environment and healthy living, you may be eligible for a life-changing visit to China.

The hunt is on to find young leaders to take part in a exchange visit from the UK to China. If you want to review issues affecting the debate on the environment, the health of future generations, and the material heritage of our culture, read on to find out how to take part in a leadership exchange with China.

Organised by the British Council, in agreement with the All China Youth Federation, this initiative is part of a major UK-China exchange programme first announced in February 2008 to see 400 young people from both countries undertake a 10/12-day exchange over a two-year period. This year from 20 June to 1 July the last group of 100 will head to China.

During their visit applicants selected for their leadership qualities, will meet with leaders, experts and practitioners in the area of environment and healthy living to further develop their understanding and skills. The programme will most likely be based in Beijing and at least one other Province.

The deadline for application is 10 May 2010. Successful applicants are expected to contribute £300 towards the trip. There will be a briefing day in London on either Wednesday 2 June / Thursday 3 June 2010.

The deadline for application is 10 May 2010. Successful applicants are expected to contribute £300 towards the trip. There will be a briefing day in London on either Wednesday 2 June / Thursday 3 June 2010.

UK-China 400 is the result of an agreement made between Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Premier Wen Jiabao in January 2008. The programme aims to strengthen understanding and levels of trust between people in the UK and China whilst developing existing and new district links as well as broadening the international perspective of young people.

Links with China take root

A tree planting ceremony of a Chinese maple donated by Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh took place at the Confucius Institute prior to the spring Advisory Board meeting.

Links with China take root

L to R: Mme Tan Xiutian, Chinese Consul General; Prof Steve Blackmore, Regius Keeper, RBGE; Principal Prof Sir Timothy O` Shea, Vice Chancellor, University of Edinburgh; Minister Counsellor Tian, Chinese Embassy; Prof Natascha Gentz, Director, Confucius Institute for Scotland.

The tree has been grown from a seed brought back from China by Regius Keeper of RBGE, Steve Blackmore. The RBGE has a long history with China which began in 1904 when George Forrest, known as the Indiana Jones of the plant world undertook the first of seven expeditions to China to collect and introduce back to the UK species such rhododendrons, primulas, magnolias, gentians, meconopsis and lilies.

This young tree serves as a symbol of the links between the two organisations as well as a visible and growing sign of the links between Scotland and China.

Travellers and Oasis – March 2010

Tickets are now on sale for this unique concert taking place at `teatime` in the magnificent McEwan Hall on Sunday 14 March.

Following last year`s sell out concert from iMAP Ensemble at Abden House, the Institute is sponsoring this unique concert which will see musicians from China, Thailand, Holland and the UK perform specially composed music exploring the universal themes of travelling and oasis.

Under the artistic direction of Kimho Ip, with special guest, John Kitchen, McEwan Hall organist, audience members will hear yangchin, saxophone, cello and a variety of ethnic instruments. With specially created accompanying video footage, a short community artist spot,this early evening concert will open your ears and eyes with unique combinations of beautiful music.

VENUE: McEwan Hall
DATE : Sunday 14 March
TIME : 5pm-6.15pm
PRICE: £10 (£6) and family (£26)

Hub box office online
or call 0131 473 2000

Tickets on sale at door 30 minutes before the performance.

Filip Davidse, soprano saxophone
Sam Glazer, cello
June Chan, cello
Louise Martin, cello
Kimho Ip, yangchin
John Kitchen, organ

Videos by Anothai Nitibhon, video artist
Production Manager, Martin Palmer

Guest Lecture: The Complexity of Difference – March 2010

Zhang Longxi, City University of Hong Kong gave a talk on Monday 22 March at 6pm in the Confucius Institute for Scotland. A podcast of this talk will be added soon.

His topic was The Complexity of Difference: A Methodological Issue in Cross-Cultural Studies.


Difference is a basic fact in life and in our understanding of life, as people are all different as individuals and as social groups and communities. In humanities and social sciences, however, differences are often ignored on the individual level, while emphasized on the collective level. This is particularly true in understanding different cultures. By examining some recent works in East-West cross-cultural studies, Zhang will argue that we should pay attention to the complexity of difference and what Geoffrey Lloyd calls the “multidimensionality” of things so as to avoid the mistake of subsuming individual differences under collective categories, and to go beyond the simplistic claims of universalism as well as the relativist dilemma of cultural incommensurability.


Zhang Longxi is Chair Professor of Comparative Literature and Translation at City University of Hong Kong and Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities.

ZHANG Longxi holds an MA from Peking University and a Ph.D. from Harvard. He taught at the University of California, Riverside, before moving to City University of Hong Kong, where he is currently Chair Professor of Comparative Literature and Translation.

His research area is East-West comparative studies, and his major book publications include `The Tao and the Logos: Literary Hermeneutics, East and West` (Duke University Press, 1992), which won honorable mention for the Joseph Levinson Book Prize; `Mighty Opposites: From Dichotomies to Differences in the Comparative Study of China` (Stanford University Press, 1998); `Allegoresis: Reading Canonical Literature East and West` (Cornell University Press, 2005); `Unexpected Affinities: Reading across Cultures` (University of Toronto Press, 2007), and most recently, 《比較文學研究入門》[`An Introduction to Comparative Literature`] (in Chinese, Fudan University Press, 2008).

He was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities in 2009.

Booking is not essential but an advisory email or phone call to help us with planning is appreciated. Please email or call 0131 662 2180.

Guest Lecture: Music Taipei v Music Shanghai – March 2010

Event Date: 18/03/2010

Professor Shen Tung of National Taiwan University will present a talk entitled Music Taipei vs. Music Shanghai: A Historic Overview of the Dissemination of Chinese Opera and Popular Songs from Shanghai to Taipei in the 20th Century.

This event will take place in the Confucius Institute starting at 6pm. Places are free but should be booked by email to or by phone to 0131 662 2180