Monthly Archives: October 2017

Five Week Calligraphy Course January 2018

Discover the ancient art of calligraphy using the traditional Chinese brush and ink combination that has been in use for thousands of years.

The five week course starts on 23 January and runs to 20 February and will be led by Chi Zhang, the Institute’s experienced calligraphy teacher. Students will be introduced to the materials of ink, brush, stone and paper, and initially common techniques will be introduced.

This 5 week course will start by introducing common techniques related to the Chinese soft brushes and ink. Students will also learn the basic strokes of Regular Style (Kai Shu). Regular style is most common in writings and publications. This writing style is suitable for both beginners and students who learned Clerical Style before.

Students can anticipate completing at least one piece of Chinese calligraphy artwork per class. The contents of this work could be a selected Chinese poems or perhaps an ancient master’s quotation. Demonstration and plenty of personal attention will be provided during the class. This course is suitable for both beginners and advanced students.

With a maximum of 12 students in the class plenty of personal attention is guaranteed as well as clear demonstrations and instructions to help students develop their skills.  Both beginners and advanced students are welcome in the class.

The cost is £100 for the 10 hour course which runs Tuesday evenings from 6pm-8pm from 23 January. There is a concession rate of £80, which is offered only to full time students.  The fee includes all materials. A minimum of five students are required to ensure the class goes ahead.

To book download this Winter 2018 Half Term-Callig Reg Form then complete and return it to the Confucius Institute for Scotland with a cheque for the correct amount made out to the University of Edinburgh.


Course: Chinese Calligraphy Five Week Course
Date + TIme: Tuesdays Evenings 6pm-8pm 23, 30 Jan, 6, 13, 20 Feb.
Cost: £100 (£80) including all materials
Location: Confucius Institute for Scotland Campus, Abden House


HSK Exam 2 Dec – November registration deadline

Registration is now open for the December HSK Exam Diet.  The registration deadline for the online exam is Thursday 2 November.  The online exam has a later deadline of Thursday 16 Nov 2017.

We recommend that  only candidates who are proficient in using a keyboard to input characters should apply for the online exam.

For more information on the HSK and HSKK and to register please visit our main HSK page here.

Changes in China-The Fudan Lectures: Thurs 9 Nov 6pm

Join us to hear from two visiting professors from our Confucius Institute partner, Fudan University.  Each speaker will reflect on the impact of different aspects of recent changes in China on the wider society and economy. An outline synopsis from each speaker is below. This event will take place in the UoE Business School.  You can book your place here.


How Urbanization Changes China’s religious landscapeFAN Lizhu

Under Chinese government plans nearly 70% of the population will live in urban areas by 2035. The drastic urbanization has triggered massive demographic mobility in the past 30 years. This presentation will discuss how urbanization widely changes the religious landscape in China. Our preliminary findings are:

  • a large and unprecedented flow of population not only generates new economic and demographic dynamics, but also has great impact on the mode of religious development;
  •  religious group and belief connections play a functional factor to help migrants settle down and start new life in the cities;
  • new religious movements now develop their own features through urbanization.

The Green Development of China’s Economy – LI Zhiqing

China is experiencing serious environmental problems after almost 40 years rapid economic growth since 1978, which means China has to transfer to the green development in the near future. The lecture will discuss the topics including factors behind the environmental problem during these decade of economic growth, the current connection between environment and economy in China, the possible solutions for fixing the problem and how to achieve a new balance between the environmental and non-environmental sector.


FAN Lizhu 范丽珠 is Professor of Sociology at Fudan University. Director of Globalization and Religious Studies. As a pioneer scholar on the study of sociology of religion in China, she has engaged in historical and ethnographic studies of Chinese folk religious beliefs, sociological theories of religion, and the study of the trends of folk religious beliefs in modern Chinese society. Her most significant works include The Religion and Faith Transition of Chinese in the Contemporary Era: Field Research of the Adherents of Folk Religion in Shenzhen; China and the Cultural Sociology of Religion (co-authored with James Whitehead and Evelyn Whitehead); Sociology of Religion: Religion and China (co-authored with James Whitehead and Evelyn Whitehead). Academic articles include “Conversion and Indigenous Religions in China” (Co-authored with CHEN Na) in the Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion; “The Cult of Silkworm Mother as a Core of Local Community Religion in a North China Village” in China Quarterly, etc.. As an internationally recognized scholar, she taught at many distinguished universities, such as University of Chicago, University of California at San Diego, Lund University, Queen’s University, New School, Wabash College, University of British Columbia, Bergen University, University of Stockholm, University of Tokyo, etc.

LI Zhiqing is Assistant Professor of Economics, School of Economics, Fudan University. His research interests are: Environmental & Energy Economics; Public Economics; Political Economics; Economics of Climate Change; International Climate Policy; China’s Modern Economy

In addition to his current post, since 2006 he has held the post of Deputy Director, Center for Environmental Economic Studies and he is also Director of the Office of Professional Degree Program, all in the School of Economics, Fudan University.

For the period 2006-2009 he held the post of Director of the Shanghai Forum Office while from 2009-2011 he was Director of the Fudan Office at Yale University,

These talks will take place in the University of Edinburgh Business School in LT1A from 6pm.  After the talks and the Q&A session there will be a networking drinks reception. 

Please help us by booking your seat via this Eventbrite link.


Chinese Films On Friday
Oct-Dec 2017 2pm

Join us if you can for the regular programme of Chinese Films on Friday.  All films screened have sub-titles.  Viewing from 2pm-Screening Room, Room G04,  No 50 George Square, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LH

Autumn Term SEPT-DEC 2017

China in Revolution 1911-1936 (Documentary)
Labourer’s Love (Zhang Shichuan, 1922)
Friday 22 September
China in Revolution 1937-1949 (Documentary)
The Dream of the Western Chamber (Hou Yao, 1927)
Friday 29 September
 Daybreak (Sun Yu, 1933) Friday 6 October 
The Goddess (Wu Yonggang, 1934) Friday 13 October
New Year Sacrifice (Sang Hu, 1956) Friday 20 October
Street Angel (Yuan Muzhi 1937 Friday 27 October
Shop of the Lin Family (Shui Hua, 1959 Friday 3 November
The Girl from Hunan (Xie Fei, 1986 Friday 10 November
Myriad of Lights (Shen Fu, 1948) Friday 17 November
Spring in a Small Town (Fei Mu, 1948) Friday 24 November  
This Whole Life of Mine (Shi Hui, 1950) Friday 1 December   

Our Free Films on Friday programme is curated by Chinese Studies senior lecturer Dr Julian Ward whose core specialism is in Chinese literature and film.

The University library holds more than 600 films spanning China’s 20th century film history which are available for loan to those who have a library card.

All welcome, no booking is required.

Winter Term Jan-april 2018

Friday 19 January                  Before the New Director Arrives (Lü Ban, 1956)

Friday 26 January                  Yellow Earth (Chen Kaige, 1984)

Friday 2 February                   Black Cannon Incident (Huang Jianxin, 1985)

Friday 9 February                   Black Snow (Xie Fei, 1990)

Friday 16 February                 Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang Yimou, 1991)

Friday 23 February                 Flexible Learning Week – no screening

Friday 2 March                       Red Sorghum (Zhang Yimou, 1988)

Friday 9 March                       A Summer at Grandpa’s (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1984)

Friday 16 March                      In the Heat of the Sun (Jiang Wen, 1994)

Friday 23 March                     In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-Wai, 2000)

Friday 30 March                     A Touch of Sin (Jia Zhangke, 2013)

Friday 6 April                         Black Coal Thin Ice (Diao Yi’nan 2014)

Taiwan’s Lost Commercial Cinema: Weekly on Thurs 6pm

Did you know regular filmmaking on Taiwan only started in the 1950s? With a Taiwanese-language film industry? Between then and the 1970s, 1000+ Taiwanese-language features were made. However, the budgets were miniscule, the companies short-lived, and there was no archive. They were quickly forgotten, and only 200+ survive.

With the establishment of the Chinese Taipei Film Archive in 1979 and the end of martial law in 1987, Taiwanese-language cinema of the 1950s–1970s, once seen as a disposable entertainment, is now being revalued as an art form and window on old Taiwan.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first Taiwanese-language film in 2016,Professor Chris Berry (King’s College London) and Dr. Ming-yeh T. Rawnsley (Centre of Taiwan Studies, SOAS) have co-organised the “Taiwan’s Lost Commercial Cinema: Recovered and Restored” project, jointly supported by the Ministry of Culture of the ROC (Taiwan), King’s College London and the Taiwan Film Institute (previously Chinese Taipei Film Archive).

The films, which are all subtitled in English, will be shown on Thursdays in October and November at 18.10  in the Screening Room, G04, 50, George Square.  See the listing information below.

Thursday 12 Oct 2017
The Best Secret Agent  (1964)

The Best Secret Agent, the first ever Taiwanese-language spy movie produced in Taiwan, is a remake of a 1945 movie of the same name that caused a sensation in Shanghai. Fuelled by a dog-eat-dog plot and the many changing faces of the protagonist, the film created a new Taiwanese box office record in the early 1960s and kick-started the popularity of the Taiwanese-language spy film genre for years to come.

Ms. Teresa Huang from theTaiwan Film Institute will talk about the restoration project and introduce this first film in the run.

Thursday 19 Oct 2017
Early Train from Taipei  (1964)
A classic town-and-country melodrama.

Thursday 26 Oct 2017
Vengeance of the Phoenix Sisters (1968)
Martial arts action.

Thursday 2 Nov 2017
Dangerous Youth  (1969)
A critique of materialism and greed subverting the conventional gender hierarchy.

Thursday 9 Nov 2017
Brother Wang and Brother Liu Tour Taiwan  (1959)
Laurel and Hardy-inspired comedy.

For more information on the individual films, please go here:

The Future in East Asia, Pacific & Beyond: 20 Oct 6pm-8pm

Join us for an evening comprising four short lectures and a panel discussion by notable speakers followed by a drinks reception. In this event presented in partnership with the Worldwide Support for Development, we hope to show how Chinese and Japanese views of the future have had and will further have tremendous impact on the world.

The evening will be chaired by  Sir Tim Lankester, former Director of SOAS and Vice-Chair of Worldwide Support for Development (WSD).

The impressive panel of four speakers each have specific knowledge of the region and the influences at play – read on, or download the programme.


Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, the University of Edinburgh

Engaging with China: A View from the Neighbourhood
Sir John Key GNZM, AC, Former Prime Minster of New Zealand and WSD Patron

China’s future engagement in Asia and beyond:the Belt and Road Initiative
Dr Natascha Gentz, Assistant Principal, China, the University of Edinburgh

Japan’s Changing Visions of the Future
Professor Aaron Moore, Handa Chair of Japanese-Chinese Relations

Three Tigers; One Mountain: China, Japan and the US in the Pacific Century
Richard McGregor, author and journalist

Panel discussion
Chaired by Sir Tim Lankester, Vice-Chairman, Worldwide Support for Development

Closing remarks
Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal & Vice-Chancellor, the University of Edinburgh



Sir John Key, former PM of New Zealand and WSD Patron
Engaging with China: A View from the Neighbourhood

Former Prime Minister of New Zealand and current Head of the Handa Foundation, Sir John will speak on the past, present and future impact of Chinese growth on political and economic relations in the Asia-Pacific region.  Prime Minister of New Zealand from 2008-2016, Sir John led the country through the aftermath of the global financial crisis and a series of devastating earthquakes in New Zealand. Sir John worked in investment banking for 20 years primarily for Bankers Trust in New Zealand and Merrill Lynch in Singapore, London and Sydney where his posts included heading Merrill Lynch’s global foreign exchange business along with responsibility for European derivative trading and e-Commerce.

The transformation of China in the last few decades is having a significant impact not only on its people but on the world. This is felt in particular in the region in which China is located. The Chinese Government’s commitment to rise peacefully is one which its neighbours watch with great interest. For example, New Zealand has built up a strong relationship with China and has proactively engaged with it as it transforms itself from a command economy into one which attracts more foreign direct investment than nearly everyone else. Other countries look on this development with anxiety, however, wondering what a future featuring a strong China will look like. In this lecture I shall draw upon the experience of engaging with China when I served in the government of New Zealand to
share insights and lessons learnt.

Prof. Natascha Gentz, Assistant Principal, China, University of Edinburgh
China’s future engagement in Asia and beyond:the Belt and Road Initiative

Assistant Principal China and Director of the University’s Confucius Institute for Scotland, Prof Gentz will expand on the above theme by discussing China’s new massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its implications for our future engagement with China.  Natascha joined the University in 2006 as Chair of Chinese and as the founding Director of the Confucius Institute for Scotland. In 2008 she was appointed Dean International China becoming  Assistant Principal China in 2015. She received her MA and PhD from Heidelberg with residences at Fudan University, Shanghai; People’s University, Beijing; and Tokyo University. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Honorary Fellow of the 48 Club, she is an executive board member of a number of China focused organisations.

Prof. Aaron William Moore, Handa Chair of Japanese Chinese Relations
Japan’s Changing Visions of the Future

Aaron Moore  will introduce the history of changing Japanese visions of the future, from its emergence as a rapidly modernizing nation in the nineteenth century to WWII, and its post-war embrace of peaceful technological innovations such as robotics and bullet trains. American-born Aaron Moore was appointed to the post of Handa Chair in September 2017. Before coming to the University of Edinburgh, he held the post of Senior Lecturer in Japanese and East Asian History in the University of Manchester. Prior to taking up his post at Manchester, Prof Moore worked at Princeton, the University of Virginia, and Oxford University.

Richard McGregor, journalist, author and writer
Three Tigers; One Mountain: China, Japan and the US in the Pacific Century

Richard McGregor is a journalist and an author with extensive experience in reporting from east Asia and Washington as former Washington and Beijing Bureau Chief for The Financial Times. A 2015 fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., his latest book, published by Penguin Random House is entitled Asia’s Reckoning: China, Japan and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Region.

“shrewd and knowing” – Wall Street Journal
“a compelling and impressive read” -The Economist
“skillfully crafted and well-argued” – Financial Times
” excellent modern history book” – South China Morning Post


Sir Tim Lankester held senior position in the British Treasury, was Britain’s representative on boards of the IMF, World Bank and the European Investment Bank and served as Permament Secretary in Britain’s international aid and education ministries. Earlier he served as Private Secretary (Economic Affairs) to Prime Ministers Callaghan and Thatcher.

1996-2001 Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Universty of London
2001-2009 President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford.
2007-2015 Chairman of governing body of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

In 2012  his book on British aid to Malaysia ‘The Politics and Economics of Britain’s Foreign Aid: the Peruga Dam Affair’ was published by Routledge. He is currently South East Asia adviser to the consulting firm, Oxford Analytica, and Vice Chair of Worldwide Support for Development, the charity founded by Dr Haruhisa Handa

More info On WSD  & Founder DR Haruhisa HandA

WSD aims to help create a world where people – no matter where they live – can be safe and happy and enjoy economically, socially and culturally high standards of living.  WSD works to facilitate international cooperation and support in social welfare and education, as well as academia.

Dr Haruhisa Handa is recognised for his commitment to improving the lives of disadvantaged people around the world. His philanthropic and humanitarian work has included the founding of a free emergency hospital in Cambodia. He is Honorary Chairman of the Japanese Blind Golf Association, Honorary Patron of the World Blind Golf Association and Vice-president of the UK’s Royal National Institute of Blind People.

Dr Handa has an economics degree from Doshisha University in Kyoto and a Masters degree in creative arts from Edith Cowan University, a PhD in Literature from Tsinghua University and a PhD in literature from Zhejiang University.

In 2010, Dr Handa’s established the Handa Chair of Japanese Chinese Relations at the University of Edinburgh. In 2016 Dr Handa received the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Edinburgh in recognition of his support for education, health, the arts and sport

This event will take place on Friday 20th October from 6pm-8pm in the John McIntyre Conference Centre, Pollock Halls, 18 Holyrood Park Road, EH16 5AY.  The evening will conclude with a drinks reception.