Yearly Archives: 2017

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.

Alibaba, Tencent & China’s Data Tech Revolution 12 Oct 6pm

Join us for a ringside view of how the internet and entrepreneurship in China have created global success stories such as the phenomenon that is Alibaba, and Tencent, China’s massively successful value-added ISP and developer of WeChat.

Our guide to this fascinating topic is Duncan Clark, OBE and Chairman of BDA, China, an investment consultancy company founded in Beijing in 1994 which today has a team of over 100 professionals. Prior to BDA, Duncan worked as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley in London and Hong Kong.

Duncan is an expert on the internet and entrepreneurship in China where he has lived and worked for almost 25 years. He is also the author of ‘Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built‘ which was selected last year by the Economist as a ‘Book of the Year’  as well as being shortlisted by the Financial Times/McKinsey ‘Business Book of the Year’.

A UK citizen who grew up in England, the US and France, Duncan is a former Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in China. In 2013 he was awarded an O.B.E. for services to British commercial interests in China.  A graduate of the London School of Economics, in 2016 Duncan was appointed as Visiting Senior Fellow at the LSE’s new Institute of Global Affairs. Two years earlier he was invited as a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University where he co-founded China 2.0, an influential research initiative and forum at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

In his portfolio of work and service he holds the following positions.

  • Global Trustee of the Asia Society in New York
  • Independent director of Bangkok Bank (China) in Shanghai
  • Trustee of the UK charity/international board of San=Fransisco based NGO WildAid
  • Business angel investor to, among others, App Annie, and Radish Fiction

For fascinating insights from one who has witnessed at close quarters these developments, join us on Thursday 12th October 2017 in the Auditorium of the University of Edinburgh’s Business School from 6pm till 7.30 for his talk and Q&A.  A networking drinks reception will follow.


Please – reserve your seat for this talk here.


This talk is presented in partnership with the China Britain Business Council



Chinese Language Autumn Term Classes from w/b 25 Sept

In addition to our usual evening class programme this autumn we are offering a short, day time course running for five weeks. Chinese for Travellers runs on Tuesday mornings from 10.00-12.30 and is ideal for those planning to travel in China – or for those who want to try learning some simple Chinese without a longer term commitment. 

For full details of this and the wide range of evening classes on offer please visit the autumn course webpage where timings, pricing and how to book are all outlined.

Gordon Brown to open Silk Roads conference 4&5 October

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) outlined by China’s President Xi Jinping is the most significant investment and development programme in modern times. Cumulatively, it is, without doubt, the largest contract in the world.

We are delighted that the Rt Hon Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the UK, will address the conference, providing us with his unique geopolitical perspective on the continued development and influence of Asia and China on global trade.

This is the first major conference in Scotland where you can learn about the world’s largest economic development initiative and assess what impact the BRI will have in business, in academia, in policy making – and on the world.

It will run over two days in the University of Edinburgh’s iconic McEwan Hall, which has just reopened following on from a £35m refurbishment.

visit our microsite for more details and to register.  


Prof Chris Rea: the Chinese Swindle Story 6 Oct 16.30

Join us on Friday 6th October at 16.30 when Associate Professor Christopher Rea, University of British Columbia, considers The Art of Ingenuity: A Brief History of the Chinese Swindle Story.

Why do collections of swindle stories appear at certain times and places? In China, for example, the swindle story has experienced bursts of popularity during the late Ming, the early Republican era, the early Mao era, and during the last 20 years. And comparable works exist around the world.

This talk will consider what  e.g. do Zhang Yingyu’s Book of Swindles (Ming China, 1617), Richard King’s The New Cheats of London Exposed (Georgian England, 1792), and P.T. Barnum’s The Humbugs of the World (Reconstruction-era United States, 1867) have in common?

Swindle stories, clearly, serve a double purpose: they teach techniques for navigating perilous social environments, and they entertain. But theirs authors tend to frame these narratives within a questionable claim: that ours is an age of unprecedented peril. Focusing on the example of China, this talk will highlight one thread running through literary history: connoisseur-ship of the swindler’s ingenuity.

Date:  Friday 6th October
Time: 16.30 till 18.00 followed by a drinks reception
Venue: Screening Room,50 George Square, University of Edinburgh


Christopher Rea is Associate Professor of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. He is author of The Age of Irreverence: A New History of Laughter in China (California, 2015), which won the 2017 Joseph Levenson Book Prize (post-1900 China).

He is editor of China’s Literary Cosmopolitans: Qian Zhongshu, Yang Jiang, and the World of Letters (Brill, 2015) and Humans, Beasts, and Ghosts: Stories and Essays by Qian Zhongshu (Columbia, 2011); and co-editor of The Business of Culture: Cultural Entrepreneurs in China and Southeast Asia (UBC Press, 2015).

His most recent book, translated with Bruce Rusk, is The Book of Swindles: Selections from a Late Ming Collection (Columbia, 2017); the original work, said to be China’s first collection of stories about fraud, celebrates its 400th anniversary in 2017.

Friday 6th October
16.30 till 18.00 followed by a drinks reception
Screening Room,50 George Square, University of Edinburgh
Click here to register for this talk and reception

Henry Tillman: Financing China’s Belt & Road Initiative 3 Oct

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) outlined by China’s President Xi Jinping is one of the most significant and substantial investment and development programmes to come out of China since the building of the Great Wall.  In advance of our two day conference focusing on BRI, join us to develop an overview of the financing arrangements made by China for this long term, high growth initiative.

Our speaker, Henry Tillman, has an international business career spanning almost 35 years.  The founder, Director and CEO of Grisons Peak* a London based Asia focused merchant bank in 2008 he also set up China Outbound Investments** which tracks and analyses G2G agreements, Chinese Government related loans and M&A/equity investments.

In his talk he will provide information on

  • Chinese policy bank loans (2013-2017)
  • New banks (AIIB, NDB and SCO Bank‎)- and how these banks are becoming multi-lateral
  • Chinese use of Green Bond market
  • ‎Use of other financing instruments such as Securitisation, NPLs

While many ratings agencies question China’s ability to fund this growth  data accrued by China Outbound Investments shows how they are doing so, and how such financing techniques have evolved over the past few years.



Henry Tillman initially spent a decade in New York with  major investment banks,mostly advising on US organisations on M&A and capital raising. Since 1992, he has been based in London, including a senior management role at Barclays Group, with a focus on Europe and Southeast Asia and at ABN AMRO, where he was a Wholesale Banking Board Member, managing a global business with a focus on Emerging Markets, in particular Asia.

Mr Tillman previously served (2011-2015) as a Non Executive Director of Wells Fargo Securities (Europe). In 2016, Mr Tillman represented the 48 Group (UK) at the launch of the Maritime Silk Route in Xiamen. In 2017,he has led workshops for European Executives and Board members on the Belt and Road Initiative at Cambridge University; on Funding the BRI at the Intermodal Global Industry Leaders Conference (Shanghai) and was interviewed in a podcast by The Financial Times on Chinese capital controls.

He is currently Chairman and Co- Founder of Music for Autism International, the international arm of the UK based charity Music for Autism. MFAI collaborates with leading ASD schools based in countries committed to developing musical, artistic and dance/movement talent for their gifted ASD students and sustainable music programmes for other ASD students (Autistic He is also Chairman and Co-Founder of The Autistic Adult Choir, the world’s 1st all autistic, all adult choir, based in London.


Join us to begin to understand the economic levers and flows of capital emerging from China.

University of Edinburgh Business School, Main Auditorium, Tuesday 3 October 6pm.

Please – register here to secure your seat.

This event is organised in partnership with the University of Edinburgh Business School.

It free to attend. A networking drinks reception will follow.

*  Grisons Peak is a London based, Asian focussed merchant bank which has completed over €25 billion in advisory assignments since inception.The firm focusses on advising UK/European companies with unique technologies to partner with China based businesses in China and on Asian organisations interested in international expansion.

** China Outbound Investments, tracks and analyses G2G agreements, Chinese Government related loans and M&A/equity investments in a single quarterly report, all of which have been reconciled with original source documents whenever possible. This database also includes bespoke capabilities which measure Chinese Government related loans linked to individual infrastructure/renewable energy projects since 2013. The company’s research has been cited by many major press including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Thompson Reuters, IFR and several others. This database has also been used by major universities for academic research regarding Chinese outbound investment in the UK (Cass Business School) and the US (New York University).

China, Taiwan and Hong Kong @ Fringe 2017

Once again there is a wide array of artists, performers, and shows from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe.  We highly recommend the first two listings (which are our own projects) but encourage you to scroll on through our date order listings to discover music, theatre, dance, puppetry, spoken word, circus and more – all bringing unique flavours from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong to the Edinburgh International Fringe 2017.

Liu Zhenyun
, winner of the Mao Dun prize for literature, will be in Edinburgh on 12th and 13th August.  He will speak at the Book Festival at 12.15 on the 12th August about his novel I Did Not Kill my Husband On Sunday the film of this book entitled I Am Not Madame Bovary will be shown at the Filmhouse at 14.30 following which there will be a Q&A with Liu.  Bookings via Book Festival and Filmhouse.


A dark dynamic physical theatre piece from the National Theatre of China. With powerful visuals and almost no dialogue Luocha Land follows a central character through a world where the laws of good and evil have been reversed. The 12 strong cast blend elements of Chinese Nuo opera, puppetry and physical theatre with original music.
2-12 Aug@ 17.50 venue no 34 C Venues


Inspired by one of Pusongling’s Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio, The Cricket is a story of metamorphosis told as a classical dance drama. In the Ming dynasty and emperor obsessed with cricket fighting taxes his people heavily. A boy becomes a cricket to save his family.
2-19 August @ 14.35 Venue 34 C Venues

The Venerable Bird’s Eye View – a stunning cross-cultural performance without spoken language Three actors are transformed into birds and trapped within a cage – the human world. In this new life they must express their emotions and needs, and explore gender to forge a new, human identity. Artocrite Theatre create a multimedia experience bringing intense physical expression together with contemporary music. 2-10 Aug @ 22.10 venue no 41 C Venues c-primo

Taiwan Season: Ever Never In this theatre piece airport and airplane become vehicles where past and present collide; places of real and remembered, love and regrets, happiness and sadness, and loved ones and themselves. Following Co-coism’s guiding principle of cooperatively-devised theatre, Ever Never draws on the experiences of playwright Feng Chi-Chun and the rest of the creative team.
Aug 2, 4-6, 8-13,15-20, 22-27 @ 16.25 Venue 22 Dance Base

Taiwan Season: Heart of Darkness fuses instrument, voice, body, drama, ritual and environment with traditional and folk elements, symbolic objects and contemporary theatre to explore the inner self and attempts to understand women who are slowly forgotten. Long hair symbolises a woman’s pathway through life. Time shrinks in her shadow. Aspiration, expectation, fear, secrets & ambition lay hidden deep inside.
Aug 2-6, 8-13,15-20,22-27 @ 15.15 Venue 26 Summerhall

In Taiwan Season: The Backyard Story let your imagination run as the jackets, shirts, dresses and trousers make friends and form relationships, reflecting those between parents, children and others. Taiwan’s first black-light object theatre company, Puppet Beings Theatre, seek to summon back the innocence of childhood and inject fresh vitality into children’s theatre by using everyday items and combining the contemporary with traditional puppet arts.
Aug 2-6, 8-13,15-20,22-27 @ 11.45 Venue 26 Summerhall

Inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Peony Pavilion  this vibrant production blends emotionally driven movement, a spine-tingling soundscape and striking visual storytelling to bring a new twist to these classic texts, performed by a Chinese cast. The Dreamer is an international collaboration between Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre and Gecko, part of British Council’s 2016 Shakespeare Lives programme. 
2-8 &10-15 Aug @ 13.30
 venue no 33

China Goes Pop
is an eye-popping, entertaining show direct from China, starring world-class acrobats, including Cirque du Soleil alumni. This story of an artist and his muse unfolds through dazzling acrobatics, martial arts, physical comedy, stunning video and costumes against a pop soundtrack. From the China Arts Entertainment Group.
3-27 August not Weds @ 16.20 Venue 35  Assembly Hall

In this adaptation Macbeth will be performed in the style of a traditional Cantonese opera. Macbeth: Fringe of Cantonese Opera is from Zhuo Peili Cantonese Opera Studio.  Combining the intrigue, jealously and deep levels of human emotions of Macbeth with one of China’s own most important art forms, this performance is must-see production.
7 & 8 August @ 12.00 venue no 7 New Town Theatre

The Story of China is a children’s show of music and dance from Beijing Students Art Troupe. Telling the story of China via opera, lingering melodies, traditional dance and martial arts this production presents an array of cultural treasures.
9  Aug @ 15.00 & 10 Aug @ 10.00 Venue 150 EICC


Little Shakespeare is big fun when two of Shakespeare’s most famous scenes are performed by fe nine to 16-year-old children from tChongqing Foreign Language School and Chongqing Renmin Primary School, each well known for their high standard of education and passion for theatre. A t family-friendly production, when superb young actors take on two iconic scenes in 40 minutes each.
9 &10 Aug @ 17.40 Venue 7 New Town Theatre

The Magical Trip of a Bead is a piece of new writing and musical theatre for children. Telling of a magical journey undertaken by three children, each with their own personality, who must complete a series of challenging trials. In this they are helped by objects including a glass slipper, and the witch’s mirror as well as by mythical Chinese characters, Nüwa and the Foolish Old Man. From Beijing Fengtai No 1 Primary School on 10 August @ 14.30 in Venue 150 EICC

The Hong Kong Three Sisters
 presents an adaptation of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters. During a run-through, one actor disappears. The rehearsal stops and dialogues between the director and the actors take place, revealing details of the other sides of the actors’ lives and the current scene in Hong Kong.Performed in Cantonese (English surtitles). 10-12 Aug @ 12.00 Venue 38 Space Triplex

Divine Melody from Chinese Fiddlers combines classic melody and innovative performance to show the charms of traditional Chinese music and dance. The programme include Chinese traditional music like Jubilance, Three and Six, Legend of Silk Road, Chinese traditional dance Girls Doing Paper-cut, and Classic Scottish Music played by traditional Chinese musical instruments.
11 Aug @ 15.00 Venue 150 EICC

2047 Apologue from talented director Zhang Yimou is a highlight of the first day of the Chinese Arts and Culture Festival. Combining Chinese folk arts with international technology creates a unique “concept performance”. The festival also features contemporary Chinese dance, Peking Opera, martial arts, folk dance and music along with an exhibition of Chinese painting, photography, tea art and calligraphy.
12  Aug @ 14.00 Venue 150 EICC;  13 Aug @ 13.30 Venue 150 EICC 

Published in 1957, Teahouse is a masterpiece of modern Chinese drama. The narrative revolves around the Yutai teahouse in Beijing and the life experiences of shopkeeper Wang. Teahouse mirrors the social turmoil at three crucial moments in Chinese history from the twilight of the dynastic era to the dawn of the People’s Republic of China.
14-18 Aug @16.50 Venue 209 Greenside, Nicolson Square

This children’s musical theatre production tells the story of “Hua Mulan” who disguised herself as a man to take her father’s place among the recruits becoming a hero to the Chinese people and being awarded by the Emperor. The story has been told on the big screen in 1998 and 2004 by Disney.  This production is brought to Edinburgh by Henan TV, Gahama Culture and Arts &  Zhengzhou Linguaphone English Training.
14 Aug @ 14.00 Venue 150 EICC

‘I love this country, but who loves me?’ The play, Sink,  is based on the true story of Lao She, a Chinese writer of great esteem, who, at one stage, was given the title of People’s Artist. However, this would all change during the cultural revolution as Lao She was deemed a reactionary and publicly humiliated. The production asks questions of freedom, identity, history and our own place and role in contemporary society. Aug 4-5, 7-12, 21-26  Times vary Venue 38 Space Triplex

My Journey through China sees Yi Dong makes her 16th annual return to Edinburgh. Part of 8th Glamour of Jasmine Chinese Arts Festival. She is one of the most celebrated international soloists of Chinese national musical instruments and one of the only five soloists who has given a recital in the Great Hall of the People. Venue 111 @ 12.30 and @ 14.30 on 20, 21, 22 August. St Andrew’s and St George’s West
Also at  Venue 60 Canongate Kirk @ 19.00 on 18 August 

Zheng Programme for Chinese Lovers’ Day Playing an instrument with over 2,500 years of recorded history, after some 100 public recitals in the UK, international classical Zheng performer Yi Dong, makes her 16th annual return to Edinburgh to ‘indulge us with a rich spa of the spirits and mind’ (China Xinhua News Agency), with music of love stories and poems from China. Historic concerto The Butterfly Lovers is featured  28 Aug @ 12.00 Venue 60 Canongate Kirk

8th Glamour of Jasmine Chinese Arts Festival
sees t
hree elegant women musicians from Suzhou, costumed in Whispering Lotus Chi-pao in concert on Chinese guqin, zheng, dizi and xiao (bamboo flutes) and  pipa on the afternoon of Chinese Lovers’ Day. A fusion of Chinese poetry, music and fashion show of cheongsam.
28 Aug @ 19.00 Venue 60 Canongate Kirk


Asia Focus Day for Senior School Students 3 Oct 2017

The Royal Society for Asian Affairs is working with the support of the Confucius Institute for Scotland in the University of Edinburgh, and with backing from the Scottish Government, to offer a free day long Asia focused programme for senior school students on Tuesday 3 October 2017. 

Schools across Scotland are invited to register their interest in sending or bringing S4, S5 and S6 students to discover more about Asia as they move towards planning their longer term future. Travel bursaries are available to low-income schools and students.

The aim is to introduce students to subjects and concepts they may not have previously explored and which will, we hope, inspire them. The conference is open to all in the 15-18 age-group. Those interested in pursuing geography, law, religion, international affairs, social sciences or Asian language pathways may find it particularly relevant.

This is the second such event in Scotland, building on the inaugural event in October 2015.  It will be held at the South Hall complex- pictured above- in Pollock Halls, University of Edinburgh.


Currently confirmed speakers for this full day programme are:-

  • Dr Alasdair Allan, MSP, Scottish Minister for International Development
  • James Brodie, Scotland Manager, China Britain Business Council
  • Mr Daisuke Matsunaga, Consul-General of Japan in Edinburgh
  • Ms Sophie Ibbotson, Adventurer, Travel Writer, and Entrepreneur
  • Dr Claire Watson, Research Fellow in Primatology, Kyoto University, Japan
  • All attendees will have the chance to take part in a introductory language session choosing from Chinese, Hindi or Japanese.

Refreshments and lunch are included.
Travel bursaries are available to low-income schools and students.

To enquire or register interest on behalf of your school please take one of the following actions
Email: Shaun McPhee
all  :  Shaun McPhee Mobile  07913 34 66 11
Visit:    Royal Society of Asian Affairs Lectures & Events page.

Sustainable Silk Roads
4 & 5 Oct, McEwan Hall

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) outlined by China’s President Xi Jinping is one of the most significant and substantial, investment and development programmes to come out of China since the building of the Great Wall.  

This conference, ‘Sustainable Silk Roads’, offers businesses, academics and policy makers the opportunity to understand the significance and potential of the Belt and Road Initiative. In addition to scene setting plenaries, there will be a number of sector specific workshops with a focus on sustainable approaches. Throughout the conferences delegates will have opportunities to explore the potential for future collaboration.

For full details and to register please visit the conference website.


Liu Zhenyun: Book Festival and Filmhouse 12 & 13 Aug 2017

One of China’s foremost novelists, Liu Zhenyun, winner of the Mao Dun prize for Chinese fiction, will make two appearances in Edinburgh this August.

The first opportunity to hear from him is on the opening day of the Edinburgh International Book Festival 12th August at 12.15. Liu Zhenyun’s work reflects on aspects of China’s newly urbanised culture and his politically aware, satirical and darkly humourous writings have ensured his novels are widely translated. In an hour long conversation with Jenny Niven, Head of Literature, Creative Scotland, his latest novel ‘I Did Not Kill My Husband’  will be considered along with the tumultuous times in which we live.

For a different slant on this comic critique of the country’s one child policy, head to the Filmhouse  to see a screening of the film of the book .On Sunday 13th August the early evening showing of the film, entitled ‘I Am Not Madame Bovary’  will be followed by a Q&A with Liu Zhenyun. To watch a short film clip here:

我不是潘金莲预告片 from CAHSS Webteam on Vimeo.


The Book Festival programme is now available to book. For tickets for Liu Zhenyun at Sat 12th Aug at 12.15 please click here.

To book tickets for the special screening and Q&A session at the Filmhouse please book via the Filmhouse Box Office.


Liu Zhenyun was born in 1958 in Henan province. In 1973 he joined the People’s Liberation Army and spent five years in the Gobi desert. After graduating from Peking University where he first published work in campus journals, he himself suggests that his writing career really only started after he became a journalist. Novels and short stories which have been translated into English (and numerous other languages) include Tapu Township; Chicken Feathers Everywhere; Working Unit; Cell Phone; The Cook, the Crook and the Tycoon and most recently I Did Not Kill My Husband