People-to-People Exchange Series Lectures

China Center for Edgar Snow Studies was established at Peking University in 1993 under the proposal of Huang Hua. The first Director of the Center was Professor Wang Xuezhen, former Secretary of the CPC Committee of Peking University. In 2004, Professor Hao Ping, then Vice President of Peking University, took over as the Director. The third Director is Professor Li Yansong, the current Vice President of Peking University. For 20 years, the Center has been committed to researching and introducing the deeds and works of Edgar Snow and other well-known international friends, promoting their excellent characters, and facilitating mutual understanding and strengthening friendship and cooperation between the Chinese people and people of other countries including the US. In recent years particularly, the Center successfully hosted the Centennial Commemoration of Edgar Snow’s Birth International Symposium and the Centennial Commemoration of Helen Snow’s Birth in 2005 and 2007 respectively. In 2012, the Conference Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Snow’s Death and the 15th Biennial Edgar Snow Symposium People-to-People Exchange: Innovation, Friendship, Harmony were held at Peking University. The Committee Members of the Center published a number of academic papers on people-to-people exchanges between China and the United States in core journals such as Journal of Peking University, Publishing Research, Media, and CCP History Material, and edited and published a series of books such as Edgar Snow: Witnessing China. The Center’s research extends to people-to-people exchanges between China and other countries, especially the US.

To strengthen the role of China Center for Edgar Snow Studies, Peking University in the research into people-to-people exchanges and non-governmental diplomacy, the Center cooperated with the PFS, Institute for China-US People-to-people Exchange and International Talent to edit and publish the Series on People-to-People Exchange, whose first volume is themed China-US People-to-People Exchange.

The Center has invited the children and grandchildren of many international friends such as George Hatem, Erwin Engst and Joan Hinton to hold a series of lectures at Peking University, telling the stories to students about the contributions made by well-known international friends to the establishment and development of the PRC for more than a century. Meanwhile, the Center organized students of School of Journalism and Communication to interview famous international friends and their children, and published interview records. The first book is mainly about American friends, recalling the significant contributions made by them and their children to the revolution and development of China in the form of in-depth interviews. In recent years, the Center has also studied the history of China-US people-to-people exchanges with international friends by visiting Sino-American Friendship Association. The research results will also be incorporated in the book series. So far, the Center has visited or established contacts with Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation, US-China Peoples Friendship Association, The Society for Friendship with China, Inc., Helen Foster Snow Literary Trust, China Institute, and Kansas City-Xi’an Sister City Committee.

China-U.S. People-to-People Exchange series are planning to be edited and published by China Center for Edgar Snow Studies, Peking University includes:

1. Edgar Snow: Witnessing China, Peking University Press, July 2011, first edition. The book summarizes the main findings of a number of academic conferences on Edgar Snow studies since the establishment of the Center. The 66 articles in the book show Edgar Snow studies in the academic circle of China and abroad have been deepening and expanding, demonstrating the time-honored academic importance of Snow. Professor Hao Ping wrote the preface.

2. Edgar Snow Studies, Hunan Normal University Press, July 2012, first edition. The book is based on two doctoral dissertations on Edgar Snow studies conducted by Peking University. By exploring first-hand materials that have not been published or quoted, such as 322 letters from Edgar Snow and 5 interview note books from Helen Foster Snow, the book tests the existing findings of Edgar Snow studies, recaptures historical facts, and gives in-depth interpretation of Edgar Snow and Helen Foster Snow’s contributions to China-US relations.

3. Bridging—the life of Helen Foster Snow, edited by Helen Foster Snow’s niece Sheril Foster Bischoff, translated by An Wei, published 3 times in the United States, and re-edited by the Center before being published in China. More than 300 photos in this book selected from 40 boxes of Helen Foster Snow’s materials and documents recapture the extraordinary life of the American journalist, who was nominated for the Nobel Prize twice, and was given the “The Writer’s Prize for contributing to International Understanding and Friendship” and the title of Friendship Ambassador. The book contains precious photos of Helen Foster Snow with Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping, etc.

4. Inside China Today, by E. Grey Dimond, Honorary President of Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation, Foreign Languages Press, 2003, first edition. It was re-edited by the Center before being re-published. The author of the book visited China with a delegation of American doctors in 1971, and then visited China more than ten times later. He established a profound friendship with Edgar Snow, George Hatem and many Chinese medical scientists such as Wu Weiran. Based on many of his conversations and exchanges with George Hatem in China, Switzerland, and the United States, the author described the rapid development of the PRC from another perspective. The 95-year-old Doctor Dimond is not only a pioneer in China-US medical exchanges and cooperation, but also the founder of Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation. He and Huang Hua initiated the biennial Edgar Snow Symposium, which has been held 15 times till now. In 2014, the 16th Edgar Snow Symposium will be held in Snow’s home city Kansas City, Missouri.

Fulfilling Dream in China—Record of China-U.S. People-to-People Exchange, in the process of interviewing and editing. This book will be published in both Chinese and English. The interviewees of the first part are the families of well-known international friends who are still living in China. The important contributions of these international friends and their children to the Chinese revolution and development will be recounted in the book in the form of in-depth interviews. The interviewees of the second part are a new generation of international friends who are currently active in China’s education and technology circles. The book will demonstrate that they have realized their dreams in China and made outstanding contributions to China’s education and technological innovation. The interviewees of the third part are overseas high-level talents introduced to China in recent years. The interviews with the following personnel have been arranged:

George Hatem, Four generations’ bond to China
Sidney Shapiro
Israel Epstein, who entered China as an American journalist
Enwin Engst and Joan Hinton
Bertha Snack, professor of Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing Review
Aileen, Xinhua News Agency
Talitha Gerlach, China Soong Ching Ling Foundation
Daniel Dudek, Chief economist of Environmental Defense Fund
Gavriel Salvendy, Dean of Department of Industrial Engineering, Tsinghua University
Jeffrey Lehman, Dean of Peking University School of Transnational Law, Vice President of NYU Shanghai
John Thornton, Professor of School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, President of Brookings Institution
Anthony Saich, Professor of Harvard University
Betty Jane Marcum, Professor of Zhengzhou University
Alan Macdiarmid, Professor of Jilin University, Nobel laureate in Chemistry (2000)
Robert Mundell, Nobel laureate in Economics (1999), honorary professor of many universities in China
Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel laureate in Economics (2001)
William Brown, Professor of Xiamen University
Brian Kobilka, Nobel laureate in Chemistry (2012)
Du Weiming, Dean of the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies, Peking University (IAHS)
Chen Ning Yang, Tsung-dao Lee, Nobel laureate in Physics (1957)

To help university students taking part in the interview better understand the contribution of the international friends to the revolution and development of China, the Center invited the children and grandchildren of international friends to hold lectures in the specialized optional course Seminars by Veteran Journalists of the School of Journalism and Communication, Peking University. (Speaking in Chinese in the spring semester of 2012, and in English in the spring semester of 2013). The lectures briefed on the historical roles of these famous international friends, helped students learn to use the theory of journalism to conduct observation and analysis, develop their interest in the study of international friends, and improve their journalistic attainment to better fulfill the interview tasks. Currently the following personnel have given lectures at Peking University at the invitation of the Center:

1. Dr. Fred Engst, son of Erwin Engst and Joan Hinton. Enwin Engst came to China in 1946, followed by Joan Hinton in 1948. They were engaged in the mechanization of agriculture and animal husbandry and the dairy industry. Dr. Fred Engst is a professor at University of International Business and Economics.

Erwin Engst and Joan Hinton in Northern Shaanxi in 1949

Erwin Engst and Joan Hinton with their three children in Beijing in 1960s.

DIY in equipment design and making.

Erwin Engst, who raised cows for a lifetime, and Joan Hinton, who gave up nuclear physics research, on a Beijing farm.

2. Michael Crook and Carl Crook, sons of David & Isabel Crook. David Crook arrived in China in 1938. Isabel Crook was born in Chengdu in 1915, making an important contribution to the development of Beijing Foreign Studies University. Michael Crook is currently Chairman of Chinese Industrial Cooperatives, and Carl Crook is engaged in China-UK trade.

The Crooks with Ye Jianying in 1948

The Crooks in China in 1950s

David Crook in old age

The 98-year-old Isabel Crook is answering questions from students at a lecture in PKU

3. Roger Shapiro, son of Michael Shapiro. Michael Shapiro arrived in China in 1950 and were working at Xinhua News Agency ever since.

Michael Shapiro in the DPRK with Chinese People’s Volunteer Army in 1950

Michael Shapiro and his family in China

Mao Zedong and Michael Shapiro

Michael Shapiro was awarded the title “The Honorary Citizen of Beijing” the second day after he passed away

4. Chen I-wan, grandson of Eugene Chen. Eugene, a British Chinese, returned to China in 1911 and was known as a tough diplomat of the Republic of China. His son Jack Chen assisted Xinhua News Agency in establishing its London branch.

Eugene Chen founded Peking Gazette

Eugene Chen accompanied Soong Ching Ling to leave Shanghai for Moscow

In 1927 Jack Chen escorted Mikhail Markovich Borodin back to the USSR. They were joined by Anna Louise Strong

In 1987, Jack Chen was giving a report on the work of Soong Ching Ling Foundation in the US to Kang Keqing

5. Israel Epstein, given by Mark Levine, Professor of Minzu University of China.

Israel Epstein with Edgar Snow and Rewi Alley

Israel Epstein and Mao Zedong in Yan’an

6. Xinghai (Raquel Martins) was born in Beijing. She is the daughter of Brazilian expert Martins who came to China in 1950. Xinghai played the role of Yulan in the sketch comedy Returning Home at Night, co-starring with PKU student Mark Henry Rowswell at the CCTV New Year Gala in 1988. She is now a senior interpreter in China-Brazil government exchanges events.

7. Andy Friend was born in Beijing. His parents are experts from the United States and Italy. Andy is now engaged in film production in China. His works include Tai Pan, The Last Emperor, Alien 4: Resurrection, The Dark Knight Rises and more than 10 Chinese films.

8. Sarma was born in Beijing. His parents are experts from Singapore and India. He founded the Hindi channel in China Radio International (CRI). Sarma is currently engaged in the development of business English teaching software in China.


Currently, the China-U.S. People-to-People Exchange has entered an intense stage of interviewing and writing and is expected to be published in the second half of 2013