The 5th UK/China Friendship and Understanding Essay Competition is launched

December 9th, 2020 marked the 120th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Joseph Needham. The Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding (SACU) and the China Center for Edgar Snow Studies, Peking University launched the 5th UK/China Friendship and Understanding Essay Competition for middle school students in the UK with the theme of "How can we achieve a better understanding of China?”. More than 50 schools, including Needham's alma mater - Oundle School and George Hogg's alma mater - St. George School will participate in this essay competition. Frances Wood, Vice President of SACU, former Curator of the British Library’s Chinese Collections in London and Peking University alumni, hosted the launching ceremony online. The Chair of SACU, Zoe Reed, and Sun Hua, Director of the China Center for Edgar Snow Studies, Peking University, made speeches on behalf of the organizer. Richard Morel, Curator, British Library's Philatelic Collections, gave a keynote speech entitled "Paper Ambassadors from China: The Life & Stamp Designs of Mrs Lu Tianjiao, 1954—2001". Some members of SACU and teachers and students participating in the competition attended the launching ceremony online.


Speech given by Zoe Reed


Keynote speech given by Richard Morel

SACU was founded by Dr. Joseph Needham in London, UK in May 1965 to promote understanding and friendship between the people of the UK and China. The China Center for Edgar Snow Studies, Peking University has established a long-term and cooperative relationship with SACU. Zoe Reed and Jenny Clegg, the Vice President of SACU, have both visited Peking University. In May 2015, on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of SACU, SACU and the China Center for Edgar Snow Studies launched the 1st UK/China Friendship and Understanding Essay Competition at Needham’s alma mater, Oundle School. The alma mater of George Hogg (British journalist, Headmaster of the Bailie School), St. George School, joined the 2nd competition. So far, more than a dozen British middle schools have joined the essay competition. In September 2016, SACU, Beijing Publishing Group of China, and China Center for Edgar Snow Studies, Peking University jointly held a large-scale cultural exchange activity "A Taste of Beijing" in the British Library in London, and launched four English-Chinese bilingual books, the Biography of Joseph Needham: The Man Who Loved China, and I See a New China by George Hogg, Aid China by Arthur Clegg, founder of the British Aid China Campaign Committee, A Bridge Between Hearts: Anglo-Chinese Friendship and Understanding by Zoe Reed. These 4 books vividly reflect the historical stories of Anglo-Chinese friendship written by the people of China and the UK in mutual support. In 2020, the 4th UK/China Friendship and Understanding Essay Competition with the theme of "Overcoming the Cultural Gap" held an online award ceremony on June 17th after selection and evaluation in 6 months. Members of SACU and teachers and students from the Marlborough College, King’s College School, Highgate School, Charterhouse School, Cheltenham Ladies' College, the King's School, Canterbury, Oundle School, participated in the award ceremony online.


Online award ceremony of the 4th UK/China Friendship and Understanding Essay Competition

During the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, Dr. Joseph Needham was assigned to carry out the mission of aid to China. He traveled 5,000 miles to provide practical and sincere help to the Chinese scientific community in difficulties. He donated more than 7,000 scientific books to Chinese universities and libraries and sponsored more than 60 students to study in the UK and compiled the famous series "Science and Civilization in China" to allow the world to get to know the splendid civilization in China. As President Xi Jinping said in a speech entitled “Work Together to Promote Openness, Inclusiveness and Peaceful Development” at the London City Hall on October 21, 2015: "China is vigorously promoting an innovation-driven development strategy. In his series of books entitled Science and Civilization in China, Joseph Needham discussed the achievements in science and technology of ancient China. China will closely follow the trend of science and technological revolution and work hard to achieve first-class results in this field.... China stands ready to work with the UK and the international community to unleash greater potential with real actions and achieve better development. " The key of the relationship between the nations lies in the relationship of the people. Youth is the pioneer of liberation of thoughts. The values of young people represent the future of social development. By holding such essay competition, SACU and the China Center for Edgar Snow Studies, Peking University have highlighted the significant role played by young people in the exchanges between the UK and China, which has added vitality to the promotion of cultural exchanges between China and other countries.