China Center for Edgar Snow Studies Decides to Strengthen the Research and Publicity at Annual Meeting

On January 16, the Center for Edgar Snow Studies at Peking University held a committee meeting to exchange views on how to strengthen relevant research and publicity to remember and inherit the spirit of Snow. Huang Hua, former Vice Premier of the State Council and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Honorary Director of the Center, sent a congratulatory message to the annual meeting. Shao Huaze, Honorary Chairman of the All China Journalists Association, Dean of the School of Journalism and Communication of Peking University and Honorary Director of the Center, wrote an inscription for the Center, Ling Qing, former Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations and Advisory Board Member of the Center, Wang Xuezhen, former Secretary of the CPC Committee of Peking University and Honorary Director of the Center, and Zhang Zhuhong, professor of the History Department of Peking University and Advisory Board Member of the Center, attended the meeting. Sun Hua, Deputy Director and Secretary General of the Center, chaired the meeting. Li Yansong, Assistant President of Peking University and Director of the Center, presented the 2007 annual work report of the Center.


Ling Qing, former Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations and Advisory Board Member of the Center

At the meeting, the Advisory Board Members of the Center from the University and Departments put forward feasible and effective suggestions for the construction and development of the Center, including Zhao Weimin, Former Minister of the Publicity Department of CPC PKU Committee, Cheng Yuzhui, Director of the Office of Humanities and Social Sciences, Cheng Zhaoxiang, Dean of the School of Foreign Languages, Dai Longji, Director of Peking University Library, Xia Hongwei, Executive Deputy Director of the Office of International Relations, Pan Qingde, Deputy Director of the Office of International Relations, Gong Wenxiang, Professor at the School of Journalism and Communication.


Wang Xuezhen, former Secretary of the CPC Committee of Peking University and Honorary Director of the Center

All the Advisory Board Members of the Center present at the meeting acknowledged that, Edgar Snow, who should have been remembered for the ages, faded into oblivion, as time went on. Wang Xuezhen recalled that Huang Hua, the First Director of the Center, had a very close relationship with Snow; Ling Qing, a Consultant of the Center and Honorary President of the China Society for People’s Friendship Studies, recalled a cordial meeting with Helen Foster Snow, Edgar Snow's wife, in the United States; Zhao Weimin, Committee Member of the Center, recalled the burial ceremony of Mr. Snow's ashes in Peking University presided over by Zhou Enlai and his wife Deng Yingchao, which he participated as a freshman representative. All Committee Members at the meeting suggested in the next phase, the Center should make it an important mission to awaken the memory of Edgar Snow. During the free discussion, the Committee Members held that, in the next step, the Center should firstly extract the spirituality core that best reflects its essence and endow it with the value of times and make it a symbolic “Snow Spirit; on this basis, the Center should spread and expand its social influence through a variety of publicity strategies.


Li Yansong, Assistant President of Peking University and Director of the Center.

In terms of research, Wang Xuezhen said efforts should be made to further strengthen the understanding of Snow's contribution in giving the world better knowledge of the People’s Republic of China after its founding in 1949, and how Snow practiced and taught the journalism in Yenching University. Zhang Zhuhong spoke to encourage more young people to conduct academic research on Edgar Snow. In terms of publicity strategy, Gong Wenxiang suggested to establish the Snow research website and the Snow research fund, further cooperate with relevant academic institutions in the United States and use some of their materials to publish some popular books, so as to let the academic research result serve the public.

In addition, the Center shall also consider including other international friends closely related to China and Peking University into the scope of research and publicity, so as to contribute more to the promotion of international friendship and external relations of China and Peking University.


Group photo of the symposium

China Center for Edgar Snow Studies is a non-profit institution for academic research and foreign friendly cooperation and exchange of Peking University. Since its establishment, it has devoted itself to the systematic research and introduction the information of Snow and other international friends, and carried out friendly exchanges and academic exchanges with relevant institutions, groups and people in the United States and other countries. Edgar Snow used to teach at the Yenching University, and the newly built Central Exhibition room is exactly where he used to work.

On March 4, 2008, China Center for Edgar Snow Studies will celebrate its 15th anniversary. The year 2008 also sees the 70th anniversary of the publication of the Chinese version of Red Star Over China and the 110th anniversary of Peking University. At that time, the Center will hold a series of activities as agreed during the annual meeting.

Extended Reading

Edgar Snow (1905-1972):Famous American journalist and an old friend of the Chinese people. From 1928 to 1941, under the multiple pressures of various political forces and the threats of war, starvation and death, he insisted on reporting the facts and revealing the truth, covering the famine and the Chinese people in desperate situations. He was the first foreign journalist to go to the Soviet Area of Northern Shaanxi for systematic and in-depth report on the true situation of the Communist Party of China and the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army to the world. Regardless of his personal safety and the obvious hardships, he overcame many difficulties and wrote many works of great historical significance, including Red Star over China, which helped people all over the world to understand the truth of the Chinese revolution and produced great influence both at home and abroad, and played a powerful role in inspiring the Chinese military and people engaged in the revolutionary struggle under arduous conditions.

At the beginning of 1934, as a journalist of New York Daily in China, Edgar Snow was invited to be a lecturer of the Journalism Department of Yenching University. He spread knowledge of journalism at the Yenching University, introduced life in the Soviet Area of Northern Shaanxi, helped students to go to the Anti-Japanese base areas, and established a deep friendship with teachers and students of the Yenching University. After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, he visited China three times, during which he returned to Peking University to meet with professors and students. On October 19, 1973, some of Snow's ashes were buried next to the Journalism Building by Weiming Lake where he once worked. This is just as he had wished: “I love China. I would like a part of me to remain there after death, like it always did during life.”

China Edgar Snow Research Center

China Center for Edgar Snow Studies is a non-profit institution for academic research and foreign friendly cooperation and exchange of Peking University. It was established in Peking University on March 4, 1993. Huang Hua served as the first Honorary Director of the Center, Wu Shuqing, President of Peking University, as the first Honorary Deputy Director, Wang Xuezhen, as the First Director of the Center, and He Fangchuan, Zhang Zhuhong and others as the first Deputy Directors. In 2005, Hao Ping became the Director of the Center. Since 2006, Li Yansong has been the Director of the Center and Sun Hua the Deputy Director and Secretary General. After the establishment of the Center, Faculties and students at Peking University began to systematically study and introduce the activities of Snow and other international friends, collect their works, manuscripts, pictures and various documents and materials, compile their writings and biographies and conduct friendly exchanges and academic exchanges with relevant institutions, groups and people in the United States and other countries.

On July 19, 2005, the Center hosted an international symposium on“Understanding China: Centennial Commemoration of Edgar Snow's Birth”. On September 3, 2007, the Center hosted an “International Symposium Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Helen Foster Snow”.

The Center is dedicated to study and introducing the deeds and works of Edgar Snow and other international friends, with the purpose to promote their excellent qualities and to facilitate the friendship and cooperation between China and foreign countries.