On the 27th of February, the China Cultural Centre in Sydney held the talk entitled “Chinese Histories and their Relevance Today”. The event was co-hosted by the China Cultural Centre in Sydney and the China Studies Centre of the University of Sydney, with a turnout of approximately 100 people.
The talk was given by Professor Kerry Brown, Director of the China Studies Centre of the University of Sydney. Beginning with his personal experience editing the book Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography, Professor Brown underscored that even with the great complexity and diversity of the histories surrounding Chinese politics, art, literature, science as well as other disciplines, it was still possible to interpret and understand today’s China by means of analyzing key figures in Chinese history. He elaborated on this point by drawing on examples such as Wu Zetian, Genghis Khan and Emperor Qianlong – key figures in Chinese history, examining them with an objective and dialectic perspective. Professor Brown also suggested that people should abandon old and stereotypical mindsets when looking at the history of China, instead focusing on the close relationship between contemporary China and the culture and history of different dynasties.
The talk was well-received and regarded by the audience as informative and enlightening. A senior Thai scholar commented that he felt some members of the western media deliberately distorted the truth, thereby defacing China’s global image. He hoped that information regarding China could be told in a more objective way like the talk today.
Kerry Brown is currently the Director of the China Studies Centre of the University of Sydney, and an Associate Fellow on the Asia Programme at Chatham House, London. He is also the author of China 2020, The Rise of the Dragon – Chinese Investment Flows in the Reform Period and Ballot Box China, just to name a few.