History

Edgar Snow (left) and John Stuart were two Westerners in China who did their part to improve the country. (Internet)

John Stuart and Edgar Snow: Two Americans in China

As the PRC celebrates its 70th anniversary, and amid the China-US trade war, Prof Tian Fangmeng remembers two Americans who left their marks on China in the first half of the 20th century. One became the face of American imperialism and the enemy of communism, while the other became a familiar face in the Chinese government’s official propaganda. But are they so different?
2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Jimei School. The photo shows Tan Kah Kee interacting with the students at the school he founded. (The Information Office of Xiamen Municipal People's Government)

Tan Kah Kee: The Confucian merchant's relevance in contemporary societies

Professor Wang Gungwu gave a keynote address at the Hwa Chong Centennial Insights Series 5 detailing his memories about prominent Chinese community leader, Tan Kah Kee. He shares from his personal experiences before elaborating on Tan's huge influence on the Chinese community, and what we can continue to learn from him.
Sun Yat-sen is widely regarded as the foremost revolutionary of his time.

Sun Yat-sen and the Xinhai Revolution: A pictorial journey

Between October and December 1911, fierce fighting broke out between the revolutionaries and the Qing troops. And by early 1912, China's 2,000 years of imperial rule was history. The Xinhai Revolution led by Sun Yat-sen had successfully united the Chinese people against the imperial system, and built the first Republic in Asia, changing the fate of China and East Asia. Hsu Chung-mao takes us on a visual journey through that period of chaos and upheaval.
Zhao Ziyang (left) and Yin Haiguang were visionaries ahead of their time.

Zhao Ziyang and Yin Haiguang: A common vision, a common fate

Two men, both patriots with a vision for China. They worked hard for their country and spoke up against what they saw was going wrong - they tried to change the system and put things right. But in the end, their efforts were not rewarded in their lifetime. This is their story.
By 1965, the people of Singapore had internalised the early imperial linkages. They set out to build on that heritage to seek its place as a global city and turn its plural society into a viable and prosperous state. The photo shows a view of Boat Quay, Singapore River and the financial district in 1978. (SPH)

Singapore history: A tale of separating and connecting (Video and text)

While Hong Kong's largely Chinese population never stopped being engaged in all of China's affairs, Singapore's Chinese population's engagement with China and the Southeast Asia region could be described as connected yet separated. Prof Wang Gungwu reflected on Singapore's distinctiveness at The Singapore Bicentennial Conference organised by The Institute of Policy Studies on Sept 30 and Oct 1. This article is written by Prof Wang based on his speech at the conference.
Chen Cuifen was not recognised. History does not remember her name. Her relationship with Sun Yat-sen was never made public. (SPH)

Sun Yat-sen’s lover Cuifen and her Malaysia villa

What will matter most on one’s deathbed? For Chen Cuifen, partner of Sun Yat-sen, it was a gold ring and a pocket watch, engraved with Sun’s English name.