History

In 1998, US President Bill Clinton visited China and went to a private internet cafe in Shanghai to take a look at new developments in China. At that time, there were only 30 internet cafes in Shanghai, and the software was imported from the US, with no local internet technology companies.

[Photo story] Fifty years of China-US relations (Part 1)

In the first of a two-part feature, historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao takes a look at the ups and downs between the world’s two major powers over the past 50 years, and how China’s economy and survival have been tied to the US in various ways.
In 1971, US national security adviser Henry Kissinger met with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, and their negotiations laid the foundation for China-US relations.

[Photo story] Talks between Henry Kissinger and Zhou Enlai

Henry Kissinger passed away recently at the age of 100. Declassified records of talks between Kissinger and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai in 1971 revealed the attitudes of both towards each other, and towards Japan — which was not always complimentary.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and Taiwan President Chiang Ching-kuo chat over tea in the mountains of central Taiwan, 1970s. They not only discussed official matters but also built a deep personal friendship. (Courtesy of the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation)

[Photo story] Lee Kuan Yew and Chiang Ching-kuo

In Singapore’s early days of independence, it had few diplomatic options. However, then Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew found an unlikely ally in Taiwan President Chiang Ching-kuo, as the two struck up a friendship that placed them in good stead in more ways than one. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao provides some valuable photographs of the two leaders.
Nan Hwa Girls' High at its former campus at Adis Road. (Nan Hua High School website)

How Singapore’s Chinese-medium schools showcase pride and dreams through anthems

Hua Language Centre director Chew Wee Kai gives his thoughts on school songs of Chinese-medium schools, and the ideologies and values they embody.
Vietnamese women dressed in traditional clothing, 1920s.

[Photo story] Within the walls of Vietnam’s imperial city

Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao shows us the scenes of times past of Vietnam’s imperial city of Hue. From the architecture influenced by China, to the struggles within, the four walls of the Citadel are brimming with history.
Boats in Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, 2018. (Photo: Candice Chan)

The forgotten memories of those who returned to China after WWII

Post World War II, in the 1950s and 60s, some Chinese returned to China full of hope for new beginnings. When people are young, they are full of dreams, but all too often not all plans and aspirations can be fulfilled in real life, muses Hua Language Centre director Chew Wee Kai. The important thing is to keep moving forward from the struggles of those times, even if it means to erase them from memory.
Liu Guoxiang was an air force pilot who joined the services during the war against Japan.

[Photo story] An air force pilot and his journey from Hunan to Taiwan

Photo collector Zou Dehuai shares some images from an album that previously belonged to air force pilot Liu Guoxiang, who joined the services during the war against Japan. Little is known about his work as a pilot, but he has no doubt led an interesting life, studying at a Hui Muslim middle school in Hunan, training in Chengdu and US Arizona, and withdrawing to Taiwan with the military and his family in 1949.
Peter the Great (left) and Emperor Kangxi (right) both wanted to make their countries strong by emulating Europe. (Wikimedia)

Why Peter the Great and Emperor Kangxi failed the modernisation test

Commentator Chip Tsao notes that Russia’s Peter the Great and China’s Emperor Kangxi each wanted to make their countries strong but their efforts fell short. Freedom and democracy were unfamiliar concepts for the Chinese people, while the idea of a social contract did not take root in Russia. In the 21st century, both countries still have to threaten war to prove their greatness.
On 26 April 1947, the chief perpetrator of the Nanjing Massacre, Hisao Tani, was escorted to the execution ground at Yuhuatai by military police, where a large crowd of onlookers gathered. The next day, China’s Central Daily News (中央日报) reported: “At 11:30 am on 26 April, the defendant Hisao Tani was identified and taken to the Yuhuatai execution ground by the court, and executed by firing squad according to the law.”

[Photo story] The long road to justice against Japanese war criminals and collaborators

Following Japan’s surrender at the end of the Second World War, the horrific military atrocities were brought to light as war criminals were put on trial. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao provides descriptions and images of that period. This article may contain some visually disturbing images.