History

In 1952, the Communist Party of China launched the "Five Anti Campaign" to crack down on illegal activities by profiteers. The photo shows a poster with dire warnings in Shanghai.

[Photo story] The first decade of 'new China': In the name of idealism

The first ten years of "new China" as established by the Chinese Communist Party were a time of initial progress and improvement, only to be followed by the problems of communism. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao gives us a look into the idealism and difficulties of the time.
Earthquake victims in Da Nanbu, Zhunan county, following the 1935 Taichung earthquake.

[Photo story] How earthquakes have shaped Taiwan's collective psyche

The earthquake that hit Hualien in Taiwan on 3 April 2024 is just the latest in a long list of earthquakes in Taiwan’s history, for example the 921 earthquake of 1999 and the earthquake of 1935 that hit Taichung. How have these earthquakes affected the people of Taiwan and shaped their psyche through the ages? Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao provides some insight.
US President George W. Bush attends the 2001 APEC summit held in Beijing and poses for a photo with Chinese President Jiang Zemin wearing traditional Chinese clothing.

[Photo story] Fifty years of China-US relations [Part 2]

In the second of a two-part feature, historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao looks at issues with democracy and freedom in China and the US, noting that neither is superior to the other but a product of their respective histories.
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.