Wang Gungwu

Historian

Professor Wang Gungwu has been University Professor with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore (NUS) since 2007, and Emeritus Professor of the Australian National University since 1988. He is a Foreign Honorary Member of the History Division of the American Academy of Arts and Science, and former President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong from 1986 to 1995, the Director of the East Asian Institute (EAI) until 2007, and EAI chairman until 2018.

People climb the Great Wall, illuminated to mark the first day of Mid-Autumn Festival and the Chinese National Day, in Beijing, China, 1 October 2020. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Wang Gungwu: The high road to pluralist sinology

Professor Wang Gungwu, eminent historian and university professor of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the National University of Singapore, was awarded the 2020 Tang Prize in Sinology earlier this year. At the 2020 Tang Prize Masters’ Forums — Sinology held last month, Professor Wang traced the evolution of sinology in the West and East, observing that today, a “pluralist sinology” is emerging alongside a rising China. This allows for the term “sinologist” to be applied to a much larger group of scholars, and for the bringing together of various knowledge traditions and academic disciplines in the study of China. While there is much to be cheered by this, Professor Wang also urged his fellow scholars to be ready to “douse the fires that others had fanned”, as knowledge gathered by pluralist sinology could be used as a weapon amid intense rivalry between the US and China. This is the transcript of his speech. 
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.
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.
Professor Wang Gungwu: China’s reforms - whose way is the best?

Wang Gungwu on China’s reforms (Full video and text)

(Full video and text) Professor Wang Gungwu speaking at ThinkChina’s launch on 24 September 2019.