Date of release: Friday, November 21, 2014

Chinese Ambassador opens landmark exhibition at GreenwichA landmark exhibition featuring one of the most important enlightenment thinkers, translators and educators in China has opened at the University of Greenwich.

“Yan Fu and Chinese Imperial Students at the Royal Naval College” was opened by His Excellency Liu Xiaoming, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in the United Kingdom.

Yan Fu was among the first group of students sent by the Chinese government to the UK in 1877. He spent two years studying naval techniques at the Royal Naval College before returning to China in 1879, where he became one of the founding fathers of Chinese naval education. Yan Fu introduced western philosophy to China through translations of Thomas H Huxley, Adam Smith and JS Mill. He also became the president of Fudan University and Peking University, now two of the top universities in China.

Dr Kai Liu, senior lecturer in Economic Sociology within the University of Greenwich’s Business School, curated the exhibition. He says: “It was an incredible experience to produce this. Around 70,000 Chinese students study in the UK each year and the University of Greenwich has long been a popular choice for Chinese students.

“This campus is also the place that accepted the first group of Chinese students and nurtured the minds of the most important enlightenment thinker in China,Yan Fu.

As a Greenwich academic and co-founder of YanFu Foundation, I feel immensely proud to walk through these buildings on a daily basis, feeling that I am connecting to my roots and being a part of the continuous history of cross-cultural exchange between the UK and China”.

The exhibition is in the King William Undercroft and will be open to public until Saturday 31 January 2015.

The full text of Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming’s speech is available at the following link:

Picture (by Chen Wang). From left: Dr Kaiyu Lei (Imperial College London), Dr Kai Liu, Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, Dr Jin Shang (Rolls Royce).

Story by Public Relations