Who's Who

The Return to Confucius?

Robert Bruce asks if China has refound Confucius.

My house on the outskirts of Canton was called Chi Yuan, the Garden of Wisdom. It was in Mei Hua Tsuen, Plum Blossom Village, in the shadow of White Cloud Mountain, next door to the vast embattled mansion of Chen Chi-tang, brother of Chiang Kai-shek's War Lord in South China.

I was a student of Chinese, sent by His Majesty's Colonial Office to Singapore to take part in the government of that great city-state, now the most prosperous of all places in the Far East. In 1934, the Department of Chinese Affairs sent me with my Chinese servant, Ah Kai, from Singapore to Canton to study Chinese language and culture. Every three months I took a train from Canton to Hong Kong to be examined by Mr Yu Min of the Education Department. The train stopped just across the border from Hong Kong at Shen Zhen, where pigs and chickens walked the streets and the tallest building was the three-storeyed pawn shop.

Today, thanks to Deng Xiao-ping, who died in February last year aged ninety-two, Shen Zhen has a population of 2 million, modem factories, the second Stock Exchange of China and is leader of the economic revolution which Deng started in 1978.

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