China

When the World Came to Shanghai

In the 1930s several prominent Black intellectuals visited Shanghai, bringing politics, culture and anti-colonial fervour with them. 

The Search for Immortality

The elixir of life, a mythical substance from ancient Chinese literature, underpins an enormous industry in modern China. 

In Pursuit of Pith

Flowers formed from pith paper captured the imagination of British society in the 19th century, sparking a search for the elusive ‘rice paper’ plant.

Between China and a Hard Place

Mao Zedong once said that Taiwan should be independent, but the Chinese Communist Party has since changed its mind. How Chinese is Taiwan?

The Invention of Chinese

Believing language would unify their struggling nation, Chinese officials began a project to create a national language and define what it meant to speak Chinese. 

Distortions and Omissions

Chinese history is dominated by a nationalist interpretation that owes much to British ideas of the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

The Shanghai Race Club

Though horse racing was a symbol of British colonialism, it became a surprisingly inclusive pastime in China’s major International Settlement. 

Behind the Mask

The Chinese government’s reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic reveals much about its memory of the humiliations of the 19th century.