Diasporic Chinese Ventures: The Life and Work of Wang Gungwu by Gregor Benton, Hong Liu

By Gregor Benton, Hong Liu

This number of essays by means of and approximately Wang Gungwu brings jointly a few of Wang's newest and consultant writing in regards to the ethnic chinese language outdoor China giving the reader a deeper knowing of his perspectives on migration, id, nationalism and tradition, all key matters in glossy Asia's transformation. The publication collects interviews, speeches and essays that illustrate the advance and path of Wang's scholarship on ethnic and diasporic chinese language.

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Extra info for Diasporic Chinese Ventures: The Life and Work of Wang Gungwu (Chinese Worlds)

Sample text

So was Crawford. The scholar in Wang Gungwu, the professional, the historian and teacher, prevailed over the politician. So? In relation to his new appointment in Hong Kong, it could just as well have been Britain or the United States, you say. In logics, yes, but in fact, no. It was Crawford who sought him out; because he was not merely a young China historian of established repute but also because he was a Southeast Asian, a North Asian, a “European” Asian, a scholar whose cultures defied the gaps.

Other friends had told him that China would soon have one thousand universities and that in 10 years’ time Hong Kong would revert to the motherland. Hong Kong University would then be part of the Chinese state system of universities. Wang should therefore “go with the times” and gradually introduce Hong Kong University into the “mainstream”, so that in a decade’s time, after “the fallen leaf had returned to the root”, it would chime in easily with the prevailing circumstances. I advanced a contrary opinion.

Gungwu’s talent had been recognized, although the awl by no means protruded from the sack. I congratulated him on having achieved his destiny. A scholar of talent and virtue, his gifts would enable him to execute his assignments speedily. How could the contribution of such a man be weighed? Wang Gungwu’s appointment, this long overdue recognition of his ability, is an illustration of the true meaning of Mencius’ dictum that “Heaven has entrusted this man with a heavy duty”. In taking the burden of Hong Kong University on his shoulders, Gungwu will not only promptly discharge the duties of his new office but may even write an epoch-making new page in the 3,000-year history of Chinese education.

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