Capitalism, War, and Revolution--What You May Not Know about Hong Kong
Nicole Kwan, Author
Ming Chan, CEAS Visiting Scholar, Stanford University
2011 marks the 100th anniversary of China’s 1911 Revolution; it also marks the 170th anniversary of the first hoisting of the British Union Jack on Hong Kong Island. Dr. Sun Yat-sen attended Central College in Hong Kong starting in 1884, and graduated in 1892 from the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese (later the medical faculty of the University of Hong Kong). Upon re-visiting the University in 1923, Dr. Sun said, “I feel as though I have returned home, because Hong Kong and its university are my intellectual birthplace…”
Nicole Kwan, who co-authored The Dragon and the Crown: Hong Kong Memoirs with her uncle Stanley Kwan, will talk about their book and share the discoveries of her research on Hong Kong’s past century. The Dragon and the Crown is the memoir of Stanley Kwan who created the Hang Seng Index (Hong Kong’s equivalent of the Dow Jones Industrial Average) in 1969 while working at Hang Seng Bank. The talk will cover topics that include: the little-known but pivotal role of yinhao (traditional Chinese banks) in pre-War Hong Kong; the work of Hong Kong interpreters deployed with American forces in wartime China; and the critical presence of the Chinese Communist Party in the former colony. She will be joined by Professor Ming Chan, who will talk about Hong Kong’s important role in China’s 1911 Revolution and comment on major trends and key developments during this turbulent period of Hong Kong history.
Ms. Kwan has a BA degree from Smith College and MAs from Yale University and the University of Hong Kong. She worked in international banking for over 20 years while based in Hong Kong and conducted the course “Doing Business in China” at Stanford University during 2005-07. The Dragon and the Crown: Hong Kong Memoirs was published by Hong Kong University Press (hardcover 2009, paperback 2011).
As a historian of modern China focusing on Guangdong and Hong Kong-Macao, Prof. Ming Chan received all three degrees in the US, including a PhD from Stanford at age 25. Besides Stanford, he has taught at the University of Hong Kong, Duke and UCLA, amongst others, and was a Research Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, 1976-80 and 1999-09, when he ran the Hong Kong Documentary Archives project. He is currently with the Center of East Asian Studies at Stanford University. Among his 13 books, the latest is New Perspectives on Modern Lingnan History: Guangdong and Its Hong Kong Links, 1900-1938.