Interesting Articles Submitted by Members

In this section the NZCFS places selected informative articles to provide a range of perspectives and understanding. Any views expressed in the articles do not necessarily represent the views of NZCFS.

Book Review: The Water Kingdom – A Secret History of China

The Water Kingdom - A Secret History of China, by Philip Ball.  Bodley Head, 2016. ISBN (hardback): 978147923547. The following is based heavily on the review in 'The Oldie' magazine, November 2016:  Science writer Philip Ball examines what he calls 'an intimate connection between hydraulic engineering, governance, moral rectitude and metaphysical speculation that has no … [Read more...]

How Rewi Alley helped hide 10,000 workers

A story of enterprise and initiative in the times of Japanese invasion. In 1937, the Japanese invaded China in force. As well as causing mayhem, death and suffering to the population, factories were targeted, creating hundreds of thousands of economic refugees. Rewi Alley was a key figure in establishing the Chinese Industrial Cooperative movement, moving plant to the vast … [Read more...]

“As in a Dream…” A Chinese poem written in water calligraphy in Westlake Park, Fuzhou

Water calligraphy, a poetic activity where artists use a large brush to write Chinese characters using water instead of ink can be found in many Chinese parks. NZCFS Tauranga Branch members Duncan and Teri France write about one particular poem they observed being written... We (Teri and Duncan France) have very fond memories of Westlake Park in Fuzhou, which we encountered … [Read more...]

A Chronology of Rewi Alley’s Life

Based mainly on the chronology in “Rewi Alley – An Autobiography”, Second edition 1987 (New Zealand). Published and printed by New World Press, Beijing. Early Years in New Zealand 1897-1927 1897, December 2nd:   Born, the third of a seven-child family, in Springfield, Canterbury, New Zealand 1902-1905:   Attended Primary School in Amberley 1906:   Moved to Lower Riccarton, … [Read more...]

What is Chinese Moon Festival and how is it celebrated?

"Happy Moon Festival!"- from the New Zealand China Friendship Society.  There are lots of Chinese holidays and festivals being celebrated in New Zealand by an increasing number of people each year. One such event is "Moon Festival", which occurs on the same date each year - the 15th of September.  The Moon Festival is also known by other names, such as the Mid-Autumn … [Read more...]

Book Review: The Porcelain Thief

The Porcelain Thief: Searching the Middle Kingdom for Buried China, by Huan Hsu.  Fourth Estate, London, 2015. ISBN978-0-00-747943-6 A Chinese-American journalist travels throughout mainland China and Taiwan in search of his family’s hidden treasure and comes to understand his ancestry as he never has before. In 1938, when the Japanese arrived in Huan Hsu’s … [Read more...]

China receives letter from Queen Elizabeth I – 383 years too late

In 1602 Queen Elizabeth I wrote a letter to the Emperor of Cathay [China] seeking trade with China - intending for the letter to be delivered that same year. The letter never made it to China until 1984.The following article submitted by Duncan France, Past President of the New Zealand China Friendship Society's Hibiscus Coast Branch sets this letter in its historical … [Read more...]

Joseph Rock and Joseph Needham: Science Adventurers in the China-Tibet Borderlands

The following article is developed from a talk by Dr Miles Barker to the Hamilton Branch of the New Zealand China Friendship Society on 19 May 2016. In turn his talk was based on his 2010 'Science Teacher' article, "Ripping Yarns: Science in Asia".AbstractIn the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s two eccentric and colourful Western scientists pursued their work in the anarchical, … [Read more...]

Rewi Alley’s Whare [farmhouse] at Moeawatea, NZ

When Rewi Alley returned to New Zealand to rehabilitate after suffering serious wounds on the Somme in World War I, he met his old high-school friend, Jack Stevens, in Christchurch, who had been in the Air Force in Egypt and was planning to take up land in Taranaki under the Returned Soldiers Rehabilitation Scheme.  Jack Stevens invited Rewi Alley to join him and together they … [Read more...]

Some aspects of Chinese toilets

Anyone who has travelled knows that public restroom facilities are something that cannot be avoided. However, one member of the New Zealand China Friendship Society, who has visited China several times over the years, recently compared notes with a fellow traveller and discovered that some things are far better than their reputation, at least for 50% of the population...At … [Read more...]

A Great Video of Chinese Scenery

If you have always wanted to visit China, this video is a must to see and will definitely persuade you to go, especially along the River Li from Guilin to Yangshuo, in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Beautiful pagodas on high hill tops, rafts carrying cormorants fishing for their master, neat orchards, visitors strolling on bridges as well as sailing on rafts along the wide … [Read more...]