Rana Mitter recognised for his work on China in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours

The Director of the University of Oxford China Centre, Rana Mitter, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to education. Prof Mitter’s research focuses on the political and cultural history of China, including past and present Chinese policy.

On hearing the news, Prof Mitter responded: ‘China is becoming increasingly important in the public life of the UK. It’s been immensely fulfilling to help bring the work of the Oxford’s China Studies community to a wider audience through the China Centre and other forms of engagement. I’m honoured to have been awarded an OBE for my part in that process.’

Rana Mitter is Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China, and a Fellow of St Cross College.

Oxford academics recognised in 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours

Ambassador Sylvie Bermann and Yan Lan in conversation at the China Centre on Friday 18 January

‘China Past, Present and Future: Family History and National Destiny’.



A special China Centre Conversation with Sylvie Bermann, French Ambassador to Russia, and Yan Lan, Chairman and CEO of Greater China and Lazard Asia (HK) Ltd., took place at the China Centre on 18 January.  The conversation was centred on Yan Lan’s book, Chez Les Yan, and Sylvie Bermann’s book, La Chine en eaux profondes.

The James Legge Memorial Junior Research Fellowship in Comparative Aesthetics and Art History

The James Legge Memorial Junior Research Fellowship in Comparative Aesthetics and Art History

Corpus Christi College proposes to elect a stipendiary James Legge Junior Research Fellow in Comparative Aesthetics and Art History, tenable for three years with effect from October 2019.  The appointee will engage in internationally recognised research at the postdoctoral level in the calligraphy and/or painting of Imperial China. In making this appointment, the College’s decision will be based primarily on the quality of each candidate’s research and on his/her potential for an academic career.

The salary will be £31,302 per annum.  The Fellow will also be entitled to full lunching and dining rights and will receive a research allowance (£2,419) and a hospitality allowance (£442).  These are the current figures.

Applicants will normally be expected to have submitted for a higher research degree before taking up a Junior Research Fellowship.

The appointee will be based at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, OX1 4JF.

Applications should be submitted, by email to  presidents.pa@ccc.ox.ac.uk and should include a completed cover sheet, a letter of application, explaining how you meet the selection criteria below, a CV, a list of publications, a 1,000-word description of present and future research interests and a completed Equal Opportunities Form.  Applications should be received by 4 January 2019.  Referees should be asked to write directly, by email, to to  presidents.pa@ccc.ox.ac.uk, their references to be received by not later than 4 January 2019. Those shortlisted will be asked to submit an example of work (of no more than 20,000 words to comprise published or forthcoming articles or chapters from his/her doctoral dissertation) before interview.  Interviews will be held in Oxford on 11 March 2019 (or by Skype if necessary).


This post is intended to provide a promising scholar with a congenial environment for the development of his/her research beyond the doctoral level.  Within that broad aim, the committee will make its decision by seeking evidence of the following attributes of candidates:

  • Distinguished and imaginative research at doctoral level, and plans for future research of a similar or greater quality.
  • The capacity to think originally with objects of material and visual culture. The committee may give preference to candidates willing to employ comparative approaches to the phenomenology or aesthetics of Chinese art.
  • The ability to defend the work submitted before the scrutiny of the interviewing panel.


Kishore Mahbubani to give China Centre Distinguished Lecture on 20 November, 5pm

Relations between China and the United States have clearly gone downhill in the past few months. Is this a temporary blip caused by Donald Trump or a manifestation of deeper problems? This lecture will argue that fundamental structural factors are responsible for the recent deterioration in bilateral relations. It will evaluate the economic, political, cultural and strategic fault lines between the US and China, and identify the key driving forces among these factors.

Professor Kishore Mahbubani is Senior Advisor (University & Global Relations) and Professor in the Practice of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, where he also served as Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy from 2004 to 2017. Before that, he served in the Singapore Foreign Service for 33 years, notably as Ambassador to the UN and twice as President of the UN Security Council. He writes extensively on public policy issues. He has authored seven books: Can Asians Think?, Beyond the Age of Innocence, The New Asian Hemisphere, The Great Convergence (selected by Financial Times as one of the best books of 2013), Can Singapore Survive?, and co-author of The ASEAN Miracle. His latest book, Has the West Lost it? A Provocation was published in April 2018.

Kishore Mahbubani will give the China Centr eDistinguished Lecture in the Kin-ku Cheng Lecture Theatre at 5pm, which will be followed by a reception in the Wordsworth Tea Room at 6.30pm. All welcome.

George Magnus at China Centre

Under President Xi Jinping, China has become a large and confident power both at home and abroad, but the country also faces serious challenges. In his new book, Red Flags: Why Xi’s China is in Jeopardy (Yale University Press, 2018), economist George Magnus explores four key traps that China must confront and overcome in order to thrive: debt, middle income, the Renminbi, and an aging population. Looking at the political direction President Xi Jinping is taking, Magnus argues that Xi’s authoritarian and repressive philosophy is ultimately not compatible with the country’s economic aspirations.

George Magnus is an associate at the University of Oxford China Centre, research associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and formerly chief economist of UBS. He has written extensively about China in the Financial Times, Prospect, and other economic and financial publications.

George Magnus spoke about his book at the China Centre on 9 October 2018.