SOAS University of London

SOAS China Institute

Forthcoming Events

The China Institute coordinates activities at SOAS, University of London that relate to the study of China.  The events bring together academic staff and students with diverse interests and backgrounds.

For further information contact Li-Sa Whittington at the Institute on


Please note that every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained on the website is as accurate as possible. We cannot guarantee, however, that subsequent changes have not been made. 

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  • Hidden Binomes in Chinese Canonical Texts: Both Transmitted and Excavated
  • Professor Chen Zhi (BNU-HKBU United International College)
  • One of the most important, but still under-investigated, features of the Old Chinese lexicon is its large number of alliterative binomes (i.e., compounds of two characters that regularly appear together with distinctive meaning). Lianmian ci 連綿 詞/聯緜詞 or “binome” (borrowed from the French word binôme) is a sound- correlated (alliterative or rhyming) disyllabic compound that carries meaning only when it is used as a single word.

  • Tetrasyllabic Poetry on Bronze Inscriptions and the Zhou Hymns
  • Professor Chen Zhi (BNU-HKBU United International College)
  • In this presentation Professor Chen Zhi examines formulaic expressions and set phrases that appear both in the received version of the Shijing (Book of Songs), China’s earliest anthology of poetry, and excavated Western Zhou bronze inscriptions (1045-771 BC).



  • The China Debate 2019: Will China’s Rise be Peaceful?
  • The rise of China will have a major impact on the world in the 21st century. Graham Allison may or may not be right in arguing that China and the USA are at serious risk of being caught in a ‘Thucydides Trap’, in which an incumbent hegemonic power feels compelled to respond forcefully to a rising new peer competitor, with potentially dire consequences. In the light of recent developments, the panellists will discuss whether China’s rise will prove peaceful.


  • The Meaning and Implications of Tiananmen 1989
  • Various panellists
  • This panel discussion will assess the meaning and implications of the momentous events of Beijing 1989. The panellists, Dr Jiang Shao, a protester in Tiananmen, Kate Adie, a world class journalist whose report on the spot captivated the world and Dr Rowena He, a leading scholar on the subject will reflect on the events, how they affected them and what meaning they draw from having lived through, witnessed or studied this vital historical moment.

  • Governance Reform, Social Inequality and the Changing Public Opinion in China
  • Dr Zhenqing Zheng (Tsinghua University, Beijing)
  • Since China’s reforms in the 1980’s, bureaucratic changes and market forces have reshapened the general public’s lives and opinions. This seminar examines to what degree, social differences in urban-rural divide, social stratification, distributive fairness perceptions, generational gap and so on have impacted people’s attitudes regarding governance reform and performance in China.

  • The Belt & Road Initiative: International Responses
  • This conference is designed to examine how this flagship foreign policy initiative of President Xi Jinping is affecting the key regions in the world along both the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road, and how countries thus affected are responding.