Nov 27, 2021 10:00 AM

Weekend Long Read: Eminent Historian Wang Gungwu on Sinic Civilization’s Continental and Maritime Interactions

Wang Gungwu. Photo: National University of Singapore.
Wang Gungwu. Photo: National University of Singapore.

Professor Wang Gungwu (王赓武) has a life story deeply rooted in the history of 20th century Asia.

Born in Surabaya, Indonesia, in 1930, Wang spent his childhood in Ipoh, Malaysia. After the Second World War, he received his higher education at then the Central University in Nanjing and the University of Malaya in Singapore. Throughout his life, Wang has never left academia. He taught history for many years in Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Wang was the vice-chancellor of the University of Hong Kong for 10 years, after which he returned to his alma mater in the southern tip of Singapore ― which had renamed the National University of Singapore. There, he became the director of the East Asian Institute as well as chairman of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

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