China's participation in the First World War was a defining moment in modern Chinese and world history and the beginning of China's journey toward internationalisation. Why, then, has this been such a neglected topic?

This symposium intends to extend the dimensions of our collective memory of the war along with investigations of the significance of the war to China's subsequent role in international relations. Held on 4 May, the date of the symposium commemorates the May Fourth Revolution which followed China's betrayal at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. 

Many of China’s 20th-century political leaders participated in this and other movements that opened up questions of Chinese national identity and its future direction on the global stage. The symposium will mark the largely forgotten contribution of the Chinese Labour Corps and the work they did behind the lines on the Western Front.

The symposium features contributions from a wide range of international scholars, archivists, writers and community activists including Dr Anne Witchard from the University of Westminster, who organises and chairs the event, as well as Professor Xu Guoqi (Hong Kong University), Professor Paul Bailey (Durham University), Mariusz Gasior (Imperial War Museum), Elisabeth Forster (University of Oxford China Centre), Laura Spinney (author and science journalist), Xiaolu Guo (author and filmmaker), Gregory James (author and scholar) and Daniel York Loh (actor and playwright).

This event will take place at the Imperial War Museum, London.

For more information, please contact Anne Witchard at [email protected]