“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

George Yeh’s Wartime London Activities – Donating Books from Marylebone

Posted: November 20th, 2016 | 3 Comments »

The other day I had cause to look out a copy of China: After Five Years of War which was published in 1942 by the Ministry of Information of the Republic of China (the Chinese government in Chungking at the time). It’s an interesting tome, stressing how China was responding to the attack from Japan, its role as an allied power in the overall struggle of World War Two and how the home front was being maintained and surviving. There’s a lot of interesting photographs too (I’ve been adding some of them to my instagram feed at oldshanghaipaul). There is also a later edition of the book, about 1946 I think, published in the UK by Victor Gollancz that has additional pictures.

george_k-_c-_yehThis copy is from the London Library and is especially interesting as it was donated to the library in St. James’s by George K.C. Yeh who was, at the time, the London Director of the Chinese Ministry of Information. As you can see they had offices at No.9 Bentinck Street in Marylebone (see below for that house today). George Kung-chao Yeh was born in Canton into a family with a tradition of scholarly activity, he came to the United States in 1919 and attended Amherst College. After graduation in 1924, he earned a masters’ degree two years later at Cambridge University in Indo-European linguistics. He then returned to China as a professor of English at universities in Peking and in Shanghai. During World War Two, he joined the Government and worked as the Information Ministry’s representative in Singapore and in London before transferring to the Foreign Ministry in 1946. He later went to Taiwan with Chiang Kai-shek as Foreign Minister from 1949 to 1958 – the longest tenure of any Nationalist Foreign Minister – Yeh signed the 1952 peace treaty with Japan and the 1954 defense pact with the United States. He died in 1981.

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No.9 Bentinck Street today

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3 Comments on “George Yeh’s Wartime London Activities – Donating Books from Marylebone”

  1. 1 Jaime Wolf said at 11:11 pm on November 20th, 2016:

    So, this is basically something done (or overseen) by Hollington Tong?

  2. 2 Paul French said at 1:10 am on November 21st, 2016:

    Yes, Holly Tong was in Chungking though

  3. 3 Jiangbo said at 11:02 am on July 20th, 2019:

    The book was compiled by James Shen and others. Shen was with the Ministry of Information in Chungking at that time and many years later the ROC Ambassador to USA and Australia.


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