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Thursday, April 10, 2003 - 19:30

The Song Sisters: China's Leading Ladies

Prof. Diana Lary

German Embassy

One family, the Songs, produced the two most important political women of modern China. Both married major political figure - Song Qingling was married to Sun Yat-sen, and her younger sister Song Meiling to Chiang Kia-shek - and both made important careers of their own. During the Second World War, for example, Song Meiling was probably the most influential woman in the world, as the symbol of Free China, and a major player in international politics. Song Qingling was later the doyenne of the People's Republic.

Song Qingling died some time ago, but Meiling is still alive, at the age of (at least) 105. This talk will look at the lives of these two Song sisters, from rebel daughters to national and international figures - and ask why they have been, to date, almost unique in Chinese history.

Professor Diana Lary, our speaker for this event, is a specialist in Chinese Republican History. She is a frequent visitor to China. She first worked in China in the mid 1960s and later served as the Cultural Attaché at the Canadian Embassy. She is now the Director of The Centre for Chinese Research at The University of British Colombia, Canada.