Professor Rana Mitter presents five more audio portraits of figures who have shaped the arc of Chinese history.
An omnibus edition of Professor Rana Mitter's audio portraits of figures who have shaped the arc of Chinese history. He starts with Zheng He, the Muslim Admiral who commanded a fleet of vessels larger than anything that Europe could manage, and whose maritime voyages created new routes for trade and influence. Robert Hart is the second westerner in this series, a man who helped develop the relationship between China and the outside world, but who grew up in the windswept Irish town of Portadown. Lu Xun is a writer who is still read by every Chinese schoolchild and has the reputation of being the country's greatest modern author. Wang Jingwei saw himself as a patriot, but is remembered today as one of China's worst traitors. Understanding why he chose to collaborate with Japan, and how he was in turn betrayed, illuminates one of the great tragedies of China's twentieth century. Professor Mitter ends the programme with the story of two adversaries - a rebel leader and his nemesis. One defended the Qing dynasty against the other, a man who declared that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ.
Presenter: Rana Mitter
Producer: Ben Crighton
Researcher: Elizabeth Smith Rosser.