Lecture series on Chinese history
During the spring term 2019 Dr. Michel Beniard, who has specialized on the history of China´s republican period will give a 3 lecture series on some important historical figures and events from this period.

Lecture 1

Time: Mon 25 February 2018, 16-18
Venue: Unioninkatu 38 A132

The diplomatic career of Wellington Koo (1888-1985). Koo played a prominent role in the foreign relations of China from the Xinghai Geming until the establishment of the United Nations.

Wellington Koo had quite an interesting background. The family of Koo was not the richest but not the poorest one either. He ended up from the diplomat school in Shanghai to Columbia University in the United States where he gained a good knowledge of the English Language and the international law. In 1912 after receiving his Ph.D he was asked to be Yuan Shikai’s secretary in Beijing. Later on Koo served as the head of Chinese legation in Washington, 1915 and was a member of the Chinese delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, which did not sign the Treaty of Versailles.

Koo also was involved in the formation of the League of Nations, he negotiated with the Soviet Russia for diplomatic relations and served as a first Chinese ambassador to France in 1936, during the Nanjing government. Therefore, Koo did not only know English but also knew French language very well, which made him stand out from the Chinese officials then as well as nowadays. Koo retired in New York and died in 1985 after a long, eventful life

Lecture 2

Time: Mon 18 March 2019, 16-18
Venue: Unioninkatu 38 A132

 The invasion of Manchuria and the Stimson Doctrine. On September 1931, The Japanese army occupied Mukden (Shenyang), and in a few weeks all Manchuria fell under military force. The meaning of the principle of non-recognition in relation to the Japanese action in China as enunciated by Secretary Stimson was to maintain the authority of international law against successful assertion of illegal force. 

Lecture 3

Time: Mon 15 April 2019, 16-18
Venue: Unioninkatu 38 D112The life and time of George Ernest Morrisson (1862-1920) in China. G.E.Morrisson was the correspondent of The Times of London from 1897 until 1920. It has been said that when he wrote about China "he had the prescience of a statesman and the accuracy of an historian (The Times 21 May 1920). He witnessed the Boxer rebellion, the Russo-Japanese War, was present at Portsmouth negotiations, took side with the Chinese Republicans in 1911 and became a political advisor to the Chinese government from 1912 to 1920.

Dr. Michel Beniard has studied in Paris. He has a degree in political science [Institut d’études politiques Paris], a degree in Chinese language and history [Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales] and also a degree in grammar and literature [lettres modernes]. He has written a D.E.A [lisensiatti] in Paris on Chinese modern history. He got PhD at the University of Helsinki in East Asian Studies in 2011. The subject of the PhD thesis being: The Far Eastern Question at the Washington Conference (1921-1922) with an outline of its implications for internal politics in China.

He has been a librarian in the Department of Far Eastern Studies, Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales, Paris University. In Finland, he was a lecturer in French at Åbo Akademi, and then at the language centre at the University of Helsinki.

Dr. Beniard´s main interest focus on problems of international relations and international law in the Far East between the two world wars.


La médiation officieuse: la spécificité des bons offices dans la gamme de réglement pacifique des différends.pp 295-339, in Finnish Year Book of International Law, Volume XIV,2003.

Shen Congwen 沈 從文 (1908-1988) un auteur mésestimé.pp7-12 in Ex Orientalia Lumina, Finnish Oriental Society,2013.