The 4th International Symposium on the Maritime Defence of Modern China

2015-04-01

– In Commemoration of the 120th Anniversary of the First Sino-Japanese War 

The 4th International Symposium on the Maritime Defence of Modern China – In Commemoration of the 120th Anniversary of the First Sino-Japanese War (第四屆近代中國海防國際學術研討會:紀念甲午戰爭一百二十週年) co-organised by the History Department, the Modern History Research Centre, the Modern Chinese History Society of Hong Kong, and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, HKSAR was held at the Hong Kong Museum of History on 6-7 March 2015. A total of 36 scholars and researchers from the U.S., Mainland China, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong participated in the Symposium and 31 papers were presented.

Prof. Yau-woon MA (馬幼垣), Emeritus Professor, University of Hawaii, was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Symposium. Prof. Ma gave a keynote presentation on “Beiyang haijun fengfan lianxijian Minjie hao kao (北洋海軍風帆練習艦「敏捷」號考)”. In his presentation, Prof. Ma gave a brief introduction to the background of the training-ship Minjie, which formerly was a British-built merchant sailing ship and was purchased from Japan by Li Hongzhang (李鴻章), who was appointed as Viceroy of Zhili (直隸總督) and Minister of Beiyang (北洋大臣) in 1888. Moreover, Prof. Ma introduced the general characteristics of Minjie, including class, type, length, beam, and displacement. Significantly, Prof. Ma conjectured that the purchasing report of Minjie was full of issues and argued that Minjie was not in good condition at the time of purchase, as proven by historical documents. In Prof. Ma’s opinion, Li Hongzhang desperately tried to conceal the whole affair and to escape reproof for this irresponsible behavior.

Academic staff and research students of the Department presented papers at the Symposium as follows.

  • Prof. CHOW Kai Wing 〈甲午戰爭後中國留日海軍學生之研究(1895 – 1937年)〉
  • Prof. MAK King Sang〈比較親歷黃海大戰的三名洋員的記述〉
  • Prof. LEE Kam Keung, Visiting Professor 〈甲午何以戰敗─—姚錫光(1852 – ?)及其《東方兵事紀略》〉
  • Dr. KWONG Chi Man, Assistant Professor 〈甲午戰爭中的英國皇家海軍「中國艦隊」〉
  • Dr. TAM Ka Chai, Assistant Professor 〈清末海軍重臣譚學衡與甲午戰敗後中國海軍的重建〉
  • Mr. YUEN Chin Chung, PhD student 〈威海衛軍港基地研究〉