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Bringing China and the World Together

融合世界 汇聚思想


NOV. 20:

A Czechoslovak Founding Father in China: An Account of the November 1918 Visit by Czechoslovakia’s Milan Rastislav Štefánik

RASBJ Members are invited to register for an exclusive November 20th event commemorating  astronomer, aviator, diplomat, and politician Milan Rastislav Štefánik at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic.

WHAT: A lecture and exhibition focused on the very first meeting between a high-ranking Czechoslovak and Chinese officials, in 1918 (INVITATION IS OPEN TO RASBJ MEMBERS IN GOOD STANDING)

WHEN: Tues. November 20 beginning at 7:00 PM

WHERE: Ambassador's Residence,  located by the East Gate of the Embassy of the Slovak Republic on Jianhua Road 建华路  (opposite the Consular Section of the Embassy of Singapore/新加坡大使馆签证处对面 – click here for Google Mapshere for Baidu Map and here for Baidu "Street View“). Please note that entry via the West Gate (located on Ritan Lu/日坛路) will not be possible, we kindly ask all participants to enter via the East Gate only.

HOW MUCH: free to confirmed participants only. Spaces are limited, and confirmations will be based on the time when your RSVP was received. Please RSVP soon to be confirmed. 

RSVP: Email emb.beijing@mzv.sk and cc: lukas.gajdos@mzv.sk and MENTION YOU ARE AN RASBJ MEMBER. And please write “Nov 20 Stefanik” in the subject header.



Slovak-born Milan Rastislav Štefánik (1880-1919) lived many lives - as an astronomer, he was in charge of the Janssen Observatory on Mont Blanc and participated in scientific expeditions to a number of far-flung places including North Africa, Central Asia, Ecuador, the Galapagos, and Tahiti. As an aviator and soldier, he fought with the French Air Force and was responsible for the creation of the Czecho-Slovak Legion. As a diplomat and leading member of the Czecho-Slovak National Council, he was instrumental in winning support among the Entente Powers, especially France, for the idea of independent Czechoslovakia. As a politician, he was one of the three co-founders of Czechoslovakia and became its first Minister of War. It was in this capacity that following the outbreak of the Russian Civil War, the involvement of Czecho-Slovak troops therein, and the creation of Czechoslovakia on 28 October 1918, while en-route from Japan to Siberia, Štefánik made a brief sojourn in China in November 1918.

This lecture explores Štefánik’s brief visit, drawing on a number of sources from the Czechoslovak Foreign Ministry and military archives, press, and various memoirs of first-hand witnesses to provide a detailed account of his stay in Harbin and meetings with Li Chia Ao (Li Jia’ao, 李家鏊, 1859-1926), the daoyin (道尹, often translated as ‘intendant’) of the three north-eastern provinces and Commissioner for Foreign Affairs for Harbin, who later became Minister of the Embassy of the Republic of China in the Soviet Union. The historical significance of this meeting – the very first between a high-ranking Czechoslovak and Chinese officials - has thus far largely been overlooked and should be commemorated, especially in the year of the 100thanniversary of Štefánik’s visit. The lecture concludes with a brief overview of the aftermath of the visit, including the presence of Czechoslovak legionnaires, Czechoslovak Consulate, and the wider Czechoslovak community in Harbin.

Dec. 6, Thursday: RASBJ Annual General Meeting and Dinner

A Night of Opulence

Fine dining and fine art in one of the most exclusive hotels in China
Annual General Meeting, followed by dinner, of the Royal Asiatic Society Beijing
Thursday 6th December 2018
Hotel Éclat, Parkview Green

You are cordially invited to attend the Royal Asiatic Society Beijing Annual General Meeting and dinner to be held on Thursday, December 6th 2018 at the Hotel Éclat, Parkview Green, 9 Dongdaqiao Road.
You should already have received separately a formal reminder of the AGM, with attendance details.
Hotel Éclat has arranged a private tour of the hotel, as well as a viewing of some of its beautiful and priceless works of art, before the formal meeting. After the formal AGM we will sit down to a four course dinner of fine food and matching wine prepared by the hotel’s world-famous chef Ray. The menu is attached (a vegetarian option is available).
Schedule of events: 
18.00 -19.00 Private tour of Hotel Éclat and art works
19.00 -19.30 Annual General Meeting
19.30 -21.30 Dinner
The cost is RMB 200 per member, to partially offset the cost of wine and dinner. Please note that only paid-up members of the Royal Asiatic Society Beijing may attend the AGM and dinner. If your membership has lapsed, please pay for the coming year as soon as possible if you wish to attend the AGM and dinner, and to continue to enjoy the advantages of membership.
Kindly RSVP for dinner before Monday December 3rd by
emailing communications.ras.bj@gmail.com and writing “Dinner Dec 6” in the subject header.
Those who accept will receive final details nearer the time.





         RASBJ members are invited to a Nov. 20 presentation at the Embassy of the Slovak Republic, focused on Slovak-born Milan Rastislav Štefánik, an aviator, diplomat and politician who in November 1918, while en-route from Japan to Siberia, made a brief sojourn in China. This was the very first meeting between a high-ranking Czechoslovak and Chinese officials.  Materials from diplomatic and military archives, press reports and memoirs of first-hand witnesses  help provide a detailed account of his stay in Harbin and his diplomatic discussions. The historical significance of this meeting, thus far largely overlooked, should be commemorated -- especially in the year of the 100thanniversary of Štefánik’s visit.  PLEASE NOTE THE CORRECT DAY OF THE WEEK FOR THIS EVENT IS TUESDAY.

     On Dec. 6, RASBJ members are invited to the Annual General Meeting and an exclusive dinner. All RASBJ membes in good standing are invited (and if you cannot attend please nominate a proxy)!  If your membership has lapsed, and your wish to renew, please contact RASBJ membership secretary John Olbrich c/o enquiries@rasbj.org




Royal Asiatic Society China, Beijing members and their guests are asked to please wear appropriate footwear and clothing when attending events or excursions, and to adhere to any safety instructions or other codes of conduct. Please also bear in mind the physical requirements of participating in the event or trip. Participation in events and excursions is at your own risk: the Royal Asiatic Society China,  Beijing accepts no liability for any loss or damage, including personal injury or damage to property.

For more background, click here.

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