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Lecture: North East China in the 1920s – Business, War & Politics. With a Dane Involved.
March 9, 2017 - 10:00-11:30
A unique peek into the life and times of the mightiest warlord in China during the chaotic 1920s.
In China’s modern history, the Warlord of Manchuria, Zhang Zuolin, has always been debated in the circles of politics, military and academia. What was he like? What did he do? What was his historic significance? People from different disciplines and nations at different times had different opinions. Robert Christensen was a Dane who lived and worked close to Zhang Zuolin.
In 1922, the Danish engineer and businessman Robert Christensen went to Mukden (present day Shenyang) to deliver the largest ever supply of weapons machinery, facilitated by the Danish Nielsen & Winther Co., to the famous Manchurian Warlord Zhang Zuolin. Shortly after, Robert Christensen was hired by Zhang to build up what would become the largest arsenal in all of China. Christensen became one of Zhang’s trusted foreign advisors and during his seven years of service he was able to follow Zhang Zuolin and document his life in Kodak stills and silent film footage.
From the perspective of a foreigner to China, Robert Christensen’s observations and comments offer additional value for people today to learn about Zhang Zuolin’s thinking, politics, motives, personal life and know more about history and facts at the times of Zhang Zuolin.
About the speaker:
Simon Rom Gjerø has lived in Beijing for several years and often visited Shenyang. He has a MA in Chinese and East Asian Studies and is the owner of the company, Beijing Postcards. He is currently writing the book titled “The Warlord and the Engineer”, for which he has done extensive research in both Denmark and China.