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Learning the Art of War

December 7, 2011

A few years ago, I addressed a big gathering of Chinese students from Shanghai universities all embarked on Australian studies. One of them, Dr Chen Hong, turned out to be a specialist in Patrick White and had translated David Marr’s biography of White. He brought a delegation to my office today, led by Lizhong Yu, President of the University. This university has campuses in Lyon and Manhattan in cooperation with local universities.

They impressed me deeply – especially when they presented me a copy of Sun Tzu’s Art of War on silk paper in English and ancient and modern Chinese: “…guard against rash advance, concentrate all our available strength, keep a close watch on the enemy and obtain the mens’ support. He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them.”

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