Seeing the world from several sides: China in pictures


Learn about anything from China’s economic importance to Australia to the diversity of China’s ethnic minorities in the Symposium’s briefings – just remember to dress well!

In an interview the Czech novelist Milan Kundera once said that “you can only understand the world if you see it from several sides.”

As observers, we feel as though we can gain a holistic understanding of China through the media, books, documentaries, and so forth. Such exposure fills our minds with knowledge about the South China Sea, unprecedented economic growth, and the Great Wall. However, do we really understand China? What ‘sides’ are we seeing? And what ‘sides’ are we missing out on?


A view from inside the BRICS Tower in Shanghai. A view inside the world of important players in international development. This was my personal favourite briefing of 2017.

The China Symposium showed us many sides of China, some that elaborated on the knowledge that can be obtained from the aforementioned sources, but most of which took us by surprise and revealed something new to us. So, what side of China should I all too briefly show you? The organised chaos of Beijing on National Day? The history of stateless people in Shanghai? A place of worship sitting proud upon a mountain in Yunnan Province? Instead of writing something, you can find out better for yourself. I would like to show you some of these different sides of China in pictures. I will let each photo tell you something and capture your imagination.



Being confronted by some of the lesser known effects of a dark moment in human history, World War Two in the former Shanghai Jewish Ghetto.


The photo really does speak for itself, China is where the most modern meets the most ancient.



Explore the streets of the historic Old Town of Lijiang to really appreciate the cultural beauty of China.


Admire Jade Dragon Snow Mountain from Lijiang and from 4,680 metres above sea level at the Glacier Park.




Experience China at its most diverse in the Shaxi Valley in Yunnan province. See the rich sides of China that are ignored in the news cycle and political discourse.


As a friend of mine said, “wait…you took this in China?” Yes I did!



The modern history of China is as ever present as the ancient in Beijing.


Take a ride through some of the most historic areas of Beijing, and be thankful to avoid the traffic of the days preceding National Day. Although I cannot promise the traffic will be light!

Yes, I understand China more after seeing so many of its different sides, even those I could not imagine. Although, perhaps the real beauty lie within the fact that the more I know about China, as the phrase goes, the less I realise I know. The desire remains to understand China, a country that can teach you, I, and the world so much. Go and find her secrets for yourself.


Exploring the YuYuan Gardens, Shanghai.

Seeing just a few of China’s secrets would not have been as incredible and enriching without the shared dialogue and moments between friends, the diverse group of students that attended the symposium. I urge you to become one of these students, it is one of the best experiences university and the GLP can give you!

GLPer and 2017 China Symposium delegate Richard Thompson is a Bachelor of Arts student, with a major in Anthropology. 

The GLP Symposium to China is a two-week study and cultural tour to Shanghai, the Yunnan Province (Lijiang and Shaxi) and Beijing to explore economics, trade, diplomacy, cultural heritage and traditions in China.

The 2018 GLP Symposium to China will once again visit Shanghai, the Yunnan Province and Beijing. Program dates are Saturday, 30 June to Saturday, 14 July 2018.

Applications to the Symposium are now open and will close this Friday, 16 March at 9am.

Find out more and apply now.


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