Roundtable & Book Talk : « Part Tiger, Part Monkey: Mao Zedong and China’s Destiny »


 4:00pm - 6:00pm
 Chinese University Hong Kong - Cho Yiu Conference Hall
Alain Roux, Michel Bonnin, Jan Kiely


Chinese University Press;

University Service Centre for China Studies (USC), CUHK;

Research Centre for Contemporary Chinese Culture, CUHK;

Centre for China Studies, CUHK;

Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macao;

French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC)

20171106 Poster


Prof Alain Roux (INALCO, CECMC)

A well-established China expert, Prof. Alain Roux is Emeritus professor at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO) in France. He has been studying Chinese history and politics for half a century since he first visited Beijing as a foreign student in 1965. His major publications in French include Chiang Kai-shek: Mao’s Great EnemyChina in the 20th CenturyShanghai Workers’ Movement in the 1930sThe Chinese Puzzle, etc..


Prof Michel Bonnin (Adjunct Professor, Centre for China Studies CUHK)

Prof Jan Kiely (Associate Director and Professor, Centre for China Studies, CUHK)

Welcome addresses by Prof. Leung Yuen San (Dean, Faculty of Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong) and Mr. Eric Berti (Consul General of France in Hong Kong and Macao)


How do we understand the behaviors and motivations of Mao Zedong, who was at the same time the founder of PRC China and a totalitarian leader responsible for millions of deaths? In a letter to his wife Jiang Qing on 6 July 1968, Mao characterized himself as “having both some of the spirit of the tiger which is dominant, but also some of the spirit of the monkey, which is secondary.”

Using Mao’s famous self-commentary “part tiger, part monkey,” Prof. Alain Roux successfully explained in his 4-volume biography how an ambitious young man grew from a rebel to a revolutionary, and later become a tyrant during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Based on his lifetime research of Mao Zedong and 20th-century Chinese history, Prof. Roux provides us with a reliable, convincing, and sophisticated biography, released recently by the Chinese University Press.

This book talk will cover the following topics:
– History VS Myth: How the French see Mao Zedong in the past century?
– 1917–1927: Mao’s Disappointment on the Democratic Road
– 1927–1949: From a Rebel to a Revolutionary
– 1949–1958: Building a Utopia
– 1958–1976: Becoming a Murderous Tyrant

The roundtable will be chaired by Dr. Eric Florence (Director of CEFC).

Language of the roundtable will be in English, simultaneous translation (French-English) for Prof. Roux.

Limited seats, please register at












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