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Foreign Philanthropy in China: A History

GCPI Working Paper 5: Mellors, Sarah; Lai, Yimin (2016).


This working paper provides an overview of non-indigenous philanthropy in China with a focus on Euro-American giving—especially that of overseas Chinese—from the early nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century. In accordance with the aims of the Global Chinese Philanthropy Initiative, this essay explores the complex motivations behind foreign giving in China, and the ways in which philanthropic endeavors intersected with religion, governance, statecraft, and transnationalism. In tracing how donation practices have evolved across shifting socio-political landscapes in modern Chinese history, this paper provides insights for present and future philanthropic projects in China.

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