BA (Hons) (HKU), DPhil (Oxon), FASSA, FAHA, FRHistS, FOSA, FRIAP
History, Heritage And Archaeology

Professor John Wong is Emeritus Professor of Modern History at the University of Sydney. His research interests include:

  • Modern and contemporary Chinese history
  • International relations
  • Imperialism
  • Colonialism

Professor Wong is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in the UK. His life-long research on British imperialism is showcased in his Deadly Dreams: Opium, Imperialism, and the 'Arrow' War (1856-1860) in China (Cambridge hardback 1998, Paperback 2003 and 2008). An updated and greatly expanded Chinese version will be published in 2019.

His 'Limits of Naval Power: British Gunboat Diplomacy in China from the Nemesis to the Amethyst, 1839-1949', War and Society, v. 8, no. 2 (October 2000), pp. 93-120, is anthologised in Andrew Lambert (ed.), Naval History 1850-present (Aldershot, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007), vol. 1, pp. 13-40. (This anthology is part of a series entitled International Library of Essays on Military History, edited by Jeremy Black.)

His concern for China's fate will crystallise in his forthcoming four-volume tome on the founder of Modern China Sun Yatsen (1866-1925) in a rapidly Globalising world (1800-2024). This project is gradually built up on the basis of his independent studies, the latest of which being entitled Sun Yatsen before the Age of Thirty. Written in Chinese and published in Hong Kong at the height of the centennial celebrations in 2011 of the October 1911 Chinese National Revolution led by Sun Yatsen, it took China by storm. The influential Phoenix TV devoted the entire 8 minutes of a book-review program to it on 13 October 2011. Then feeling that he had not had enough of his say, the reviewer devoted another 8 minutes to it the next day. Chapter by chapter the reviewer pointed out how the book exposed the way orthodox Chinese historians had faked a Father of the Nation. Numerous Chinese-language bloggers relayed the review, probably as a silent protest against their drowning in fake milk, dying at the hands of fake doctors, feasting on fake birds-nests, etc,

Despite all this, the censors granted permission for a Beijing edition of the book, which was published in March 2012. Not a word had been changed without Professor Wong's permission - a sign of progress indeed - and Professor Wong used the opportunity to fine-tune his work further. The two editions made a total print run of 8,500.

  • Visiting appointments:
    • The University of Cambridge
    • Stanford University
    • University of Haiwaii
    • Tokyo University
    • Sun Yatsen University, Guangzhou
    • Chengchi University, Taipei
    • University of Hong Kong
    • Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing
    • Academia Sinica, Taipei

  • Wong, J. (2016). The Historian as a Detective (in Chinese). Hong Kong: China Press, 2016.
  • Wong, J. (2015). Sun Yatsen's Revolution: The Bible and the Yijing (in Chinese). Hong Kong: China Press, 2015.
  • Wong, J. (2013). An Analysis of English-language Press Opinion on the 1895 Uprising and the 1911 Revolution. In Wang Xiauqiu (Eds.), The 1911 Revolution and the World: Proceedings of the Centenary Conference held at Peking University, (pp. 42-50). Beijing: Peking University Press
  • Wong, J. (2013). Contemporary Relevance of Recent Western Scholarship on the Opium Wars. Journal of Tsinghua University (Philosophy and Social Sciences), 28(1), 84-93.
  • Wong, J. (2013). Sun Yatsen's Knowldege and Practice of Classical Chinese Learning.Chinese Classics, 11, 185-199.
  • Wong, J. (2013). The Gulf Between East and West in Taiping Rebellion Research. In Stephen R Platt (Eds.), Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War, (pp. 5-22). Taipei, Taiwan: Acropolis.
  • Wong, J. (2013). The Mission of a University. Rites and Music, 1, 85-109.
  • Wong, J. (2012). Father of the Republic, Sun Yatsen: Micro-research, Macro-interpretation. In Fang-Shang Lu (Eds.), Lecture Series on the Republic of China: A Centennial History, (pp. 2-20). Taipei, Taiwan: Academia Historica.
  • Wong, J. (2012). How did Sun Yatsen escape from Guangzhou after the aborted Guangzhou Uprising on 1859? In Pan Xuanhiu, Huang Xianqiang, Chen Dinghui (Eds.), The 1911 Revolution: Sun Yatsen and his Fellow Revolutionaries, (pp. 21-36). Singapore: Sun Yat Sen Museum (Nanyang Memorial Hall), Singapore.
  • Wong, J. (2011). San shi sui qian de Sun Zhongshan : Cuiheng, Tandao, Xianggang, 1866-1895 (Sun Yatsen before the Age of Thirty: Cuiheng, Tandao, Xianggang, 1866-1895). Hong Kong: Chunghwa Book Company (Hong Kong).
  • Wong, J. (2011). The British Model in Sun Yat-sen's Vision of Modernization for China. In Lee Lai To and Lee Hock Guan (Eds.), Sun Yat-Sen, Nanyang and the 1911 Revolution, (pp. 17-27). Pasir Panjang, Singapore: ISEAS Publishing (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies).
  • Wong, J. (2009). The Periphery-Centre Paradigm as Applied Politically to Hong Kong-Beijing Relations. Paradigms and Perspectives in Hong Kong Studies, Hong Kong: Centre of Asian Studies, University of Hong Kong.
  • Wong, J. (2009). The Importance of Studying Sun Yatsen's Childhood and Youth, and the Difficulties in Conducting Serious Research on Them. Proceedings of the Sun Yatsen International Conference to Mark the 140th Anniversary of Sun Yatsens Birth, (pp. 1125-1146).China: Social Sciences Academic Press.
  • Wong, J. (2009). Was Sun Yatsen Hakka or Cantonese? Chinese Culture Quarterly, 7(1), 101-191.
  • Wong, J. (2009). Yeh Ming-Chen: Viceroy of Liang Kuang 1852-8. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Wong, J. (2008). The Myths about Sun Yatsen's Revolutionary Activities in Macao, 1892-1894.Chinese Culture Quarterly, 6(2), 104-171.
  • Wong, J. (2007) London and the Chinese Revolution: Exploring the London Origins of Sun Yatsen's Three Principles, 1896-1897. Taipei: Lianjing.
  • Wong, J. (2005) Sun Yatsen and the British, 1883-1925. Taipei: Xuesheng shuju.
  • Wong, J. (1998) The truth about Sun Yatsen's kidnapping in London. Taipei: Lianjing.
  • Wong, J. (1998) The two Opium Wars and the Cession of Hong Kong. Taipei: Academia Historica.
  • Wong, J. (1998) Deadly Dreams: Opium, Imperialism, and the 'Arrow' War (1856-60) in China. : Cambridge University Press.