With the reunification with China in 1997, Hong Kong is poised to redefine its role as a bridge for cultural exchanges between the East and the West. Inspired by this, the Academy of Chinese Studies (ACS) was founded in August 2000 with the goal of promoting understanding of long-lasting Chinese civilization and culture.
Upon its establishment, ACS’s first task was to utilize the latest information technology to create a comprehensive online database of historical and cultural knowledge known as “The Splendid Chinese Culture” website. The site was launched in 2001 with 18 categories covering a total of 200 topics, providing an in-depth introduction to Chinese culture. Experts and scholars of Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong were invited to write on subjects in their fields of expertise to ensure that each article offers authoritative content. Since its launch, the website has attracted over 60 million visitors, receiving high praise from netizens all over the world and earning local as well as international acclaim. At the United Nations’ inaugural World Summit on Information Society in December 2013, the website stood out amongst the 803 other contestants from 136 countries and won the award for “World’s Best e-Contents” under the “e-Culture” category.
The team behind “The Splendid Chinese Culture Website” has worked relentlessly since its launch to offer new content and upgrade the website format to promote China’s culture. In 2005, the launch ceremony of the simplified Chinese character version of the website was held at the People’s Great Hall in Beijing. By 2015, the website has added 100 new topics. The mobile version and social media platform of the website have also been launched to allow greater interaction between site users. In 2016, the English version of the website went live, enabling the international community to understand China’s rich heritage and culture.
Now, with China’s rise and growing prominence on the world stage, more and more people around the world are seeking to better understand China. To further enhance the website and increase its influence, ACS joined hands with “Our Hong Kong Foundation” and has since March 2018 been a member organization of the Foundation. The website is also being revamped, optimized and augmented with new content on China’s current development. We hope that the informative and lively account of China’s development will enable all readers to appreciate the rich Chinese culture and be aware of the complex situation within China and the challenges she encountered while developing.
It has been nearly 20 years since the ACS was established. Every new initiative, every progress we’ve made since the beginning only came about with the strong support from all sectors in the society. Allow me to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude and utmost respect to the Central People's Government and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for their support, to all sponsoring organizations and distinguished benefactors for their generous donations, and to the honorary presidents, council members and all staff for their hard work.
Promoting Chinese culture is a great responsibility that calls for long-term commitment. It is our fervent hope that more knowledge-endowed individuals will be inspired to join us in our cause!
Council Chairman, Academy of Chinese Studies
Charles Lee Yeh-kwong