Founder and Convener, 1977-2020

China Seminar

The China Seminar provides an informal venue where China experts and the community can gather to listen to scholars, diplomats, journalists, researchers, doctors, attorneys, artists, and other professionals share their thoughts and expertise on China. The China Seminar was established in 1977 by Daniel W. Y. Kwok. In his own words,

. . . the informal inception of the China Seminar was in the academic year of 1976-77, the first year of my return from a sabbatical in Hong Kong. We tried a number of lunches and dinner meetings, finally settling on the luncheon format of talk before food. The Seminar was formally launched in 1978 with the occasion of the conference involving Dennis Bloodworth, Keyes Beech, and Richard Halloran.

Over the forty plus years, there have been more than 350 talks with over 250 speakers on a wide range of topics — history, culture, politics, economics, art, theater, music, food, technology, intellectual property, law, medicine, and much more. In 2009 the China Seminar became a forum of the Friends of the East-West Center.

The Maple Garden Restaurant has been home of the monthly luncheon since the inception of the seminar, first with the original owner, Robert Hsu, and subsequently with Richard Lam in 2008. The seminars are held the second Thursday of each month (except during the summer) at 909 Isenberg Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96826.

In August 2020 Daniel announced that he was stepping down from involvement in the China Seminar and suggested, given the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be the perfect time for the East-West Center to re-frame the offerings as a set of online seminars. Richard Vuylsteke, President of EWC; Gerald Kato, member of the Board of the FEWC; and Richard Hornik, Adjunct Senior Fellow at the EWC, all long-time colleagues and China Seminar members, transformed and re-launched the China Seminar online on December 10, 2020. The new format, using the Zoom platform, allows the Seminar to attract presenters and attendees from all over the globe. Please see Friends of the East West Center for the current program of speakers and topics.


13 February 2014

Governance in China

2 January 2014

Who is a Chinese?

12 December 2013

Peeking Past Peking?

15 March 2007

Olympic Fever

15 February 2007

Chinese New Year Nowadays

14 December 2006

Chinese Wartime Photography

14 September 2006

Lawyers in Chinese Cinema

10 November 2005

The New Macau?

8 September 2005

Hawaii and the China Market

10 February 2005

National Treasure: Jinju

13 March 2003

A Hong Kong Update

18 January 2001

Glimpses of Tibet

9 November 2000

Restless China

14 September 2000

Private Education in China

19 August 1999

The Chinese Millennium

21 January 1999

The Greening of China?

12 March 1998

China Discoverers

17 April 1997


18 January 1996

Citibank Returns to China

8 April 1993

Hong Kong: An Update

13 December 1990

Prospects for Hong Kong

13 September 1990

From Inner Mongolia

9 November 1989

Creations in Beijing Opera

9 March 1989

Sino-Soviet Relations

19 January 1989

[Record missing]

12 May 1988

The Last Emperor

8 April 1988

Reporting from China

5 March 1987

More on the Open Door

5 February 1987


2 May 1985

Chinese films

2 February 1984

Whither China?

5 January 1984

Shadows in a Bitter Sea

3 November 1983

Between Two Worlds of Words

25 February 1982

Why Buddhism?

28 January 1982

Trip to China

11 December 1981

[Record missing]

29 November 1981

University Life in China

29 January 1981

Law and Trial in China

28 November 1980

Chinese Environmental Law

30 October 1980

Misson report

25 September 1980

Slides of China's northeast

20 November 1979

Trip to China

30 August 1979

Growing Up in Xian (Sian)

28 December 1978


28 December 1978

China experiences (group)

20 April 1978

Sino-Soviet Relations

26 January 1978

Inaugural Luncheon