American sinologist travels China for new book

By Li Xiaohua
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 28, 2014
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Sri Lankan-born Dr. Patrick Mendis, a former American diplomat during the Clinton and Bush administrations, is no stranger to China: he is a Beijing-trained sinologist.

Ambassador Cui Tiankai invited Commissioner Patrick Mendis for a dinner reception at the Chinese Embassy in Washington to celebrate the 65th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, before Mendis' teaching tour of China. [Photo/]


Professor Mendis is currently a commissioner of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, appointed by the Obama administration.

During this autumn semester, he has been teaching advanced seminars on Sino-American relations and diplomacy at Nanjing and Tongji Universities. He has also lectured at Peking, Tsinghua, Renmin, Fudan, Sichuan, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Hong Kong, and other universities in China and traveled widely to over 20 provinces and special administrative regions, including Macao and Taiwan.

Fifteen years ago, he came to the Northwestern Polytechnic University (NPU) in Xi'an as a visiting professor of the University of Maryland. He taught courses on British and American politics to a group of young astronauts and engineers at NPU and traveled around China, including Tibet.

"I studied China and was fascinated by its ancient culture, Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism in China," said Mendis, who spent his childhood years in the medieval Buddhist capital of Sri Lanka before traveling to the United States on a scholarship to attend high school in Minnesota.

Professor Mendis is a notable alumnus of the University of Minnesota and Harvard University. He also attended Oxford University in England as a twenty-first century fellow, taught at Yale University, and authored two books as a foreign policy visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University. He is currently a distinguished senior fellow and affiliate professor of public and international affairs at George Mason University in the Washington D.C. area.

His seventh book is about Sino-American relations; Mendis fluidly describes American Dream, Chinese Dream and Pacific Dream. Both Chinese and American scholars and government leaders -- including the former CIA director and the chief of staff to secretary Colin Powell -- endorsed his book "Peaceful War: How the Chinese Dream and American Destiny Create a Pacific New World Order."

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