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Friday, September 24, 2021

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Graham Perry

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GRAHAM PERRY and CHINA

Graham Perry qualified as a solicitor in 1973 after graduating from Churchill College, Cambridge where he studied History and Economics. He practised for nine years and then made a major career change to become Managing Director, of London Export, a UK company formed in 1953 to concentrate on trade and business with the Peoples’ Republic of China. Since 1990 Graham has been an international arbitrator resolving commercial disputes.

Graham is the eldest son of Jack Perry who was the first Western businessman to visit China in 1953. This visit prompted annual visits by Jack Perry to China when China was an international backwater and from which a unique view was gained of a society in major transition during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution and, later, under Deng Hsiaoping.

Graham made his first visit to China – for eight weeks – in August/September 1965 and travelled widely to Beijing, Xian, Yenan, Nanchang, Shanghai, Hangchow, Guangchow, Wuhan and the Chingkiang Mountains. He met Foreign Minister Chen Yi and the last Emperor, Pu Yi.

Recent visits to China have been in the company of former Lord Chief Justice Woolf who gave lectures in the Great Hall of the People and at the Supreme People’s Court in Beijing on the Rule of Law in the UK. On a lighter note, Graham organised and participated in two Football Tours to China with Watford FC and Elton John.

Graham’s experience of China at close quarters since 1953 has provided him with a good understanding of the challenges facing China as it has moved from being the “Sick Man of Asia” in the early 1950’s to the confident leading economic and political power of today. Graham speaks regularly to business and legal groups about China focusing, in particular, on controversial China related issues including Tibet, Uyghurs + Xinjiang, the new Hong Kong Security Law, Trump’s current aggressive approach to China, Taiwan and the basic divide between the West’s commitment to the rule of law and China’s embrace of more centralised forms of government.

Graham finds himself at odds with the traditional viewpoint of western political commentators and, by way of comparison, he provides a more balanced even handed approach and analysis on the key issues affecting China’s future role in world affairs.

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- Graham Perry -