This book has its origins in my doctoral thesis, and it would have been impossible without the kindness and help of many people. I gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Lee Han Shih and the Lee Foundation; the London School of Economics & Political Science; the Royal Historical Society; the Universities’ China Committee in London; and the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange. My research would have been impossible without their support, and I thank them for their generosity.
The usage of the numerous archival documents referred to throughout this book was only possible because of the patience and assistance of the archivists and librarians I troubled over years of research. I thank, in particular, the staff of the Beijing, Shanghai, Fujian, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs archives in China. I also thank Irene Wong and the staff of the HKBU Library’s Special Collections & Archives (with special thanks to Alice Yue for locating an especially rare photograph); Celia Chen and the Universities Service Centre for China Studies, CUHK; Zhang Changhong and the library staff of the Research School for Southeast Asian Studies, XMU; and the Internal Security Department, Singapore. I am also grateful to the Tan Kah Kee Memorial Museum for sharing their superb photograph collection with me.
I owe a great debt to Professor Odd Arne Westad; it is a debt that I will never be able to fully repay. Studying under one of the leading Sinologists of this age has been a unique privilege (indeed, since 2009), and I have benefitted enormously from his guidance, wisdom, humour, and intellect. Special thanks also to Dr Antony Best, whose wit, patience, and keen eye were a great help.
I am grateful to the following people who either read and commented on parts of this book at various stages of its development, generously shared their wisdom and time with me, helped me to think through ideas, or gave me practical assistance and advice: Wang Gungwu, Shen Zhihua, Li Danhui, Niu Jun, Cui Pi, Jiang Zhongwei, the late Huang You, Yan Ruxuan, Jiang Zhenpeng, Ding Lixing, Liang Zhi, Gao Yuqun, Danny Wong, Zhou Taomo, Ngoei Wenqing, Valeria Zanier, Angela Romano, Anton Harder, Simon Toner, Chen Zhong Zhong, Pete Millwood, Takahiro Yamamoto, Cees Heere, Oliver Elliott, and Scott Gilfillan.
I would be nothing without the love and support of my family. None of this would have been possible without them, and while I can never thank them enough, this book is for them.
Above everything and everyone else, I thank God. ‘For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things’.
To God be the glory; the best is yet to be.