China Ports network




The China Ports network held three international workshops in China and the UK.

These workshops helped to create a cross-disciplinary Sino-British forum for scholars and practitioners from academia, the museums sector, local government and maritime industries to:

  • explore common research interests and their practical uses in Chinese port cities, maritime heritage and the marine economy that will have impact in the UK and beyond
  • establish a sustainable dialogue which cuts across disciplinary, sectoral and national boundaries.



  • 探索在中國港口城市、海洋遺產和海洋經濟方面,將對於英國及其他地區產生影響之共同研究興趣及其實際用途。
  • 建立可跨領域、部門和國界的長期對話。

Workshop 3 - Assessing the potential for Sino-British dialogue in maritime heritage and port studies


  • Date: Friday 26 January 2018
  • Location: University of Nottingham UK campus 
  • Download the programme
Workshop 3 report

The third China Ports Network workshop was held at the University of Nottingham's Trent Building on 26 January 2018. The workshop included five panels based around broad themes, with over 15 academics, curators, city planners, and heritage professionals from China and the United Kingdom contributing to discussions. Participants addressed a number of questions about the CPN and its aims, including:

  • How effective has the CPN been in aiding cross-disciplinary, and UK-China dialogue on maritime heritage and port cities more generally?
  • What potential wider research questions have emerged from the CPN, and how might these be approached?
  • What is the state of "China port studies" (e.g., port history, maritime sociology, etc) in participants' respective disciplines?
  • What can those of us in academia learn from practitioners in museums, industry and government (and vice versa)?
  • What are the different priorities and/or areas shared concern between China and the UK, and how might these be addressed/overcome?

Specific presentations relevant to these themes were also provided by Dr Libby Chan (Hong Kong Maritime Museum), Dr Chris Pater (Historic England) and Dr Toby Lincoln (University of Leicester).

CPN Members at Workshop 3
CPN Members at Workshop 3
Dr Andrew Law University of Newcastle
Dr Andrew Law - University of Newcastle
Dr Jon Henderson University of Nottingham
Dr Jon Henderson, University of Nottingham, presenting on the work of the CPN thus far
Dr Libby Chan Hong Kong Maritime Museum
Dr Libby Chan - Hong Kong Maritime Museum
Professor Selina Chan Hong Kong Shue Yan University
Professor Selina Chan - Hong Kong Shue Yan University


Workshop 2 - Balancing the Marine Economy and Conservation in Chinese port cities


  • Date: 15 September 2017
  • Location: The China Port Museum, Ningbo
  • Download the programme
Workshop 2 report

The second China ports Network workshop --‘Balancing the Marine Economy and Conservation in Chinese port cities’ -- was held at the China Port Museum in Ningbo on 15 September 2017. The workshop included 8 presentations from academics, museum curators, and city planning professionals from China and the United Kingdom. Topics ranged from the uses of historical records and archaeological remains in planning for flood prevention in Chinese cities today, to the current state of maritime heritage preservation in China. A number of the papers also touched upon the potential of museums and new digital technologies in presenting China’s maritime past to the public, while others analysed current debates about the significance of treaty port era architectural heritage in modern China.

As well as presenters, a number of participants from universities, museums and government agencies around China and from abroad were also present. This provided ample opportunity for discussion on a number of issues, and comparisons of different approaches adopted in the UK and China towards common challenges that many communities in port cities now face.

The network acknowledges the kind support of the China Port Museum (Ningbo) for hosting the September event. It also acknowledges the support of the Beilun District Government for its support.

The workshop was covered in the Chinese press and on local television.

Dr Jeremy Taylor (University of Nottingham) hosting events.


Professor Eugene Ch'ng (University of Nottingham, Ningbo Campus), talking on 'Strategies for Aligning Historic Port Development to China's 13th Five-Year Plan.'


Dr Feng Yi (Director of the China Port Museum) presenting his paper on 'museums and the reconstruction of coastal cultural landscapes.'


Workshop 1 - Establishing a cross-disciplinary, Sino-British dialogue


  • Date: 23 January 2017
  • Location: Hong Kong Maritime Museum
  • Download the programme
Workshop 1 report

The workshop included 10 presentations from academics, museum curators and city planning and design professionals. Topics ranged from the current state of underwater archaeology as a field in Hong Kong to curating China's maritime past in the People's Republic of China.

The event was open to the public, and lead to some lively discussion in each session about a range of relevant topics. It also laid the basis for further interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral discussions at the network's next workshop, to be held in Ningbo in September 2017.

The network acknowledges the kind support of the Hong Kong Maritime Museum in hosting the January event.

Professor Zhao Minghua

Professor Zhao Minghua
Southampton Solent University

'The hard heritage and soft heritage of an ancient Chinese seaport - Quanzhou.'

Dr Isabella Jackson

Dr Isabella Jackson
Trinity College Dublin

'Treaty ports in modern Chinese History.'

Dr Tian Yingying

Dr Tian Yingying
China Design Centre London

'Integrating the Port into the City: The Regeneration of Dalian Diamond Bay.' 



China Ports: History, Heritage and Development

The University of Nottingham
Department of History
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 74 84476