The hardback book was published in 2008 and launched in Beijing.

THE 48 Group Club name is almost iconic in China – from the President down – and is held in high esteem by those that know about its role in Sino-UK relations.

The People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949 and the history of the 48 Group stems from the early 1950s when the founding ‘Icebreakers’ were the first Westerners to establish trade relations.

In 1950 the United Kingdom became one of the first countries to recognise The People’s Republic of China but relations rapidly became hostile and frozen because of the war in Korea. Then in 1953 Lord Boyd- Orr head of the newly formed British Council for the Promotion of International Trade led a delegation of 16 representatives of British companies to China to open the first discussions on trade and thus the ice was broken and the ‘Icebreakers’ earned their name.

The motto of the 48 Group Club is ‘Quality and Mutual Benefit’ which echoes the words of Zhou Enlai, China’s much respected Premier from 1949 to 1976, who first used that phrase in 1953.

Today, the 48 Group Club continues to develop the work of promoting positive Sino-British relations and offers an important and often key network of contacts (guanxi) for those active in building relations through any field from commerce to culture. Club members believe they have a vital role in unfreezing the cultural deficit between China and the world. President Hu Jintao neatly summarises the challenge, “China has a massive trade surplus with the world but a vast cultural deficit with the world.”

This book celebrates the 55th anniversary of that early trail-blazing mission and highlights the challenge of building deep and real understanding between China and Britain.

48家集团的名称在中国从国家主席到各层官员 几乎人人皆知,了解其在中英关系中的作用的 人们,都对它怀有高度的敬意。

中华人民共和国于1949年成立,48家集团俱乐 部的历史始于上个世纪50年代初,当时“破冰 者”的创始人是最早同新中国建立经贸关系的 西方人。

1950年,大不列颠和北爱尔兰联合王国共和国 成为最早承认中华人民共和国的国家之一。 但是当时的朝鲜战争使两国关系曾经一度陷入 僵化。1953年,新成立的英国国际贸易促进委 员会主任博伊德·奥尔勋爵率领一个由16家英 国公司代表组成的代表团来到中国,开启了最 早的贸易对话 - 从而打破了坚冰,为他们赢得 了“破冰者”的称号。

48家集团俱乐部的信条是“平等互利”,这是 遵循在中国广受尊敬的周恩来总理的想法,他 从1949年至1976年任国家总理,并于1953年最 先使用了这个口号。

今天,48家集团俱乐部继续为积极促进中英关系 开展工作,并为在从商业到文化的各个领域积极 建设中英关系的人们提供了一个重要的、往往也 是关键的关系网络。俱乐部成员们相信,在解冻 中国和世界之间的文化赤字中,他们在起着至关 重要的作用。

胡锦涛主席精炼地概括总结了这一挑战,他 说,“中国和世界有着巨大的贸易顺差,但是也 有庞大的文化赤字。” 本书为纪念最早的那次开拓之旅55周年,并就 中英两国所建立的深刻而真实的理解过程中存 在的挑战进行总结。

Published in April 2008 by Shanachie and the 48 Group Club

Hardback (72pp) with a laminated colour jacket

Copies available from: The 48 Group Club.


View the inside of the book at ISSUU - click here