In Brief

What is it about the master of the theatre that so intrigues Eastern cultures? Could William Shakespeare act as a cultural ambassador?

This article titled “Why does China love Shakespeare?” was written by Frances Wood, for guardian.co.uk on Tuesday 28th June 2011 14.00 UTC

Before beginning his formal programme of meetings in Britain, China’s premier Wen Jiabao visited the MG car factory and Shakespeare’s birthplace. In response to a comment by Peter Mandelson about the selection of these places, Wen thanked the previous Chinese ambassador Fu Ying for her advice, but said that Shakespeare was his own choice. He returned to the subject of his boyhood love of Shakespeare in his speech to David Cameron.

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