The Chungking Legation: Australia’s Diplomatic Mission in Wartime China

During 2015 I worked with the Chinese Museum in Melbourne and the Australian Consulate-General in Chengdu, China, to develop a bilingual exhibition and its accompanying book titled The Chungking Legation: Australia’s Diplomatic Mission in Wartime China. They tell the story of Australia’s third overseas legation, which operated in Chungking (Chongqing) between 1941 and 1946.

The Australian version of the exhibition and the book were launched on 7 December 2015 at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra.

The exhibition and book are based on research using the Chungking Legation records held by the National Archives of Australia, oral history recordings and personal papers held by the National Library of Australia, historical newspapers and other accounts of life in wartime Chungking.

We initially developed the exhibition for display in China and it was launched there in March 2015 by Australia’s Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove. After first being displayed in the Old Australian Legation Building in Chongqing, the exhibition has since been on show at the Chongqing Intercontinental Hotel, the Chongqing Municipal Library and the Three Gorges Museum in Chongqing.

Read about the Canberra launch at DFAT.

Salt purchase permit 1944

Letter from the Chinese Protocol Department to the Australian Legation in Chungking, China, forwarding a salt purchase permit for May 1944 (National Archives of Australia: A4144, 99/1945)