John Gittings is a reporter on Chinese and international affairs. He is currently a research associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He is the associate editor of the Oxford International Encyclopaedia of Peace.

Gittings was based in Hong Kong and Shanghai from 1998 to 2003 as the East Asia Editor for The Guardian. Prior to this position, he worked for The Guardian at the foreign desk and as a foreign leader writer.

Gittings has also taught in Universities in the UK and abroad. He was a senior lecturer in Chinese politics at Polytechnic of Central London from 1976 to 1983 and taught at the London School of Economics’ Centre for International Studies from 1969 to 1971, as well as at the University of Chile’s Institute of International Studies from 1966 to 1967. From 1963 to 1966, he was a research assistant at the Royal Institute of International Affairs. Gittings has authored numerous books and book chapters and was Acting Editor of The China Quarterly from 1971 to 1972.

Gittings received an MA in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford, Corpus Christi College. He also completed a Civil Service diploma in Chinese language from the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Last Updated: April 3, 2014

Rules of the Game

John Gittings from New York Review of Books
On September 18, 1931, a very small bomb caused a very minor explosion on the South Manchurian Railway just north of Mukden, a railway controlled by the Japanese and crucial to their economic domination of Manchuria. The explosion was denounced as...

A Shameful Tale

John Gittings from New York Review of Books
On the contents page of the latest issue of Foreign Affairs1 the new shape of American diplomacy is writ large and in italics. In this prestigious house organ of the international affairs establishment—and by coincidence it happens to be its...

Bringing Up the Red Guards

John Gittings from New York Review of Books
Everyone who has studied the Chinese Cultural Revolution has his own favorite quotation from the Red Guard press. Those who want to make fun of it can always pick one of Mrs. Mao’s ridiculous pronouncements (“‘P'an T'ien-shou’ is a...

Peanuts and the Good Soldier

John Gittings from New York Review of Books
In 1927, the province of Shantung was under the control of the warlord Chang Tsung-chang, a ferocious ex-coolie with a taste for white mercenaries and white women. His forces included a Russian brigade with four armored trains; he himself went to...

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