Research a calling and passion for former EAI director Zheng Yongnian

Former East Asian Institute head Zheng Yongnian landed in Singapore in 1997, planning to be here for two years. But the years stretched to two decades. While he liked his work as EAI director, he also wanted to go back to research as a scholar, so he
Former East Asian Institute head Zheng Yongnian landed in Singapore in 1997, planning to be here for two years. But the years stretched to two decades. While he liked his work as EAI director, he also wanted to go back to research as a scholar, so he has chosen to step down.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

At East Asian Institute, he helped build links to enable China to understand S'pore better

From a one-room, one-teacher school in a small, hardscrabble mountain village in Zhejiang province to the hallowed halls of Beida, Princeton and Harvard.

That was the academic odyssey of Professor Zheng Yongnian, now 57, before he landed in Singapore in 1997 to do research at the East Asian Institute, which he would go on to head for 11 years until May this year.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2019, with the headline 'Research a calling and passion for former EAI director'. Print Edition | Subscribe