Chak Chi-shing gained his PhD in History from the University of California, Berkeley. He held the position as researcher in the East Asian Institute (formerly known as Institute of East Asian Philosophies), National University of Singapore and the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica. He also taught in the Department of Chinese Culture at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Professor Chak is currently serving as Senior Research Fellow in the Institute of Chinese Studies, Honorary Professor in the New Asia Institute of Advanced Chinese Studies and Chief Editor of New Asia Journal. His research interests are Chinese modern philosophy and the history of the China's Communist Party. His publications include Feng Youlan: His Life and Thought, Five Essays on Feng Youlan and other academic essays.
Professor Chak's lecture aims to analyse how Chinese history and culture, after being creatively transformed by Mao, were used as important sources of Mao's strategic thinking. Many of Mao's policies were influenced by his readings of Chinese classics. In addition, Mao's familiarity with Chinese drama and fiction enabled him to move freely between popular culture and elite culture. This contributed to his mastery of psychological engineering and mass mobilization. Furthermore, Mao's reading of The Water Margin and The Romance of the Three Kingdoms allowed him to devise tactics to defeat the Nationalist Party and conquer mainland China in 1949.