Ronning as Diplomat

This is part two of a commemorative address by Ronning Centre Distinguished Visiting Fellow Brian L. Evans, Professor of History, Emeritus, University of Alberta.

At the close of the war in 1945, Ronning was recruited, largely for his linguistic skills, to join the Canadian Embassy in China. His appointment to Norway as Canadian Ambassador coincided with the Geneva conferences on Korea and Indo-China (Vietnam), in which he played an important role. Later he served as
Canada’s High Commissioner to India and undertook two special missions
to Hanoi as part of a Canadian initiative to bring an end to the Vietnam War.

Brian Evans graduated from the University of Alberta in 1954, after which he obtained a PhD in Chinese History from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He introduced teaching of the History of China and Japan, along with Classical Chinese language, at the University of Alberta in 1961. He first travelled to China in 1964 and later served as Cultural Counsellor  at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, 1973-74. He met Chester Ronning for the first time in 1965, on Ronning's return from a mission to Hanoi. Subsequently, he conducted extensive interviews with Ronning in Camrose and served as a consultant on the film China Mission (1980). He has written and lectured in Canada and China on aspects of Ronning's extraordinary career in anticipation of producing a biography.

Jan. 26, 2010, Augustana Campus, Camrose