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Kwang-Ching Liu, 84; Expert on 19th Century Chinese History

October 07, 2006|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Kwang-Ching Liu, 84, a professor emeritus of history at UC Davis and a leading scholar of 19th century Chinese history, died Sept. 28 of a heart attack at his home near the campus.

Among his academic achievements, Liu contributed three chapters to the authoritative 1978 book "The Cambridge History of China," wrote several introductory essays to other volumes on Chinese history and served as associate editor of the Journal of Asian Studies.

He was instrumental in arranging financial support for the photographing and publication of the historical archives of the National Palace Museum in Taiwan, a valuable resource for students of Chinese history.

Born in Beijing on Nov. 14, 1921, Liu was educated at a Methodist missionary school in Fuzhou, where he learned English.

After graduation from high school, he enrolled at Harvard University and graduated magna cum laude in 1945. He remained there and completed his doctorate in 1956.

Liu worked as a translator at the United Nations for six years and taught at Yale University briefly before joining the UC Davis faculty in 1963. There, he helped build the Chinese and East Asian studies programs as well as related language programs.

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