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 New Republic (US)

"Donald was, in the most complete sense of the term, a trustworthy adviser. Donald played an important part in almost everything that went on in China from the overthrow of the Manchus in 1911 to the long struggle against Japan. [He was] one of the most influential men in modern history."

- January 23, 1948. Richard Watts Jr. (otherwise critical of Donald)
reviewing E. A. Selle's Donald of China.


The New York Times

"Mr. Donald refuses all compensation for his services, declines social invitations, is immune to flattery and refuses all honors. He is utterly selfless in his devotion to China and to Generalissimo Chiang..."

[Oct. 17, 1937]

The Saturday Evening Post

" 'And then Donald arrived.' The phrase has a much deeper significance than its connection with the rescue of China's Man of Destiny [Chiang Kai-shek]. It is a recurrent motif in the turbulent history of the Celestial Republic. In every national convulsion since 1911, Donald has arrived on the dot, untying some snarl......." 

- 1938 lead feature (9 pages) by H.B. Elliston, later, the
Pulitzer Prize-winning Editor of The Washington Post.
[March 19, 1938]

The Herald (Melbourne)

"Mr. Donald was a confidant of generals, handyman to warlords and held more state secrets than any foreigner who lived in China."

[November 11, 1946]

South Seas Weekly (Fiji)

 "He learnt long before the revolution [1911] that if he had known Chinese he would never have been able to get the contacts he had, for the Chinese knew that with him they were assured of the privacy of their conversations. The trouble was that if he knew ten words of Chinese the Chinese took it that he knew 100 and so on. The Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek did not speak English and in his contacts with him, Madame Chiang acted as interpreter..."

[February 1, 1941]

OTHERS ......

"Working mainly behind the scenes, Donald was to exert a substantial influence on the policies of China for a full decade"

- The book Twentieth Century China by O. Edmund Clubb
(Columbia University Press, 1964)


"The coming of Donald to Sian really set the stage for fruitful negotiations. Indeed, there was no other person except Donald who commanded the full confidence of both the captor and the captive and whose presence at the most critical hours was looked upon by both as a friend in need."

-  Tien-wei Wu in his book,
The Sian Incident: A Pivotal Point in Modern ChineseHistory
(Michigan Papers in Chinese Studies, 1976)


  - "On apprend, d'autre part, q'un Australien, qui est l'ami intimate de Tchang Kai chek et de Tchang Hsué Liang, M. W. H. Donald, a quitté Nankin ce matin pour Sian-Fou, afin de tenter d'obtenir la libération du generalissimo" ...

 ["Other sources confirm that an Australian, Mr. W. H. Donald - who is a close friend of Chiang Kai-shek and of Chang Hsueh-liang - left Nanking this morning for Xian-fu in an attempt to obtain the generalissimo's release."]

LE FIGARO (Paris) 15.12.36

"He was the first white man since Marco Polo to enjoy the confidence of China's rulers. He never took a drop of liquor in his life and he had two favourite sayings - 'He travels fastest who travels alone, and he travels fastest who travels dry.'"

-  Earl Albert Selle, U.S. author of 1948 biography,,
Donald of China (Harper, NY / Invincible, Sydney),
interviewed in New York on January 25, 1948.


"WHAT NOW, CHIANG?  ......For many years the Western powers realised the sterling qualities of the Japanese and feared that if China, with her great resources and manpower, emulated Japan and decided to clasp the hands of friendship with her neighbours across the Yellow Sea, it would mean the end of all Western influence, and exploitation, in East Asia .... the Britisher, Donald is still [Chiang's] trusted and ever-present adviser. What national leader, if he were a true representative of his people, would need the constant attention of a foreign adviser, I ask you?"

- Hongkong News [March 17, 1942] the English-language daily
owned by Japanese interests in newly-conquered HK. Ironically,
Donald was then being interned in Japanese-occupied Manila.


Chinese TV/cinema

In 1994, the dramatised TV documentary, Once Upon a Time in China: The Soong Sisters (HK/China) prominently featured Mr. Donald - as had the Chinese movie, The Xi'an Incident (1980).

Press Views... Pages 1 - 2

HomeDon Who?!World views DonA Chinese life ...Don - the BookDon - the PlayDeath in ShanghaiScholarlyChinese researchOn the AuthorTOPPersonals 


W. H. Donald
1875 - 1946HomeDon Who?!World views DonA Chinese life ...Don - the BookPlay/MovieDeath in ShanghaiScholarlyChinese researchOn the AuthorPersonals 


Copyright, Frank Bren 2001. Photographs of Mr. Donald and friends are reproduced by kind permission of the Donald family (Australia) and Ansie Lee Sperry (USA). For all enquiries, please contact the Manager via . Oh, and many thanks for visiting this site.