Shao-Chuan “Tony” Leng

Born in Chengdu in 1921, Shao-Chuan Leng attended high school in Shanghai and then studied law and political science at Central University in Nanking. It was at that point that his family sent him to the United States for further study. By 1950 he had earned a master's degree from Yale University and a Ph.D. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard University. In 1951, he joined the faculty of the University of Virginia where he taught and researched for some forty years, retiring in 1992 as Compton Professor of Government Emeritus. Throughout his long and distinguished career, he concentrated his teaching and research on three broad fields of knowledge: the Chinese legal system, international relations of East Asia, and developments in mainland China and Taiwan. In all these, he trained students and published important journal articles and books (ten titles) as well as editing, with Hungdah Chiu, Law in Chinese Foreign Policy and other works. His study Justice in Communist China, published in 1967, was a groundbreaking work, presenting fresh insights into how the communist legal system had evolved in mainland China. Shao-Chuan Leng was revered by the large number of students he trained and advised. The ideal Chinese teacher—"dispensing knowledge as well as morality"— aptly describes Professor Leng's commitment to his vocation. His concise, informed lectures inspired his students and served as role models for them in their careers. After retirement, Shao-Chuan continued his research and directed Ph.D. candidates working on their dissertations. Professor Leng left a remarkable legacy: his students are to be found in public service, academia, business, and other walks of life; he helped the University of Virginia create a chaired professorship in Sino-American relations; his friendships on both sides of the Pacific Ocean were highly valued; he set high standards of scholarship, especially in the area of the changes that engulfed China after 1950. Tony, as he was called by kin and friends, succombed to liver cancer on September 4, 2000.

From The Journal of Asian Studies, September 15,2020

Professor Emeritus