The aim of this article is to examine Shaw and Chinese music, especially how his meeting the Chinese Peking opera superstar Mei Lan Fang (梅蘭芳 1894–1961) in 1933 and 1935 revealed why Peking opera has been used as a showcase of modern China. This article situates the Shaw-Mei meetings within modern China's attempt to build bridges to the world, to show the impact of Shaw's sojourn with Chinese music on the world stage. It also explores how Shaw's encounter with Chinese music had an impact on Hsiung Shih I (熊式一1902–91), leading to his writing new plays based on Peking opera that had phenomenal success on Western stages in the United Kingdom and United States. Equally important was Shaw's belief that meeting Mei Lan Fang would teach him about the great drama in China. Peking opera was one of the significant ways modern China strove to connect to the international arena.

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