Henri Borel

Born in Dordrecht, Netherlands, in 1869, Henri Borel belonged to a family of military men. Equipped with a degree in Hokkien Chinese from Leiden University and a working knowledge of Mandarin, he began his career as an interpreter and government official for Chinese affairs in the Dutch East Indies. His in-depth understanding of the Chinese language, culture and people enabled him to be identified as a colonial spokesperson of the Chinese population. A journalist, author and poet, Borel’s interest in China finds reflection in all his literary endeavours.