It is an honour and pleasure to join in this commemorative symposium of the 50th anniversary of The China Quarterly, still the field's flagship journal. The journal is entering its “middle age” in fine form. Like most who turn 50, The China Quarterly has had its ups and downs, its signature moments and trying times, but has sustained itself with a sense of purpose and strong identity, supported by its extended family (contributors, readers, staff and editorial board). The China Quarterly has been a living chronicle and window for the world to view one of the most important countries on earth. The China Quarterly has much to be proud of over the past half century, but journal's best days hopefully still lie ahead.