Is there Freemasonry in China?
More or less … depends on which China!
There is a Grand Lodge of China, but not from the giant communist China, the “People’s Republic of China”. It is from the small and capitalist Taiwan, whose official name is “Republic of China.”
The history between these two countries is complex. For a long time been a single country, after the “little China” was considered exile of the People’s Republic of China, representing China in the UN for years and being called the “Free China” instead of “Greater China”, which had become communist.
But in 1971 the “great China” came to occupy the seat at the UN, Taiwan has lost its recognition. Currently, opinions in Taiwan are divided between declaring independence or unify with communist China.
In this scenario we have the Grand Lodge of China, established in main land China in 1949 and when the communist government started in 1951, it was forced to move to Hong Kong and then to Taiwan in 1955.
Today the Grand Lodge of China has 10 lodges, which work in the York Rite (American, monitor Webb) and the Taiwanese Masters have the option of following the studies in the Scottish Rite, which has made a province of Great Lodge of Perfection, Chapter Rose Croix, Council of Kadosh and Consistory, or the York Rite, which has 2 Chapters of Royal Arch Masons, Cryptic Council and Templar Commandery. There is also Shriners in the country.
The Grand Lodge of China has dealt with the recognition of the United Grand Lodge of England, the Brazilian and American Grand Lodges, and other principal Masonic obedience in the world.
by Kennyo Ismail, Brazilian Freemasonry Group