China's Cultural Diplomacy

China's Cultural Diplomacy

China's Cultural Diplomacy

China's Cultural Diplomacy

Excerpt

This monograph has grown out of a more specialised study of the experience various countries have had of "cultural exchange" with Communist China. Although it seemed a simple matter to catalogue the instances and recount the results, I soon realised however that the true meaning of cultural or academic exchange is only explicable in a wider context. Hence this study of Chinese cultural diplomacy in general.

I have not followed the same format in each country section. Although academic exchange and research remain central, I have emphasised for each country a slightly different range of experiences. In this way the general setting and character of cultural relations are suggested, but only in the cases of India and Australia are they sketched in more detail. This procedure will, I hope, bring out the distinctive flavour of each national experience.

One important caution: the material is, by and large, current as of autumn 1960. I have muddied the neat cut-off point somewhat by bringing a few cases -- but not all -- up to date as new materials came to my attention during the revision and completion of the study. But I have not taken into account the most important developments since that time: the Sino-Soviet conflict, the shifts within the Communist bloc, and the rapid deterioration of China's internal situation which has now been openly acknowledged by the Chinese Communists themselves. Rather than try to keep up with the rapid flow of events, I have preferred to leave the manuscript as it was when it left my pen, a historical document of events up to late 1960 and early 1961. To deal with the significance of the latest developments would require a whole new study. For the reader, perhaps the safest approach would be to take it as current as of autumn 1960, and certainly no later than the early part of 1961.

But this means that the reader must be aware of obvious transient judgments. For example, I speak throughout of Russian technicians resident in China. Since the time of writing, however, we have learned that all, or most, of these technicians have been withdrawn. It may very well be that by the time this study sees the light of day, or shortly thereafter, Russian technicians may be back in China. Similarly, my observations on Sino-Polish or Sino-German relations refer only to the period I have indicated; since then, they have gone through several further cycles. Again, to take a very specific example, what I say of the attitudes of West German businessmen is correct as of late 1960; but since then I have learned that many of the very people who were involved . . .

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