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Living in Mao’s China

The European Experience 1949-1969

Beverly Hooper    The University of Sheffield, UK    

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abstract

During the Mao era a small number of Europeans lived in the PRC – most of them for two or three years, a few for the whole period. This article focuses on those who, unlike diplomats and a handful of foreign correspondents, worked or studied in Chinese institutions: ‘foreign comrades’ (both long-term residents and sojourners), ‘foreign experts’ and students. The article shows how the everyday lives of these Europeans were strongly influenced both by Mao era’s ‘politics in command’ environment and by PRC policies that utilised them for political and pragmatic purposes while at the same time marginalising them from everyday Chinese life. It also illustrates the divisive impact of Maoist politics on each group. The Cultural Revolution brought a temporary halt to both the foreign expert and student presences in China, as well as being a traumatic period for the foreign comrades.

Published
May 3, 2018
Accepted
July 17, 2017
Submitted
April 3, 2017
Language
IT
ISBN (PRINT)
978-88-6969-221-5
ISBN (EBOOK)
978-88-6969-220-8

Keywords: Mao eraForeign expertsEuropean studentsChinaEuropean residents

Copyright: © 2018 Beverly Hooper. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.