China's Economic Relations with Western Europe dur.. (CHINFISI)
China's Economic Relations with Western Europe during Cold War (1952-66)
Start date: Sep 1, 2013,
End date: Aug 31, 2015
The CHINFISI project will explore the PRC economic and commercial relations with European non-Communist countries in the period 1952 – 1966, building upon my previous research on the socialization of economy in the PRC during the 1950s, as well as on my current research on Italian economic relations with China during the 1950s‐60s. The most common thesis held by historians maintain as following: 1) the supremacy of US foreign policy informed the policies carried out by European allies. b) Deng’s reforming action is a prerequisit condition for the birth of China’s economic and political relations with capitalist countries. c) Economic relations between PRC and western non-communist countries started only after 1979, after Deng’s economic reforms and the normalization of PRC-US relations. On the contrary, a few authors show that PRC’s economic relations with Western European countries in the mid-late 1950s and in the 1960s, were already rich and varied.Was China during Cold War actually secluded from the non‐bloc world and thoroughly hostile to any interplay with capitalism? Or was PRC maybe more integrated into the “free” trading system of the time? Can we confirm that the United States made the first move to creating relations with China? Or were the Western European countries?The CHINFISI project can be placed in the framework of a much wider historiographical debate, which recently led to a new approach to Cold War, giving voice not only to the two main powers, but to all the actors involved. In the last decade China, though at a lesser extent respect to former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, has started to declassify Cold War documents, showing a more open approach on the matter. By combining the methodologies developed by international history and business history, the CHINFISI project will carry out a multi-archival research aiming at discovering the role played by “secondary” actors, such as PRC and EC-countries.
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