tv U.S.- China Competition During the Cold War CSPAN June 4, 2017 6:30pm-8:02pm EDT
states and china to influence newly independent african and asian countries during the cold war. he is the author of, winning the third world, american rivalry during cold war. this 90 minute event was co-hosted by the woodrow wilson center and the national history center. seminar featuring greg brezinski, which -- christian will introduce a one thend, is co-sponsored by woodrow wilson center's dish program, and its kissinger's -- institute as well as gw history department. with that, christian will and should is today's speaker. thank you. thank you eric. welcome to all of you. apologies for the slight lead. .e have since been covering the they've been patient with us in the past -- running over session. i feel good about giving them a .ouple minutes extra for set up be aware, you will be taped.
we have, for those of you who have been with us for this spring semester, we have had a number of really great presentations and special events. this is one puts particularly me, the special to launch of greg brezinski's worldg the third sino-american rivalry during the cold war. know, isany of you associate professor of history and national affairs at george washington university, really one of this country's leading historical voices and historians of asia. of nation building in south korea korean-americans in the making of a democracy. of course now, winning the third world. it's really -- she's a friend
and part of the wilson center family, is even more special. 2010, 2011 at the -- as the most senior fellowship you can get from the wilson center. he is a senior adviser to two of the programs at the center -- the history of public policy programs of north korea -- documentation progress -- project is also a member of the advisory board of the -- center. he -- his current work, he is on to his next project of course already -- focuses very much to our delight north korean relations. he is also looking -- working on a larger book on nation building in asia. it's a very, very special occasion to have you here, greg, to launch your new book. we launched her first one, and
it is just fantastic lunch this volume. here the center again. --ly to you, copies of available for sale outside for your convenience. afterwards, please join us for in the roomion over right next-door here. with that, i will turn it over to greg. then to questions and answers. that veryou for generous introduction. it's good to be here the woodrow wilson center. i'm known as the former pfizer james person. i want to thank the washington history seminar and the national history center. i also want to thank eric arneson -- for being such good colleagues. i want to thank friends and
family members come in particular my mother. is dedicated to the memory -- i was a visiting fellow here about six years ago. in the end toronto -- in the we in the historical profession inevitably have -- about what it is you are writing a book about. i say that i'm reading on sino-american competition in the third world. they say -- oh, what's going on in africa. when i tell them -- i'm actually working on the cold war. when i was in beijing meeting up with one of my former chinese
teachers -- and i told her about all of the interesting documents. she said -- i think all the --ff about the cold war stuff on the last seven years. that's going to be our book. the idea is, should just be writing -- i should be writing a pre-history of current sino-american competition. when i set out to write this book, i really didn't set out to write a pre-history of what is going on in the current times, the presence, or a pre-history of anything else. it came across this topic, the way many scholars come across their topics, by stumbling i thought were some interesting primary sources. across, wast i came
putting together a course on the cold war in the third world -- and is course look to u.s. policy, soviet policy in the third world -- as i was finding primary source documents to give u.s. policy inut africa, one of the things i was was how concerned american policymakers were the chinese activities in africa. in fact, they were often more concerned about what the chinese were doing in africa than they were about what the soviets were doing in africa. i thought, this is interesting, maybe i will write an article about some day. i filed it in the back of my mind. then i came across another even more important set of primary sources. to6-2007, i was invited china for a number of conferences.
when i went for these conferences come i do it all when theyistorians do visit foreign countries. i look in the archives. this may in front of the foreign ministry archive beginning in about 2004 -- the chinese foreign ministry started to declassify a growing number of materials about its called -- cold war foreign policy. the declassify them in several patches. the first was from 1949-1954, then there were subsequent batches that covered 1955-59, then 1960-90 xt five. this is me in front of the archive. --now the shorts and search shirt doesn't match with my shorts. when you live out of your suitcase, doing or have a research for a month, this is what you end up with. it was taken, thinking about
7:30 in the morning. those of you who know me know how much i hate to be anywhere at 7:30 in the morning. at the time the archive only had about nine computers. this is exciting stuff. of these new materials about chinese cold war foreign policy. -- a great lucy motivator for getting you to the archives, those of you who know him, he and i is together at about 7:30, so we could be there before all the chinese graduate students influence from the provinces. we were there, i thought these documents were interesting. china'sthem documented relations with asia and africa. they have their limitations, but nonetheless, the documents also clearly constituted a significant advance in our
knowledge about china's cold war era foreign policy. i thought that -- these documents really speak to those documents i found when i was putting together my class on the cold war in the third world in interesting ways. i thought that taken together, they told this story about sino-american rivalry, and an expensive rivalry between china and united states, for influence in the third world during the cold war. i felt these documents would let me get into the topic in ways that scholars have not done so previously. so this was really how the topic started to come together. but at the same time, i really struggled to figure out what exactly this book was the same -- what the theme of this book was going to be. what was at the heart of this competition, what was a really
about? i found a very difficult and challenging to write about. was an economic question mark economictries offered aid, but china's policy towards afro-asian countries, a lot of its economic programs didn't serve china's economic interests at all. in fact, chinese economic aid programs often promoted self-sufficiency and autarky. that wasn't a good answer. what would geo strategy and this toosecurity -- was obviously a consideration at some point. there were also a lot of long activities. this was to prevent each other from gaining influence. they also had their limitations.
their relationship with each other went far beyond national interest. this and i wrote a reach wrote -- re-wrote chapters and throw away chapters. then i realized some of the stuff i was throwing away was an actual depomed, so i picked it back up again. i went back and forth finally, i had an epiphany about this book, one afternoon, when i was parking in the costco parking lot, where all the wealthy lobbyist are parking their cars. they're in the middle, is the professor kaczynski mobile -- my certain feeling like some
sense of inadequacy. i thought, why? with the better cars -- would they get me to where i wanted to go faster #with about what -- what the butler traffic, probably not. -- ite that status influences our countries. -- io think donations invented -- he will say that the idea that status is relevant to foreign policy. in fact there has been a significant political science than theory literature on this.
completely ignore -- everything that the political scientist are saying. what i foundd, wanting in their definition of status was that it insisted status meant a position within a formal hierarchy. this didn't fit china's aspirations. china's view of it status in the third world, what it aspired to, was more like this, comrades. is central -- it is admired, important. .here's a formal hierarchy china does not command in a formal reference. in fact, china and its rivalry -- it was a rival of the united states through almost the beginning of the cold war, then 1960'slate 1950's-early
after the sino-soviets what occurred. then it would become engaged in a protracted rivalry with the soviet union as well. claims that what different you did itself from its great power rivals in the third world was that it was not seeking formal deference. was not tryingt to credit formal hierarchy. abouts book, try to talk that in terms of how chinese and rathern officials -- than how political sciences have seen it. i dropped very loosely on their theory. if you read the book you will see i'm not the local scientist. i don't have the independent and dependent variables, and untried operationalize status or do anything crazy like that.
i argue this two reasons this was important to china. as a lot of stuff about the media -- this is really remote -- a lot of in the media's nonsense. this 1.i agree with, that is the legacy of national humiliation. this is been emphasized -- this idea that china was once important factor. that it had been divided faded -- invaded and robbed its rightful place -- and the chineseional fashion leaders, i argue during the cold war -- so the third world in particular as a region where they could regain their lost status.
forget national humiliation, revitalized china -- this is elementary schoolchildren today, foisting a banner with slogan. another reason this was important to china, the center was ohese foreign policy is, mao zedong. link his personal status to the status of the people's republic of china. often when china made efforts to gain status in the developing world, these efforts were geared not only arisen china's prestige took more about this letter --
and summoned him and enhances likes -- that the u.s. improve itsrts to service and third world? not very much. americans, i argue, were generally very competent in their own status. they were the wealthiest and most powerful military in the world within world war ii. they do not want to see china a rival, increase its own status. americans even took an exaggerated view of chinese influence. i argue the fact that they took not exaggerated view does -- did not make the competition less important. i think it was actually perception american policies,
and led to very expensive and toe -- american commitments trying to block chinese influence in the third world. in the book, i look at several different kinds of competition between united states and china. first -- i will summarize them briefly. in the book itself -- if you really want this in detail, you have to buy. over these forms of competition? one, diplomatic china was a new stage in 1949 -- it was the first inaugurated of course in 1949. for a new state like china, just achieving basic diplomatic relations with other countries was important. after-asian -- so china actually basicto -- just establish relations with ever-asian states. united states does everything it can to prevent it from doing so.
to ultimateried positive impression of itself that major international conferences. included conferences such as the geneva conference, and perhaps most importantly, the bent on conference committee after-asian conference in 1955. the sister when life -- speaking 1955, this conference in where he made a very important performance that really did raise china's standing along -- him him a lot of effort-asian countries that didn't have relations with it before the conference. these conferences, beijing often represented itself as a peaceful effort-asian nation that had also suffered from in the pure realism in the past, and it tried to create a leadership role for itself among afro-asian as a successful
example of post-colonial nationbuilding. state visits -- these were also a very important part of chinese diplomacy, sending diplomats abroad. china constantly tried to raise its international profile for sending its representatives -- most often joanne july -- to asia, africa, different afro-asian dates. this included of course, joe and lies -- famous 1964 visit to africa, regarded as it bold and important, also successful trip at the time. do questiond states united states did everything .ossible to undermine it pressure neutral countries -- not to establish relations with the people's republic of china inchina participated conferences such as geneva and bandon, the united dates
generally try to do everything that occurred to minimize the importance of these conferences command to limit china's role. in fact, there's this famous story about the 1954 geneva conference, wenzhou online approaches secretary of state john foster dulles, and tries to shake his hand rituals apparently disassembled and walks briskly past him. the search was some debate among historians but whether this event actually occurred. even if it didn't occur, as it is to see why take on such powerful emotional and symbolic resonance. competition to read about this book, cultural. argue --competition i by three nature, it involves presenting a
stage, aimage of your negative image of your rivals to the greatest degree possible. the -- on a lot of different things, talking about cultural competition, propaganda found particular thing i cultural competition between united states and china, was that they both emphasized each other's treatment of their own ethnic minorities. both china and united states had come in very different ways, but, -- and fires that forcefully incorporated different kinds of ethnic minorities. propaganda ine asian and african countries often use the civil rights struggle in the united states -- which was of course, gaining momentum a great deal during the 1950's and 1960's, the chinese topagandists would use this
demonstrate, look, this is how the united states treats its own minorities. how could the united states be trusted by other afro-asian peoples question mark one of the things that china often did, and disenfranchised african-american radicals, such as to bbb do boys -- w.e.b. this picture is of him with a high-ranking come in is chinese party official. he visited china when he was about 90 imagine that -- he was taken around to african embassies in china. about howly spoke well treated he was in china, how awful things were for african-americans back in the united states.
so, do boy -- to boy also, he even wrote a poem, something like, i praise china. so china really established numberith -- a limited of african-american radicals. it did try to use them for propaganda value in competition with the united states among african and asian countries. had the u.s. respond to this? it often responded by emphasizing china's treatment of minorities, especially muslims -- and type it. theing's suppression of 1959 uprising intended -- to bat was a gift that kept on giving for american propagandists. an usa i ask films like comparable to that and arranged for them to be shown in theaters throughout parts of asia and africa.
this is actually a somewhat effective strategy. a lot of the regions -- that the united states and china were computing and in south asia, southeast asia, africa, where either heavily muslim, or heavily buddhist. important counter dimension. who treats its ethnic minorities this, and they started -- was going on, there was a lot of back and forth on this on radios and newspapers and other media, that the united states used and china used to propagandize in the third world. this is another kind of competition that i talk about in the book. i call it insurgency and counterinsurgency. i think one of the most important ways that china sought expand its influence in the third-world was through promoting insurgencies.
i talk -- a house -- how they use different strategies for promoting its influence in asia and africa different times. sometimes it focused more on the lummis he tried to present an image of itself as a peaceful afro-asian country, sometimes it presented a more revolutionary image of itself, especially after the sino-sophia slipped split, when the chinese want to emphasize they were the more radical, the ones that truly supported revolutionaries, and that moscow didn't. the maoing also hoped zedong's ratings would serve as an inspiration to anti-colonial revolutionaries throughout the world, thus making china a more important part of a new postcolonial international order. what's new in this book -- people have written before about china's foreign policy in vietnam come in blouse laos, and china's relationship with ho chi
minh, and -- there's good literature on that. a cover that, with some new documents that i found in the chinese foreign ministry archive, but i also focus on china's support for revolutionaries in africa, especially the congo, zanzibar, some of the more interesting material that i found. that was actually -- records of chinesetions between officials and congolese insurgents, who visited china or requested aid from the chinese government. here's were this argument i was mentioning before, but how the united states took been exaggerated view of chinese influence in the third world. here's one of the places where this becomes particularly important. robert mcnamara coming years later in his memoir, in retrospect, he talks about how at the time, they took this exaggerated view of chinese influence, and they didn't realize that the vietnamese were
actually nationalist revolutionaries with their own agenda. .hat was absolutely correct he apologized for of course -- but it doesn't necessarily justify u.s. policy at the time. this perception in the united states that malice -- maoist doctrine was gaining influence in southeast asia, even aroughout the world, played very important role, not only in america's decision to escalate the war in vietnam, but also in a number of other ventures, such as u.s. support for intervention in the congo, and elsewhere. competitionm of that i write about in this book, economic petition. this, the first question that people ask, how could china have possibly
competed with united states economically during the 1950's and 60's? and i was in desperate his time.r part of of course, the great weight forward had been a horrific failure. during the 1950's-early 1960's, you have as many as 40 million people starving to death. source china get the money and resources to compete with the terms ofates in economic aid question mark i argue in the book, china was actually highly strategic about it aid, and also surprisingly successful. in fact, i would say china's economic aid programs were significantly more successful than its diplomacy and support for revolutions. -- a lotused its paid of its paid on poor countries in africa. these are not well understood united states.
the chinese believe -- they were chinese aid projects would be more than just a project. they would be models. aid would show how chinese was more selfless and altruistic than american aid or soviet aid. this would in turn, ultimately create a model of economic cooperation -- both sino-american cooperation and south south economic cooperation. aid china implemented it assure thattried to
they look different from american and soviet a project. they had a different symbolic geography. how did they look different? one of the things that the andese always insisted on they became known for in africa was that chinese technicians were expected to adopt to local living conditions. they couldn't demand imported luxuries. part of it was because china wasn't in a position to send over air-conditioners and refrigerators in the first place. nonetheless, china was saying look how our technicians live and work in the old -- fields beside africans. i praise the chinese just for this. it enabled some people on the proceed the chinese as brethren. are youous criticism is
getting this from chinese sources? the cia also said it. at cia document about chinese foreign-policy, they actually say that chinese aid programs were successful. you can go online and look at the frontline diplomacy project that is housed at the library of congress. these wonderful interviews with people who worked in the foreign service. they also say the same thing. they talk about how successful some chinese aid projects were. given how little china and the united states agreed upon, when they agree upon this, you can say that there is probably some element of truth to this. chinese aid projects were designed to respond to specific needs of host countries. they argued this was in contrast
to u.s. aid projects which frequently forced countries to contract with american firms or by american goods. the most famous of these projects, i won't talk in great detail about specific chinese aid project. -- projects. if you want something that is iee for more detail, published a paper here at the wilson center about chinese aid. if you want something really specific, you can go to the .nternational history project the most famous of the chinese aid projects worthy trans am railway which created a land -- between zombie a
this was the kind of a project that china wanted to be involved in. it had been turned down by the united states and the world bank. china understood this as an opportunity to step in and expand its influence. understoodstates what china was attempting to achieve through these aid projects surprisingly well. interestingly, what i found was that sometimes the united states tried very specifically with its own aid projects to not counted economic impact of china's aid but to capture the political impact of chinese aid. instance, when china built the trans-am railway, the united states try to build the great north road as a market based capitalist alternative to the more state driven trans am railway.
kind ofe the competitions i highlight. who one? side one., neither in many ways, both sides lost. revolutionarys model of nationbuilding did have some genuine appeal to nationalists in newly independent countries. at the same time even though china had this appeal, china never gained the status that it claimed. as a leader among afro-asian countries. the of this was because afro-asian world where china was seeking to expand its prestige was actually far less of a unified thing than china and other people made it out to be.
china saw to bring afro-asian countries together under anti-colonial nationalism and revolution. it often oversupplied and misunderstood the motives of leaders in the region for espousing solidarity. afro-asian leaders often shifted their views and strategies. you also have political chaos sometimes in afro-asian countries. they would cultivate one leader and then they would be overthrown. countries were interested in trying to play the great powers against each other in order to pursue their own interests and next their own independence and autonomy. didher reason that china gain the status that it claimed -- craved is that china was its own worst enemy.
-- z's revolutionary steel eal was a double-edged sword and a mixed blessing. in other instances, it also led to an overzealous defensiveness on the part of china that alienated many of the countries and the leaders whose loyalty china was seeking. i point to several examples of this in the book. beijing's failed effort to present an afro-asian conference. 1964, andas that in 1965, china started advocating for a second afro-asian conference to be held. the idea is that it would be a 10 year follow-up to the 1955 conference bringing together afro-asian countries again.
china not only advocated for the conference but it also tried very hard to control the tone and the agenda of the conference. that theto insist conference's platform strongly denounced both american imperialism and soviet revisionism. there were was that many afro-asian countries were conference buta they didn't want to involve themselves in china's feuds with the soviet union. the second afro-asian conference turned into a giant boondoggle. what happens is the president of algeria was overthrown days before the conference was supposed to begin. that theed to insist conference continue as planned and it work with the new algerian government to try to assure this.
other afro-asian countries were starting to become deeply ambivalent about the whole enterprise. it ended up being a disaster. china have been too strongly consistent that the conference needed to follow its agenda. at the same time, i also argue that beijing's failings in the third world were nothing for the united states to congratulate itself about. they were rarely, if ever because of anything united states did. in many instances, washington devoted significant resources to the struggle against chinese influence. it put pressure on other afro-asian leaders to stem and block chinese influence. the united only made states look more and more
willing. argue that american interests were ultimately ill-served by the competitive and at times paranoid mindset with which american officials approached chinese influence. thatrted off by saying current sino-american rivalry did not influence the genesis of this book. i think the mean policy community should ignore this book. i think the lessons of this book very much before themselves. --hink the lessons should be it should in many ways be sobering to leaders of both china and the united states who call for ratcheting up confrontation over different issues whether it is north korea, competition in africa for
the south china sea. -- or the south china sea. i think we're seeing competition between the united states and china reemerge. it has reemerged in many of the same reasons. the twons where competed so vociferously and -- in the cold war. i argue this is not really a case of history repeating itself but more so as mark twain is reputed to have said, history rhymes. that -- are that as with cold war, asia and africa remain critical and central to china's effort to reinvent its position in world affairs. "a formal conference to launch
this one vote initiative which will link china to asia, africa and some parts of europe through massive investments in infrastructure and efforts to increase trade. i think that asian and african countries, china remains convinced that it has something to offer them. officials don't like to say things that overtly but you hear chinese scholars and intellectuals bringing up these points. the american response is more measured but there are still forn exaggerated reports responses. before 2016, you had instances of overreactions. the010, johnny cochran, assistant secretary of state for
african affairs at the time called the prc a pernicious competitor with no morals. the problem is that wikileaks got a hold of this document. it is one that is pretty easy to find nowadays. sino-american relations. future,say that in the there is inevitably going to be some forms of competition between the united states and china. we compete with everybody in some ways, even our allies. there is always going to be some form of competition. with china, there is simply going to be areas where our strategic and economic expense are not aligned. there will be competition for
influence. i also think that it is important that we not let the competition and rivalry dominate our relationship again. it is important to remember that competition between the united states and china solved a few if any of the problems of new places int afro-asian the cold war. the competition between the united states and china and the great power rivalry actually left many afro-asian states worse off than they would have been without it. similarly, i don't think for new competition this going to contribute to the solutions of the most aboard issues that confront the world in the 21st century. the interests of both the united will be bettera
served if they can find better ways to cooperate and balance out any competition. i think this is the only way we can resolve and try to fix pressing problems such as nonproliferation, global warming and global poverty. i think that ultimately, through increasing sino u.s. cooperation in some of these areas you can simultaneously, increase the status of china and united states for a long time to come. i will end their and be open to taking questions. thank you. >> thank you for this distillation of some of your core arguments and themes of the book.
we will have time for questions and comments on your part. wait for the microphone, especially today since we are on camera, once we call on you, please state your name and affiliation if you like. let me start off the discussion with a couple of questions. first, start off by talking about the fantastic new sources that became available in the early 2000's. many of you are aware that those archives are closed. they are no longer accessible to researchers. i should say that greg has been
in norman's a generous about sharing the documents -- he norman said -- enourmously generous about sharing the documents. was central to this. that limitent does your findings here and maybe as youte menu there, did consult soviet sources that would give you a third view of the competition? >> second question, this book is about sino-american competition, i understand that. othersurprised that the competition in the cold war, one that is fundamental to the cold
-- could you bring that into the narrative of your narrative? me, one of the andons why american policy lots of places around the world, the reason they have had tremendous difficulties is for -- lack of understanding to what extent do you give china a positive review of the third world? to what extent was that based on and economictural
policy as a compared to other powers? >> thank you very much. those are three very important and interesting questions. terms of materials, you always want more materials. there is never a historian that doesn't want more material. i was limited. i talk about this in the introduction. there are limits to what could be done with the foreign ministry archive. one of the things i talk about is chinese support for insurgencies and bit him. this is not the party archives but perhaps the pla archives. there are many archives in china that are still not accessible. there is a lot of material in the united states. there are many times when i file a for your request for mandatory declassification reviews and i get the document after two years and you think
they are keeping this a secret? obviously, i would also say that this is not going to be the last word on the topic. i definitely hope that someday, when the party archives open, you will get more detail. i think the foreign ministry archives were strong on a lot of points. one is that you had records of meetings between chinese statesman and asian and african statesman. this is very important. yet the foreign ministry's analysis of these meetings, sometimes you also have i the you on this -- can also make an argument that one of the things this document -- inis the centrality some ways the procedural aspects.
i should also say that i did make efforts to use other source i didn't visit that many other countries. publishedre is sources, published indian sources. if you have that, you really don't need to go to the indian national archives, they are not that useful. ofid use a small number translated soviet sources, some of which i got from the cold war international history project. i tried to use as many international sources as possible. i couldn't go to every single country. i couldn't learn every single language you would need to do this.
no one can do this. if someone can, i will proudly admit and acknowledge that there are -- they are far superior to me. i think learning mandarin is hard enough. i also speak korean. that it too apologetic didn't use every international source. i do hope that other scholars that can speak indonesian and are experts on africa and have the knowledge and ability to go to those countries and get into the archives will. i actually think that might book stimulated some of this in china. i have seen more and more chinese graduate students saying that can we have the chinese archives? i am here so i will also go to africa. i will also go to southeast asia. i don't think it is completely my doing. i think there is very good
chinese scholars who are encouraging this. the book will encourage more of this kind of research. you mentioned the sino-soviet competition. book.k about it in the i talk about the relationship between sino-soviet bribery and sino-american rivalry. china and the soviet union are relatively close. i intimated is, this, after the split, china starts to support revolutionaries in the third world, even more strongly, if it wants to convince other afro asian countries that china is a real friend of liberation movements and a soviet union isn't, the soviets were more cautious. my argument is that this
actually made the sino u.s. rivalry even more intense. could realize there was this increase in medicalization of china -- chinese foreign-policy and also that the chinese couldn't be controlled as much. as much as foreign-policy makers were suspicious of the soviet union, they felt they could at least deal with them, there were normal relations. china was a wildcard to the united states. the 1960's, during this sino u.s. rivalry intensified. it is an important point where i think too many american policymakers, chinese activities in southeast asian and africa -- is an effort to become more worrisome than soviet activist. i didn't talk about that today but there is a chapter on it in
my book. betweens limited talk the united states and the soviet union. there ishappened limited discussion of this. until of course, nixon and carter were -- it is actually the u.s. and china cooperating against the soviets. how will the china understand is countries? i create a generally positive image. i wouldn't say that it is constantly a positive image. there were places where the chinese did appeal to africa -- -- you see this in china's diplomacy today as well.
in the last decade, they ruined it as they became more zealously nationalistic. in asia, there is a better understanding of cambodia or vietnam. some of the conversations with african revolutionaries are actually white funny. that the chinese didn't know who these guys were and what they were asking for. times, you are
revolutionary and they bring them to china. sometimes they would say yes, we support this. they realized this is how you get chinese aid. that also goes to a point that i was making about the u.s. exaggerating chinese influence. not always understanding that just because somebody went to china or received a from china it meant they were absolutely committed to spreading this throughout the third world. thank you very much, those were good questions. thehis has to do with extent of self-awareness on both sides. by the 1950's, the united states was at least aware that the racial problems that you talked about in the book were not exactly helping it.
they were trying to massage or at least manipulate the message. they knew they had a weak spot. they had to spin this in some form or fashion. is there any sense that the of the were self-aware practices or policies they engaged in hurting themselves? you mentioned in the book, the war with india in the early 90 60's, the treatment of tibet, i assume they don't advertise. as you approach third world areers or would be leaders,
they aware that they are should themselves in the foot or at least engaging in practices that may not help them achieve their purpose? >> actually. i think the chinese certainly realize that the events in tibet were a problem. book wherert of the they say they would go around to different afro asian countries, especially nepal and indonesia and he would say look, this whole problem, what is the cause? it is colonialism. it is a legacy of colonialism. that is how they would try to massage this issue. they would say we were victims of colonialism. your victims of colonialism. you should understand that colonialism.
there's a lot of chinese propaganda, more simple taperanda that tried to over the problem. a lot of chinese magazines saying that you still see this today in china. -- the dalaiwere lama instituted a slave system. china had liberated the slaves. time, i was in china watching television because i had nothing better to do. i saw one chinese policymakers aegon -- mausus dong endedao ze slavery into that. china had very specific arguments that they made about the issue, not everybody bought it.
i think this was one of the more effective dimensions of u.s. diplomacy. i do believe the chinese were very much aware that this was creating an issue for them. >> let's take more questions. >> the gentleman over here, on the right side. i am a public policy fellow here. >> i don't speak mandarin. i wonder if this and 14,000 chinese railroads. every mile of track. i wonder if the collapse of that as many as later was a big setback for the chinese, do they feel they had blown it or do they let her go? >> i would say this is an interesting point. a lot of chinese a projects that
-- theilt in the 70's 60's and 70's, they are not that successful. they build a lot of textile mills. 10 years later, they were not running at anything close to operational capacity. about,ntations i talk the one in this working paper is how they were eventually abandoned and the chinese returned to them 20 years later. they were all covered with snakes and rodents. they is this problem that collapsed. a lot of the projects don't work out in the long-term. it is a very complicated thing. why? iny are all of these turns african policies at times. can --athetic to china, for instance, in mali, the government was -- we were very close to china, he got overthrown in 68.
that fundamental closeness between the two countries. it didn't destroy the relationship. the changing also nature of china's on diplomacy toward africa. some of the same rhetoric is still used today, mutual all bes, it would mutually beneficial, interest-free loans, you see some of this going on and a lot of the times, what china has done in the 80's and 90's is it actually went back and tried to revitalize some of the project it set up in the 60's that have faltered in the 70's. sometimes, it was successful. sometimes it was not. i think in terms of the itg-term economic impact,
was mostly the 50's and 60's and early 70's, the long-term economic impact was limited. you're not going to get 10% economic growth the way the united states was getting in places like south korea or taiwan. there were also a lot of internal dynamics in the african countries. it inhibited growth. i think the fact that these economic aid projects didn't produce long-term prosperity in africa, i'll think the chinese completely got the blame for it. i think some africans became completely disillusioned with aid. i have one quote that i found in the book, i think i found it in the new york times. there was the story going around
, the chinese will supply the labor, the soviets will supply the technicians and the u.s. will supply the capital and the guineans will make sure that none of it works. you have a lot of stories like that as well. countries are becoming general disillusioned with economic aid. not necessarily saying this is because china was bad. at the time, they serve the political purpose fairly well. >> judgment all the way in the back, before i had your question, just a note for those of you not familiar with the , you can access that paper corporate at the cultural international history project. many of the documents, some of are on ourny others
digital archives at digital archive.org. both free to access and to download. >> i'm at the east-west center doing the work on chinese aid. yesterday,our blog it is fantastic. there is an area at the chinese relationship that fascinates me. it is not covered very much. one is west. the history of the cold war talks about the soviet national plan for china. it is a massive investment. days, a talkt the about one of the reasons for the big breakup between china and the soviet union.
the soviet union was bleeding china drive. soviet laws were five-year loans. they were repayable in short term. i haven't read much about the chinese being bled dry by the soviets in the late 50's and early 60's. it is a bit outside the scope of your book. that in their interesting source on soviet aid to china, what caused the collapse of this relationship at the economic level is another book in the same series as mine by austin jesuit. i forgot what it is called. it deals with the sino-soviet
split. what is interesting in his book. with -- not only does question of the soviet leaving the chinese drive, it also has a lot to do with how the soviets were implementing there a projects on the ground. i like his interpretation in part because it just more closely with mine. a lot of what he is saying in the book is the soviets were sometimes imperious and arrogant and how the infamous a decade project. is the onlyk this point he makes but i think it is something that comes across in his book. relations within a project and to the soviets chinese, this is in some ways a cause of nationalist resentment. with status gels
and prestige. for new china to feel slighted. i put a heavy emphasis on that. i think the economic dimensions make it hard to parse that out. it is hard to get very good economic data on it. you have what the chinese were claiming and what the soviets were claiming. i'll think the record is very complete on that issue. >> a colleague of greg's at george washington university, hope harrison, thank you, it was a wonderful book talk. our students are lucky to have you as a lecturer and i'm looking forward to reading the
book. ask -- myoing to question comes from the soviet angle, it is ultimately about china. listening to it, it is so similar to the story of the soviets. wanted to be seen as a post as with the u.s.. you could say that about russia now. this is an old story. it is the underdog, they're frustrated. they wanted to be seen more as an equal for the power the team to beat the world number one. there were moments in my research on the soviet side of the cold war where they would from doing risky things with allies that might have antagonized the u.s.. that moment when soviet u.s. relations were getting better, they were having negotiations. the soviets would sometimes be more careful.
did you find that in chinese -- i know you stopped the book in the early 70's. as you get to the early 70's, did you see some evidence of them pulling back a little bit in any of these activities in the third world russian mark they felt the bigger thing was relations with the u.s. or not? >> i would say that that is a very good question. i think what you say about the soviets doesn't surprise me. i think i have written a little bit about status. it has been very emphasized in diplomatic history. the china ever pull back in its relation with the third world? wife's i think intended not to pull back. it did change its tom.
that was moments where it believes that it could enhance its status if it changed its tone. after the korean war, china really want to be seen as a peaceful neighbor among other asian and african countries. a lot of the rhetoric shifted. support for and slightly different discourse on how china was going to be a peaceful neighbor and short china was open to piece from the united states. this did work in ways because they were right. was trying totes isolate the united states and convince people that all of the talk about wanted to pursue peace was a centrifuge. 70's, i think one of the arguments i make in the book is that nixon, --
i think i come across as being ex-kissingerprone in this book. it was not my intention. i think that opening china was a very important moment that changed the world. i think what nixon understood was the importance of status to china in a way that his predecessors did not. when he reached out to china he really found ways that china could seek rapprochement with the united states while retaining their status. -- are interesting the chinese would make these strong pro-afro-asian anti-imperialist statements in the united nations.
kissinger would say yes, we realize you have to do that. you need to maintain your credibility in the third world. kissinger actually want china to maintain their credibility in the third world at this point. they think it could be useful against the soviet union. it is a complicated dynamic. they are always central to chinese foreign-policy. there was a changing and moderating of its tone. >> there is one dimension -- >> i do islamic history. time in sudanh of in the early 60's.
was one of the countries that had recognized the people's republic. it had a very small embassy. one of the things that i found that sudan had a dirt well organized, very influential communist party. the chinese embassy people seemed to have no interest at all in working with the local communist party. it really wasn't particularly pro-soviet. -- dion -- is
>> i think that is a good question. recollections would be very fascinating to hear more about. let me say, this is the. there. one of the reasons that china kept a relatively hands-off attitude toward the communist parties was because it was very genuinely interested in trying to build trust. a lot of these countries, especially ones in the middle east and the arab world and establishedthe relationship with china, what is china going to do, it is going to -- they were revolutionary. china, at the time was trying to
if you might have normal diplomatic relations where you could compete, i don't know if china was very competitive with the united states in terms of its overall influence in sudan, it was a country that wanted to have normal relations. it wanted to have some semblance of influence where it -- i think there are a few chinese cultural programs that were carried out in sudan. i think it does want to do those kind of things. thanis more important party to party relations. we are quickly running out of time, let's take a few questions. the gentleman on the gray jacket. >> when it is paul. i'm currently at gw. did this competition extend
to latin america? >> you had a question? you raise your hand? >> i from the university of maryland. i just got an email from a colleague. you're talking about africa telling me about an article in the new york times. i knew that when i was there, the question is where they there in the. you studied and the issue is that the chinese do not use local labor. they bring in the labor from china and that has caused resentment. was that going on when you were there? >> there are two gentlemen here. >> thank you.
there are lots of students here. >> you can pass your microphone down to the gentleman. >> i saw some of the similar posters. i wonder if the for your research and the foreign ministry archive, did you ever check with the library of the changessian mark of tones in the chinese propaganda are anti-american and
imperialism. did you ever see any foreign ministry's archives? what are the slogans? >> the final question goes to the gentleman over here. asian pacific strategist. it seems this is a current reaction to tiananmen. that? ou contrast >> very challenging, i will do my best. latin america, china was very iterested in latin america,
tried to focus my book not just on where china was interested in or where it carried out initiatives but where the u.s. also saw china as a threat. it was only in areas where there was competition that i focused on. i don't think there was really competition between the u.s. and china and latin america, at least during the. i'm talking about. the u.s. was much more concerned about fidel castro and the soviets in latin america. namibia, thisout issue about china bringing its own labor, i think that is something that has become more and more of a problem in contemporary chinese projects than it was in the 60's. i think during the 60's, you are right, indicates the case of the trans am railway, there was thousands of chinese workers that were sent. somenk there is also
appreciation in ways that these workers were toughing it out in africa. the reaction was a little bit more mixed. if you like att the range of african opinions about china and chinese aid in africa, today, they are very diverse. there are some african leaders denouncing china and saying it is no different from the imperialists, the others are praising china and it really is a model that is different from the west and it is a country we can trust. i think that is also an issue. i think there is a really complex range of attitudes toward china and africa. there is some good writing about this. the point is that china was arrogant and how it treated
other countries in asia, especially southeast asia and korea. what i argue in this book is that it is not that china completely abandons this idea of itself as a middle kingdom, it admirede respected and and emulated and yes, even looked at as a big brother. the difference is that there is no formal difference. they are not going back to the old tributary relationship with north korea or north vietnam. time, northt the koreans were very sensitive. they had this notion of saturday, serving the great. the chinese were generally aware of it. it is complicated. where you read things that they said and he seems to want to lord it over his allies in asia. there is also other instances.
this is one of the things i'm working on now in my work on china and north korea. a signually arguing that of north korean relations were a than manyre an closer historians have made them out to be. the conflict between the two has been overstated. you will have to wait another six or seven years for that one. african student in china, that is another important part. i don't deal that much with african student in china or the united states. memoirs byome africans who studied in china. i didn't find a whole lot in the chinese archives, that is a reason why i don't talk too much about that in my book. student,s what kind of there were some students going
to chinese universities. there were some african pod racers were tending parties close. i think that bob, one of the leaders in the zanzibar revolution had studied for a time in china, i do with figures like that in the book. i think this is something that it's to be explored further. there are probably some students in african china. if you really dig into the provincial archives i got into the foreign minister archives easily. some provincial archives are in china but there are some that are very hard, even if you are a chinese citizen, they are hard. for an american scholar, they are especially hard. i think there are things that are for people who can get into some of the archives that i had trouble with.
that is definitely a topic that you can do more with. the last question about posters and signs, the chinese foreign does have a lot of pictures, they don't have a lot of propaganda posters. there is actually a propaganda museum in shanghai that has a lot of these propaganda posters if that is what you're looking for. have pictures, they actually wouldn't let me use any of the pictures in my book. i asked them for permission and they said sorry, of course, christian was mentioning that the last time i went to china should do research in the foreign ministry archive was 2012. two thousand 13, the archives really started tightening and they started restricting control, reclassifying a lot of the documents they had declassified. i did the research until 2012.
i spent a couple of years figuring out what i was saying. by the time the book was in press, they were our british saying pictures, no way, you can't even see the documents anymore. i don't think they ever had a lot of posters, it was more of visiting different places. >> unfortunately, on that note, we have to draw this to a close. we could have gone on all night. the book is available for purchase and signing outside of these doors. please join us for a reception sponsored by the university of north carolina press. the publisher of the book. please come back next week when for our final seminar of the season, jason parker from texas a&m will be speaking on his new book arts, mines, boys, the formation of the third world.
a key participants in the seminar today. --nk you greg kaczynski gregg brazinsky. announcer: you are watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. join the conversation, like us on facebook at c-span history. announcer: next, on american history tv, a historian talks about james monroe's light.
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