Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Passport to Peking: Book Recommendation

I am currently reading Patrick Wright's Passport to Peking: A Very British Mission to Mao's China (OUP, 2010).
It is an extremely interesting, entertaining and highly readable account of the British delegations who ventured beyond the Bamboo Curtain in the 1950s.

It is relevant for those of us interested in Chinese public diplomacy as it offers a corrective to the idea that Chinese pd only really began in the early 1970s with Ping-Pong diplomacy and Richard Nixon's visit to Beijing. Wright offers us an insight into the British perceptions of China at this time (coming just after the Korean War and Britain's recognition of the PRC), as well as providing a lot of information about personal and cultural diplomacy from a new perspective. Highly recommended.      

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