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Mao, the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis, and the Middle East: A New Paradigm for Understanding Chinese Foreign Policy

last modified Jun 01, 2017 04:49 PM

Mao, the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis, and the Middle East: A New Paradigm for Understanding Chinese Foreign Policy

Sergey Radchenko poster 2017-05-05When the Soviet Union launched the Sputnik in October 1957, the world took notice. This scientific feat enhanced the USSR’s international prestige and promised a bright future for the socialist bloc, which lagged far behind the West in economic terms. But the Eastern bloc was not a united front, and the Sputnik gave rise to jealousies – nowhere more so than in China, where Mao Zedong tried to beat the Soviets in economic development. The launch of the Sputnik thus triggered an era of economic craze in the socialist bloc, intensifying the rivalry between the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China.

In this guest seminar, held on Friday, 5th May, 2017, Sergey Radchenko, a Professor of International Relations at Cardiff University, presented some of his latest research to the members of the ERC Project and other Cambridge colleagues. Radchenko discussed not the traditional Cold War rivalry – the one between the United States and the Soviet Union, but the no less important competition between Mao Zedong’s China and Khrushchev’s post-Stalinist USSR. Based on an extensive reading of multilingual archives, Radchenko suggested new readings of the events of half-century ago. The presentation was followed by a lively debate on one of the chapters from Radchenko’s current research project.

Sergey Radchenko presenting

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Cambridge has a long and distinctive tradition in the study of the Middle East and Asia. This Faculty prides itself on exploring these fields through the local languages and encourages students to learn through real world engagement. If you are interested in these world regions and want to discover their languages, cultures, histories, religions, and politics, then this is the home for you. 

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