China and Inner Asia
Session Abstract: Science has been central to China’s relations with the outside world in the period since 1945. Both the Republic and People’s Republic were consciously modernizing regimes eager to utilize science to realize grand ambitions. This panel will trace the connection between science and China’s foreign relations through four critical episodes. Greene’s paper will show how the Sino-American technical cooperation of the war years continued after 1945 and how these interactions lay the groundwork for America’s scientific relationship with the Chinese regimes on both sides of the Taiwan Strait after 1949. Building on Greene’s insights, Barrett’s paper will reveal how, in the first two decades of its existence, the People’s Republic drew on the professional and personal networks of Chinese scientists to augment its relations with states that did but also did not recognize the new Communist regime. Millwood's paper takes up where Barrett's leaves off, considering contacts between American and Chinese scientists in the 1970s. It will show how these contacts produced two rival American discourses on Chinese science, as well as their importance in changing how the PRC regime itself conceived of science. Xiong's paper connects directly with Millwood’s, examining how Deng Xiaoping's understanding of the role of science was critical to the PRC placing science and technology cooperation with the United States and the outside world at the center of government policy after 1978. Together, these papers will trace the powerful impact of science and scientists on China’s foreign relations and domestic development over this transformative period.
Paper Presenter: J. Megan Greene – University of Kansas
Paper Presenter: Gordon Barrett – University of Oxford
Paper Presenter: Pete Millwood – University of Hong Kong
Paper Presenter: Chenxi Xiong – East China Normal University