China and Inner Asia
Session Abstract: Scholars have long framed Hong Kong as a space between China and the world, often as a node of trade or as a site of political activism. Hong Kong’s historic role as a territory both apart from and intimately connected to mainland China has made it an experimental city, with residents on both sides leveraging its distinctiveness. These four papers examine the flow of ideas between Hong Kong and China. From the points of view of intelligence history, business history, intellectual history, and propaganda history, the papers explore Hong Kong as a contact zone for ideas about Chinese history and politics, management expertise, political reform, and Hong Kong society. Beginning with the 1950s, Louis Lu uses multiple government archives and foundation records to show how mainland publications were smuggled into Hong Kong, shaping Hong Kong’s knowledge institutions and in turn, intelligence information and area studies. Peter Hamilton continues Lu’s examination of the Cold War to study how Soviet, American, and new PRC management methods
competed for influence between China and Hong Kong. Sebastian Veg traces cross-border engagement between Hong Kong’s civil society and Chinese elite reformers in the lead up to the 1984 Joint Declaration, using diplomatic archives and unofficial sources to reconstruct their arguments for political reforms for both societies. Finally, Denise Ho reads Bao’an County newspapers and media from Shenzhen’s Special Economic Zone to explore the tension between Hong Kong as a site of desire and emulation and Hong Kong as an example of critique and repudiation.
Virtual Paper Presenter: Denise Y. Ho – Yale University
Virtual Paper Presenter: Yi Lu – Oxford University
Virtual Paper Presenter: Peter Hamilton – Lingnan University
Virtual Paper Presenter: Sebastian Veg – Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales