Disseminating and Containing Communist Propaganda to Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia through Hong Kong, the Cold War Pivot, 1949–1960
This article explores an understudied aspect in Asia's Cold War history: how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) used Hong Kong as a Cold War pivot to produce and disseminate left-wing literature for overseas Chinese living in Southeast Asia. It argues that the CCP's expanding cultural influence can be attributed to the Party's commercial acumen. Operating within a permissive colonial regulatory regime, the CCP expanded its control of local and regional markets for left-wing printed materials. The content of CCP literature was inevitably propagandistic – that is, shaped by the changing demands of the Chinese government's foreign policy and by a need to attract foreign remittances and accommodate socialist transformation at home. Hong Kong's emergence as a pivot in propaganda wars that were global in scope created tensions between the United States and Britain, and led governments in Southeast Asia to strengthen state controls on imported communist media. As such, this article makes an original contribution to Hong Kong colonial history and deepens our understanding of transnational dynamics within Southeast Asia.
1 Jan 2021 – 31 Dec 2021
Journal title, volume/issue number, page range
The Historical Journal (online first)
International Relations and Politics
Diasporas and Migration