1953–1964: The British Left and the New China

Tom Buchanan

in East Wind

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199570331
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741425 | DOI:
1953–1964: The British Left and the New China

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After the ending of the Korean War the British left played a significant role in promoting better relations with the ‘New China’. This chapter examines a number of examples such as the Labour Party delegation of 1954 and the attempts by left-wing businessmen to increase trade with China. In the later 1950s, however, Chinese policy became increasingly unpredictable and this created problems for the British left. The Great Leap Forward of 1958 was initially hailed as a triumph for Chinese Communism, and its failure disillusioned many in Britain. Moreover, China's war with India in 1962, as well as its acquisition of an atomic bomb in 1964, presented China in a less attractive light. For British Communists, the Sino-Soviet split of the early 1960s was a turning point in their relations with China, and the Britain-China Friendship Association split over the dispute.

Keywords: Clement Attlee; Straits crisis; Great Leap Forward; Sino-Soviet despite; Sino-Indian war; Richard Crossman; Jack Perry; Britain-China Friendship Association

Chapter.  20532 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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