ABSTRACT

From 1949 to 1960, between 75,000 and 100,000 foreigners visited the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and almost half of that number of Chinese went abroad. Engaged in a sustained program of cultural diplomacy, the PRC received visitors from more than 100 countries and sent around 400 Chinese delegations to participate in international sports meetings, drama and film festivals, musical contests and exhibitions. 1 Partly because of its Marxist-Leninist revolutionary ideology, and partly due to the necessity of what Mao Zedong described as China’s “semifeudal, semicolonial” status in the modern era, managing foreigners and establishing people-to-people contacts was an early priority of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) waishi, or foreign affairs. 2