The role of cultural delegations in the Cold War: the case of China and Italy (1949-1978)

Author/s Lorenzo M. Capisani
Publishing Year 2021 Issue 2020/2-3 Language Italian
Pages 30 P. 123-152 File size 429 KB
DOI 10.3280/MON2020-002007
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The historical phenomenon of cultural delegations was characterized by several distinctive features during the Cold War and can be considered a significant aspect of cultural relations more in general. The Italian-Chinese case has a certain interest, as it underlines the existence of intricate local dynamics that acquired an increasingly in-ternational dimension throughout the years. Culture was both seen as an issue that stressed the distance between Italy and China and as a possible ground for dialogue. This approach to cultural phenomena shows how, in the context of the Cold War, cul-tural facts permeated political relations as well as commercial ones. The evolution of delegations has been marked by a gradual internationalization and, at the same time, by their being rooted in the national milieu. This process started with the Korean War and reached a turning point with the economic reforms under Deng Xiaoping.

Il fenomeno storico delle delegazioni culturali ha assunto caratteristiche particolari durante la Guerra Fredda e rappresenta un aspetto significativo delle relazioni culturali in generale. Il caso italo-cinese riveste un certo interesse poiché mostra l’esistenza di dinamiche complesse a livello locale che, col tempo, hanno assunto una dimensione sempre più internazionale. In questi anni, la cultura è stata intesa come un fattore di distanza e, al contempo, di possibile dialogo. Questa accezione ampia evidenzia come, nel contesto della Guerra Fredda, l’ambito culturale permeasse anche le relazioni politiche e quelle commerciali. L’evoluzione delle delegazioni è stata segnata da una progressiva internazionalizzazione e, al contempo, da un radicamento nel contesto nazionale. Tale processo si è sviluppato a partire dalla guerra di Corea e ha raggiunto un punto di svolta con le riforme economiche di Deng Xiaoping.

Keywords: The Cold War, Chinese foreign policy, Italian foreign policy, maoism, communism, Sino-European relations, International trade

Lorenzo M. Capisani, The Role of Cultural Delegations in the Cold War: The Case of China and Italy (1953-1978) in "MONDO CONTEMPORANEO" 2-3/2020, pp 123-152, DOI: 10.3280/MON2020-002007