‘Cold War Pivot: Chinese Left-wing Cultural Activities in British Hong Kong, c. 1949-80’

(History Department, Investigator: Florence Mok)

This project explores Chinese left-wing cultural activities in colonial Hong Kong, a pivot in the Cold War in Asia. It will focus on the four modes of communication used by the Chinese Communists to propagate their regime and expand their influence in the colony during the Cold War: the press, literature, ‘traditional’ cultural activities and school education. The study will use a traditional historical approach of examining archival manuscripts. The main objective is to investigate through different channels, how the Chinese leftists expanded their influence in Hong Kong society, and to observe how the colonial government countered these activities without, in theory, compromising the concept of ‘the rule of law’. This innovative study will shed light on the current constitutional crisis in Hong Kong by tracing past Communist activities in the colony and deconstructing the concept and practice of ‘the rule of law’, which is commonly recognised by Hong Kong people as a British legacy. It will enrich the academic discourse on colonialism and communism. It can be used to identify similarities and differences in Cold War experiences between the East and the West.

Source: Photo taken at the National Archives, London, file CO 1030/582, ‘Communist Propaganda Hong Kong’.

Explore other research