What is it about?

Hong Kong occupied exceptional importance to international scholarships. Any research on Communist China had to be conducted in this British Colony until the 1980s.

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Why is it important?

Hong Kong had particular importance to international scholarships. Before Deng Xiaoping initiated his Open Door Policy, visiting Hong Kong was a must to all international researchers of China. Specifically, researchers likely visited two centers near the international airport: University Services Center (USC) and Union Research Institute (URI). This article examines the likely path of most China watchers in entering the China field. It encompassed the Vietnam-era draft avoidance, Chinese language training in Taiwan, and extensive academic field works in Hong Kong.


Hong Kong was indeed an indispensable spot for China watchers. Before China fully embraced its Open Door Policy in 1978-80, the British Colony was the only place in the world where researchers had unfettered access to academic materials. Hong Kong's success as a middle man relied upon its protection under the Union Jack. Most objective Western publications on the PRC would never have been published without stints in USC and URI.

Dr Kenneth Lan
Guangzhou Huashang College

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This page is a summary of: The mecca of Cold War scholarship: Hong Kong as the intellectual hub to reveal China to the World, Asian Education and Development Studies, July 2020, Emerald,
DOI: 10.1108/aeds-01-2020-0017.
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