chapter  8.1
23 Pages

Early re-encounters through exchange delegations

ByVivian Ling

For over a quarter century from 1949 to the dawn of the re-opening of China, academic exchange between the US and China was at a standstill, as were virtually all other forms of contact between the people in the two countries, but the field of Chinese language and area studies in American academia did not go fallow. The 1977 applied linguistics delegation followed a format similar to the 1974 linguistics delegation, but the quality of exchange and communication with relevant people in China were vastly improved, due largely to the recent ideological changes in China. The last two delegations to be discussed in the chapter – one in 1980 and the other in 1983 – took a big step forward toward true engagement in the form of collaborative projects. These two delegations consisted entirely of academics in the field of Chinese language and applied linguistics, so the two sides ipso facto had a common language, literally and figuratively.