chapter  6
22 Pages

‘Two Cheers for Democracy’: Empire, Cold War and British Propaganda in Egypt, 1945–55

In 1967, with the Cultural Revolution in full swing in China, Sino-British relations reached their nadir, with major riots in Hong Kong and the sacking of the British diplomatic mission in Beijing. In China itself, the British community was, according to a 1972 briefing for the Foreign Secretary, extremely small: Apart from Embassy staff, some 30 British subjects are resident in China. They include a number of British journalists, bankers and teachers. The majority are long term residents, some of Chinese race. From the early 1970's, the British government launched initiatives aimed at encouraging closer ties with China, and also at enhancing public knowledge of that country. By the mid-1960 the British Foreign Office recognised that it needed to upgrade British China expertise. In terms of tangible impact, propaganda, influence and soft power are by their nature difficult to measure and quantify.