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Western Knowledge about Reforming China, 1972-1989

Bösch, Frank GND

In the 1970s Western knowledge about China was very poor. Due to the fundamental economic reforms under Deng Xiaoping Western observers and companies tried to gain detailed information about the Chinese market, education and factories to prepare the production and the selling of goods in China. This paper analyses how German officials, academics and companies like Volkswagen gained knowledge by visiting China and discusses the consequences of their specific perception.

Frank Bösch is director of the Center for Contemporary History in Potsdam and Professor of European 20th Century History at the University of Potsdam.

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