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Conference - Beyond the Kremlin’s Reach? Transfers and Entanglements between Eastern Europe and China during the Cold War Era

Conference venue: GWZO, Leipzig, Germany
Period: June 30 - July 2, 2015



The conference explores the relations between the People’s Republic of China and the non-Soviet socialist states of Poland, Czechoslovakia, GDR, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albanian during the Cold War with a focus on the social and every-day dimension – from the exchange of students and the sending of advisers to large-scale cooperation projects in industry and infrastructure. It brings together researchers from East-Central Europe, other parts of Europe and the US with leading experts in the field from China.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015
17.30 – 17:45 Opening Remarks
Stefan Troebst (Leipzig), Jan Zofka (Leipzig)

17:45 – 19:00 Keynote Speech
Shen Zhihua (Shanghai): Structural Problems of Socialist International Relations

Wednesday, July 1

Part I: Transfers and Entanglements between China and Eastern Europe
9.00 – 10.40
Panel 1: Trade and Economic Cooperation during the Sino-Soviet Alliance
Ge Jun (Shanghai): The GDR as Gate to the West? Early Trade Agreements between PRC and GDR
Daniela Kolenovská (Prague): Sino-Czechoslovak Cooperation on Agricultural Cooperatives
Comments: Uwe Müller (Leipzig)

11.00 – 12.30
Panel 2: Cultural Exchange during the Sino-Soviet Alliance
Austin Jersild (Norfolk, VA): From ‘Originality’ (samobytnost’) to Beethoven: Socialist Bloc Ideas about Culture in Revolutionary China, 1950-1964
József Böröcz (New Brunswick, NJ): Performing Socialist Hungary. The Ensemble of the Hungarian People's Army Visits to China in the Fall of 1956
Comments: Beáta Hock (Leipzig)

14.00 – 15.40
Panel 3: Deviations in the Soviet Bloc in the Context of Changing Sino-Soviet Relations
Jan Zofka (Leipzig): Repercussions of the Chinese Great Leap Forward in Bulgaria
Małgorzata Gnoinska (Troy, AL): China’s Differentiation Policy toward Poland: the Case of Kazimierz Mijal (1960–1976)
Comments: Stefan Troebst (Leipzig)

16.00 – 17.40
Panel 4: Changing Representations of the “Other” in the Chinese and Eastern European Press
Sören Urbansky/Max Trecker (Munich): Népszabadság, Neues Deutschland, Trybuna Ludu. The Nuances of Reporting on China in Eastern Bloc Press
Li Rui (Beijing): The changing image of Eastern Europe in the Chinese press during the early 1980s
Comments: Dennis Deletant (Washington, DC)

17.40 – 18.15 Intermediate Resumée and Discussion / Practical Issues Concerning Publication

Thursday, July 2
9.00 – 11.00
Panel 5: Transfers of Development Models, Policies and Technologies
Ana Lalaj (Tirana): The Influence of the Chinese Cultural Revolution and the Reproduction of Some of its Features in Albania
Jovan Čavoški (Belgrade): The Yugoslav Dimension of the Chinese Reforms and Opening up Policy in the late 1970s and early 1980s
Péter Vámos (Budapest): A Hungarian Model for China? Economic reforms in China and Sino-Hungarian relations, 1979-1989
Comments: Jordan Baev (Sofia)

Part II: China and Eastern Europe during the Cold War: Mapping Sources

11.15 – 12.30
Roundtable: Mapping Sources I: China and East-Central Europe
Chair: Yu Weimin (Shanghai)
GDR: Ge Jun
Poland: Li Rui (Beijing), Wu Wei (Beijing) – Małgorzata Gnoinska
Czechoslovakia: Gao Xiaochuan (Shanghai) – Daniela Kolenovská
Hungary: Tai Yuri (Shanghai) – Péter Vámos

14.00 – 16.00
Roundtable: Mapping Sources II: China and Southeastern Europe
Chair: Shen Zhihua
Yugoslavia: Kong Fanjun (Beijing) – Jovan Čavoški
Romania: Liu Yong (Beijing) – Dennis Deletant
Bulgaria: Xiang Zuotao (Beijing) – Jordan Baev
Albania: Ana Lalaj

16.15 – 17.30: Final Discussion


  • GWZO, University of Leipzig

Information & contacts

Jan Zofka
tel: +49-341-97 35574


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