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9 Ways in which China has influenced the world that you didn’t Realise

For decades, the West has dismissed Maoism as an outdated historical and political phenomenon. In Maoism: A Global History, Julia Lovell re-evaluates Maoism as both a Chinese and an international force, linking its evolution in China with its global legacy.

Read on to find out 9 ways in which China and Maoism have influenced the world:

Mao inadvertently hastened the end of the Cold War
“Mao’s schemes for world revolution – built upon(often puzzlingly) ferocious rivalry with the Soviet Union- would hasten the end of the Cold War.”


China sowed the seeds for insurrection in Asia and Africa
“In presenting Mao – in glossy magazines,technicolour posters and documentaries- as the genius of world revolution, it would sow the seeds of insurrection across Africa, Asia and Latin America, and sink billions of dollars of Chinese aid into these regions.”


China shaped the course of the Vietnam War
“Without the Sino-Soviet Split and the competitive Chinese and Soviet aid packages, the intensification of the Vietnam War also becomes hard to imagine. This duel turned the Vietnam War into the hottest conflict of the global Cold War.”


China’s foreign policy experiments resulted in the 1965 Indonesian mass killings
“Indonesia was the test case in China’s post-Soviet foreign policy: a key strategic target for exploring the wisdom and superiority of the Maoist model. Leading Indonesian Communists were intoxicated by the militant rhetoric of Mao’s revolution in the early 1960s.It encouraged and inspired them to confront the Indonesian military; this decision in turn gave the army a pretext to trigger the horrors of 1965.”


China provided a lot of aid to Africa (at times putting their needs over their own citizens!)
“…Mao-era China spent a greater proportion of income on foreign aid-including in Africa- than did either the US (around 1.5 per cent of the federal budget in 1977) or the USSR (0.9 per cent of the GNP in 1976)”


Their outreach to Africa resulted in conspicuous failures
“The outcome of these experiments-famine in Tanzania; one party thuggery and economic calamity in Zimbabwe- contrasts the charismatic appeal of Mao’s ideas and models of rebellion and self-reliance, with their manifest failure to create stable, responsive institutions for governance.”


The Maoist insurgency in India was supported by China
“The Maoist insurgency in central eastern India today would not have been possible without…the eagerness of the Chinese Communist Party to support rhetorically (and in limited ways materially) an Indian revolution inspired by Maoist revolutionary strategies.”


China was a catalyst for change in many countries including the West
“The Cultural Revolution’s rhetoric of anti-authoritarian rebellion inspired revolts outside China that took aim at a broad range of political, cultural and social custom: at domestic and foreign policy; colonial rule; electoral representation; relations between the sexes; education, film and literature.”


China is gearing up to take the place of USA (thanks to Donald Trump)
“In the context of a global great power vacuum created by the inward turn of the United States under Donald Trump, China under Xi has an unprecedented opportunity and ambition to shape the contemporary world.Early evidence suggests that the CCP is deploying strategies…to increase its influence abroad, especially in Australia and New Zealand.”

Maoism: A Global History explores how the power and appeal of Maoism have extended far beyond China.


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