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Title: Revolutionary allies : Sino-Egyptian and Sino-Algerian relations in the Bandung decade
Author: Haddad-Fonda, Kyle
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 2884
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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In the decade following the Asian-African Conference of 1955, the communist government of the People’s Republic of China took unprecedented interest in its relations with countries in the Middle East. China’s leaders formed particularly strong ties first with Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Egypt, then, beginning in 1958, with the Algerian Front de Libération Nationale (FLN), which at that time was engaged in a bitter struggle for independence from France. The bonds that developed between China and Egypt and between China and Algeria were strengthened by a shared commitment of the governments of these countries to carry out “revolutions” that would challenge Western preeminence in global affairs and establish their own societies as independent voices on the world stage. The common ideological heritage of these three revolutionary countries allowed their leaders to forge connections that went beyond mere expressions of mutual support. Sino-Arab relations in the 1950s and 1960s cannot be explained by a realist narrative of attempts to exert power or influence through high-level diplomacy; rather, the evolving relationships between China and its Arab allies demonstrate how three countries could co-opt one another’s experiences to define and articulate their own nationalist identities on behalf of domestic audiences. This thesis pays particular attention to two constituencies that played a central role in mediating the development of Sino-Arab relations: Chinese Muslims and Arab leftists. Focusing on publications about Sino-Arab relations written by or intended for members of these two groups makes clear the manners in which domestic ideological concerns shaped the development of international relationships. Sino-Egyptian and Sino-Algerian relations between 1955 and 1965 were primarily symbolic. The perception of international amity gave journalists, policymakers, intellectuals, and religious figures free rein to expound their own distorted interpretations of Chinese and Arab society in order to promote their own ideological causes. These causes, which varied over the course of the decade, included the incorporation of Chinese Muslims into Chinese politics, the conferral of revolutionary legitimacy on Nasser’s government, the celebration of China as a champion of global revolution, the legitimization of the FLN, and the presentation of China as a fully anti-imperialist country in contrast to the Soviet Union. Each of these projects had in common the enduring goal of transforming how citizens of China, Egypt, and Algeria perceived their own national identity.
Supervisor: Rogan, Eugene; Newby, Laura Sponsor: Rhodes Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History of Asia & Far East ; History of Africa ; International,imperial and global history ; China ; Egypt ; Algeria ; Bandung conference ; Sino-Arab