Scientific Cooperation and Asian Socialism: Chinese Ambitions and Regional Cooperation in the 1964 Peking Science Symposium

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Abstract Summary
The 1964 Peking Science Symposium was the largest international scientific congress held in the People’s Republic of China during the Mao Era. This event was the centrepiece of China’s strategic pivot in terms of its approach to international scientific outreach during the 1960s, away from existing structures and organisations like the World Federation of Scientific Workers and toward the creation of a new scientific order in which China would be a scientific superpower within the developing world. Accordingly, the event was open only to scientists from countries in Asia, Africa, Oceania, and Latin America, pointedly excluding those from other parts of the world. Yet for all that the Peking Science Symposium was a vehicle for Chinese ambitions toward increased influence in international science, the event was also ostensibly organised in close collaboration along with communist parties from North Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Japan. Attendance at the event itself reflected the centrality of these regional collaborators, with over 60% of the delegates came from these countries, while the influence of Japanese scientists and science, in particular, looming large in the proceedings. This paper examines the nature and significance of the involvement of regional collaborators – both scientific and political – in the Peking Science Symposium. In doing so, it elucidates both crucial vectors of influence from within Asia on Chinese science as well as the significance of regional collaboration in China’s drive to establish itself as a centre within the scientific world during one of the hottest periods of the Cold War.
Abstract ID :
HSS223
Submission Type
Organized Session
Abstract Topic
Thematic Approaches to the Study of Science
Chronological Classification :
20th century, late
Self-Designated Keywords :
Asian socialism, the politics of international cooperation, regional cooperation, the 1964 Peking Science Symposium, global Cold War