A poster from 1957 showing various Chinese national sports.
As part of my ongoing research on the role of the traditional martial arts within the creation of China’s public diplomacy strategy, I am reviewing several propaganda sources produced in the 1950s and 1960s. By in large these printed outlets have little to say on the subject, preferring to focus their rhetorical energies on the rapid pace of China’s industrial growth, or its success in the building of massive dams and hydro-electric power plants. This is very much the sort of material one would expect to find in a Communist country’s propaganda from early in the Cold War. But occasionally some mention of the martial arts does manage to fight its way through this tide of socialist progress, and it is worth considering how China’s new Communist government discussed these practices when presenting them to the world. What follows…
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