This paper examines how links between the People's Republic of China and the UK were rebuilt in the 1970s. It not only fills a gap in the historiography but also makes three particular arguments. The first is that there were two intersecting institutional paths along which the rebuilding of links were followed: a foreign policy path, in which the most important body was the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and an academy-level path in which relations between the Royal Society and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (also known in the early years as the Academia Sinica) were crucial. Especially under conditions in which access and travel to China were extremely restricted, the Royal Society acted as a ‘gatekeeper’, rationing visits to a select few researchers. The second argument is that science was a strategic pathfinder or diplomatic ‘avant garde’. The maintenance of scientific links, even during the most difficult periods of this history when they were all but severed, meant that a path was kept open to ‘further communication and exchange between peoples—and governments’, as Kathlin Smith has found in the broadly similar case of relations between China and the USA. In particular, scientific relations formed an important bridge in the negotiation and eventual agreement of the first treaty signed between the UK and communist China in 1978. It was no coincidence that this highest-level political agreement was accompanied by a parallel accord between the scientific academies. Third, I argue that, nevertheless, even this treaty was not entirely new, and that the model for the China–UK treaty was existing agreements on technology exchanges made with Eastern European countries.
The late 1970s were pivotal years for the history of modern China. The Cultural Revolution had encouraged attacks on Chinese experts and centres of research and learning, with few institutions (primarily military research ones) emerging unscathed. A period of stasis ended with the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, followed by the high-level strife of the Gang of Four, and finally the consolidation of power under Deng Xiaoping. From the West's perspective, one visible sign of change was the new policies directed outwards from China to acquire foreign knowledge to assist in the four modernizations, the drive from 1978 to force progress in the areas of agriculture, industry, national defence, and science and technology. Re-established and new links with Western institutions enabled many thousands of Chinese scientists to travel and learn abroad. In combination with reform of the internal Chinese science system in the mid 1980s, this has led to a present situation in which, as a Royal Society report of 2011 predicted, China's buoyant research sector can compete with that in the USA, at least in terms of numbers of scientific papers published.1
This paper examines how links between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the UK were rebuilt in the 1970s. It not only fills a gap in the historiography but also makes three particular arguments.2 The first is that there were two intersecting institutional paths along which the rebuilding of links were followed: a foreign policy path, in which the most important body was the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and an academy-level path in which relations between the Royal Society and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (also known in the early years as the Academia Sinica) were crucial. Especially under conditions in which access and travel to China were extremely restricted, the Royal Society acted as a ‘gatekeeper’, rationing visits to a select few researchers. The second argument is that science was a strategic pathfinder or diplomatic ‘avant garde’. The maintenance of scientific links, even during the most difficult periods of this history when they were all but severed, meant that a path was kept open to ‘further communication and exchange between peoples—and governments’, as Kathlin Smith has found in the broadly similar case of China–USA relations.3 In particular, scientific relations formed an important bridge in the negotiation and eventual agreement of the first treaty signed between the UK and communist China in 1978. It was no coincidence that this highest-level political agreement was accompanied by a parallel accord between the scientific academies. Third, I argue that, nevertheless, even this treaty was not entirely new, and that the model for the China–UK treaty was existing agreements on technology exchanges made with Eastern European countries.
I start by briefly summarizing British scientific relations in the first decade of the PRC, during which, from 1949 until the late 1950s, China's main foreign relationship, politically and scientifically, was with the Soviet Union. These were broken dramatically as Chinese communism took its own path, traumatically with the Great Leap Forward, which aimed at self-sufficiency in industry, and the even greater tragedy of the Cultural Revolution period from 1966. I then turn to the gradual renewal of scientific exchanges, before examining how the British government and the Royal Society responded to announcement of a new ‘springtime for science’, the decision taken under Deng Xiaoping, and announced in 1978, to modernize China through the application of science.
Before the Cultural Revolution
Joseph Needham was undoubtedly the most important figure in mid-twentieth-century Sino-British scientific relations. Needham, a biochemist, had learned Chinese from visiting colleagues in Cambridge in the 1930s, before moving to Chongqing as Scientific Counsellor for the British Embassy and to direct the Sino-British Science Co-operation Office between 1942 and 1946. His acquisitive explorations, including bibliographical expeditions in western China, provided the resources for his magisterial Science and civilisation in China series, as well as the opportunity to forge links with communist leaders during the civil war, including Zhou Enlai.
After the communists took power in 1949, the first visits by British scientists to China were made through political links. The Second Labour Delegation, which arrived in 1954, included the University College London anatomist Derrick James and the dubiously qualified ‘anthropologist’ Cedric Dover.4 J. D. Bernal also travelled independently in China, lecturing and advising as he went, in 1954.5 The Royal Society, which had sponsored Needham's travels, also organized delegations to China led by its senior officers. Cyril Hinshelwood, President of the Royal Society, visited in 1959.6 Photographs (see figure 1) show him being guided around research institutes and delivering lectures. The experience seems to have been positive, and he spoke of moving towards a closer relationship with the Academia Sinica in his farewell presidential address.7 A second Royal Society delegation in 1962 included the spectroscopist Gordon Sutherland, who wrote a report of his experiences, and the future Foreign Secretary Harold ‘Tommy’ Thompson, who would in the 1970s become a crucial link in China–UK cultural diplomacy.8 Patrick Blackett, on the eve of his presidency of the Royal Society, visited China in 1964. In private he wrote that these links were of cultural value but had little political impact.9
In addition to these high-profile and highly formal visits, the Royal Society (using funds provided by the Universities China Committee) arranged with the Academia Sinica for individual scientists to visit China for cooperative research. But in 1966, visits by six scientists that had been arranged in this manner were severely disrupted by the gathering Cultural Revolution. As universities closed, the molecular biologist John Kendrew, the mathematician I. M. James and his industrial sociologist wife, and a parasitologist Frank Hawking just managed to complete their trips.10 The palaeomagnetism researchers R. Wilson and S. Haggerty, who had hoped to research, lecture and set up research groups in a three-month trip beginning in August, found their trip cancelled.
The Cultural Revolution began in the summer of 1966. It was released from the top but developed a startling momentum from below, with Mao and a group of radical senior figures (Chen Boda, Kang Sheng and Mao's fourth wife, Jiang Qing) encouraging a youth movement to attack the old authorities. One of the first moves was against Peking University: the head of the university, Lu Peng, was accused of failing to follow Mao's orders in a giant wall poster that also urged students and teachers to ‘eliminate all demons and monsters, and all Khruschchev-type counter-revolutionary revisionists and carry the socialist revolution through to the end.’11 The Red Guard movement spread to universities. ‘Suddenly,’ wrote historian Jonathan Fenby, ‘students were free to attack those in authority while … security forces stood by and let them do as they wished.’ Lu Peng and colleagues were seized and made to wear dunce's caps; other teachers were kicked, punched, spattered with ink and humiliated.12 Signs of Western influence (including the British Embassy in Beijing in August 1966) were targeted. The convulsions lasted for years.
The Cultural Revolution suspended the scientific links between China and the UK. Harold Thompson, in the early months of his term as the Royal Society's Foreign Secretary (1965–71), could not prevent the recall of the 30 Chinese students visiting Britain under the agreements that had been tentatively established by his delegation a few years previously.13 Scientific contacts between the UK and the PRC, active since Cyril Hinshelwood's visit in 1959, had been ‘brought to an abrupt end [in 1966] by the Cultural Revolution’.14 The first signs of a thaw appeared in 1971.15 In October the new Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society, Kingsley Dunham, who had far less experience than Thompson of Chinese matters, had written to the Academia Sinica about the resumption of relations. In January 1972 Yueh Chih-chien, acting secretary of the Academia Sinica, replied saying that Dunham's letter had been ‘carefully studied’, and agreed that both sides might ‘send some scientific workers to visit each other's countries and carry out scientific exchanges.’16 Dunham in turn proposed a visit by a Royal Society party, including the President Alan Hodgkin, Dunham and the Executive Secretary D. C. Martin in May of that year.17 Privately, however, the Foreign Office was less than impressed by the modest opening:
The general tone of the letter seems to show that the present regime in China are no more able to make an open-handed and generous gesture than any of their predecessors. The careful restriction upon the numbers and background of any admissible visitors is true to form and surely makes a bit of a nonsense of any real exchange.18
When the possibility of resumption arose in 1971, the acute question it posed was whether the old links should be reconnected or whether a new approach entirely was necessary. In June 1971 the Oxford low-temperature physicist Kurt Mendelssohn received an invitation to visit China.19 He had been three times before, in 1960, 1962 (when he had met Mao) and September to October 1966. After the last of these trips he had written a long piece for Nature, extolling the ‘very remarkable’ scientific and technological progress he had witnessed, and noting that the Cultural Revolution was wisely not interfering with the ‘development of science and technology’.20 Mendelssohn asked the Royal Society for funds (£500) to pay the fare to China. The request caused some consternation among the Royal Society's officers. The Foreign Secretary, Harold Thompson, told David Martin that his
own feeling is that we must not led the old lot get in on this act again. I do hope we will not commit funds to Mendelssohn or Needham or others in this, or use them on any ad hoc committee at this stage. We must play China on a scientific level and not let the politics come into it.21The Royal Society reluctantly paid for the journey. Mendelssohn toured China between October and November 1971, where he was accompanied on visits to the Canton Trade Fair, lectured at the Peking Hotel on superconductivity and cryoengineering, saw opera and tombs in Nanking, and saw factories (and went shopping) in Shanghai. On the last day he saw a model agricultural commune in Hunan province. In Peking the Vice-President of the Academy had welcomed him, saying that ‘they had invited [him] as the first scientist after the cultural revolution because they “wanted to meet old friends again”.’22 Mendelssohn reported that the ‘educational pattern has been completely changed’, with ‘education and productive work … closely interwoven at all stages’, including ‘physics teachers in factories, biology teachers on the land, and so on’. Peking University had reopened in September 1970. He witnessed academic research at the Solid State Physics Institute, and the widespread embedding of applied research ‘carried out largely in the factories in close contact with production’. Mendelssohn's view was characteristically rose-tinted: he thought that the standard of living had steadily risen since his first visit in 1960, and ‘consumer goods … are everywhere in abundance’. ‘One would be mistaken to judge research efficiency’, he warned, ‘by the often spartan appearance of laboratories.’
Visits by British scientists to China increased slightly in number in 1972. The Royal Society sent a delegation in May, led by its President, Alan Hodgkin. The Nobel prize-winning X-ray crystallographer Dorothy Hodgkin, who was related by marriage, secured an invitation later in the year. She pumped Alan Hodgkin for intelligence about the Chinese successes in extending her work on the structure of insulin.23 Nevertheless, in general, access was very limited, and the Royal Society acted as a gatekeeper, allocating the few opportunities that arose. ‘We have a list of a dozen or more senior scientists waiting to go to China directly’, wrote one official to an unlucky applicant, ‘but in the first place Fellows of the Society of particular eminence are likely to be nominated.’24 The application by the radical biologist Steven Rose was politely turned down.25 The pressure brought to bear by the ex-MP Malcolm MacDonald, via the Foreign Office and Royal Society, in 1972 to let in John MacKinnon and his wife, both naturalists, to study wild pandas, was unsuccessful.26 (MacKinnon, a protégé of Jane Goodall and Niko Tinbergen, and now an expert on Chinese biodiversity, finally got to China in 1987.27)
In the meantime, contacts were maintained at an academy level. When the Royal Society delegates met their Academia Sinica counterparts in May 1972, the request for more visits was put (and Dorothy Hodgkin's visit was proposed as an ideal new start, given her possession of ‘existing contacts which could be developed for mutual benefit’28). Pan Chuan, leader of the Foreign Affairs Group of the Academia Sinica, explained:
China was still in a state of the struggle and reassessment of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in which it is emphasized that research and practice should be combined to assist in the development of China. What China was seeking from Britain now was help in the field of fundamental research. … [Help] in the field of instrumentation would be particularly welcome.
The Royal Society delegation gathered as much information on Chinese science as was possible in the time available.29 The reports of the visit make fascinating reading. The devastation wrought by the Cultural Revolution is diplomatically recorded, as well as overall personal impressions (lots of bicycles, ‘drab’). David Martin offered a summary:
It was valuable to become aware (in so far as one can do in 10 days) of some aspects of the Chinese scene and especially where it is relevant to scientific developments. It is clear that it will take some time to return to the atmosphere prevailing in Chinese institutions of higher learning and research which prevailed in the early nineteen sixties and it may never happen. It is unlikely ever to be quite the same. However there are signs in China of a desire to renew contact with foreign scientists and the United Kingdom should play its part in encouraging this. It will take some time and much patient understanding before a free flow of exchanges can take place.30
However, the impression—expressed in the Royal Society report as a specific comment on the Peking National University—was interpreted by the Foreign Office as a more general conclusion: that there was ‘nothing in what we saw … to lead us to think that exchanges … could be profitably contemplated in the near future.’31 Despite the discouraging context, the Royal Society kept watch. First, visitors lucky enough to be granted contact were encouraged to report back. ‘I would be most grateful if you could keep an eye open for the Chinese delegates’, wrote the Society's Foreign Secretary, Kingsley Dunham, to the Oxford biophysicist David Phillips, who was attending a conference in Japan, and asked him to be ready to encourage ‘closer contacts’.32 Second, Dunham's predecessor, Harold Thompson, established the Great Britain–China Committee (later Centre) in Queen Anne's Gate, London, in 1972, and kept detailed notes on all Chinese developments.33
The Foreign Office told the Royal Society that it saw two reasons why Sino-British scientific relations were cool.34 The first was the uncertainty before the visit of Richard Nixon to China, widely expected to be risky but potentially profound in realigning relations between the West and China. The second was the unresolved issue of Taiwan, the refuge of the nationalist regime claimed by the PRC. The scientific flashpoint was the upcoming meeting of the International Geological Congress in Montreal in 1972. Four Taiwanese planned to attend. ‘There could be no question whatsoever of two Chinas being represented at the same meeting’, stated Pan Chuan to the Royal Society, urging that, because the PRC had displaced Taiwan at the United Nations, ‘steps should be taken to oust Taiwan from international scientific organizations whether intergovernmental or not.’ Kingsley Dunham promised to ‘look into the situation … and to try and do his best to make it possible for the Academy's [i.e. the Academia Sinica's] nominees to attend.’35 This issue took a further five years of choreographed diplomacy to resolve.36
Between 1973 and 1976 the pattern of Sino-British scientific relations remained largely unchanged. The Royal Society acted as gatekeeper and gatherer of reports, while the FCO in Whitehall and British Embassy in Beijing kept an approving watch.37 Two of the three scientists who undertook individual visits in 1973 were Fellows of the Royal Society (the exception was elected to the Fellowship three years later).38 The Imperial College geologist John Sutton, for example, was able to visit in November 1973 as part of a Royal Society delegation led by Derek Barton and came away deeply impressed by the ‘excellence of the paleontological collections’ he saw in Beijing.39 Thompson, the most informed person on China, led a further delegation in 1974, which included a fellow chemist and operations research scientist, Charles Goodeve, the engineer William Hawthorne, John Kendrew and the chemist (and future Royal Society President) George Porter. The Royal Society passed on official FCO advice on protocol for these formal visits. (Among the sensible general advice was specific guidance on appropriate presents for interpreters: ‘standard glossy works’ of literature, for example about Parliament or the Royal Society, were fine, but ‘[a]void atlases and nudes’.40) Other, less eminent, scientists were not successful. A group of Leeds University agriculturalists, for example, wanted ‘to go to China to look at ruminants’.41 Seeking advice from the Rowett Institute, its director (who had visited China in 1975) told the Royal Society that the ‘case made by the applicants was not particularly strong’, adding, indeed, that there was ‘very little, if any, intensive ruminant production taking place … in the whole of China.’42 In general, the climate for exchange in 1974 going into 1975 was distinctly chilly.43
After the Cultural Revolution
Chinese scientific visits to the UK, in contrast, became more frequent, with visits occurring every year. Indeed, the demand from Chinese scientists to visit Britain was greater than in the other direction, especially where there was the opportunity to gather exportable and useful ‘know-how’; the wish, however, by some Chinese to ‘work in firms or organisations affected by defence or commercial security considerations’ was also, the Royal Society noted, a ‘trouble’.44 In 1975, for example, three delegations concerned with machine tools, agricultural research and high-speed photography visited, while the British Council enabled 38 Chinese students to also make the trip. Technological missions included various linkages: Chinese students at Hawker Siddeley, British oil engineers travelling to China, and a deal made over the Spey aero engine. These types of exchange were also to be found between China and other countries, notably Germany and France.
‘Increased scientific contacts with China, which is fast becoming an important market for nuclear and advanced technology, could be seen as an investment in the future’, noted the Foreign Office in 1976; ‘if we can make Chinese scientists and technicians familiar with British methods and equipment we could be better placed to compete for commercial contracts when the opportunities arise.’45 Even in the nuclear field, in which the ‘possibility of substantial nuclear trade’ remained ‘some years’ away, ‘if we do not take advantage now of China's present positive attitude, we may [fall] … irretrievably behind the French’. Indeed, a French delegation in November 1975 had seriously discussed an exchange of nuclear experts and expertise.46
The arguments, articulated within Whitehall and shared with the Royal Society,47 for encouraging scientific relations with China were threefold. The first reason was economic: trade should be encouraged (even, perhaps especially, at the expense of competitors). Second, international scientific contact was seen as being desirable, in and of itself, according to the internationalist norms of science. The third reason was strategic: science could function as a vanguard, opening a way that future diplomacy and international relations could follow. ‘Britain’, noted the Far Eastern Department of the FCO, ‘has a broad political interest in involving China more closely with the EEC and ourselves and science is a field where this can be achieved.’48 However, there were counter-arguments. Substantial arguments against the first two reasons were that there was a danger that the traffic of technological expertise would be ‘one-way’, while the restrictions, such as low quotas and refusal of access to much of China, on scientific exchanges, as well as the feeling that there were ‘few fields in which [UK] scientists have much to learn from the Chinese’, made them of much reduced value.49 So it was perhaps the third, strategic, reason that encouraged the British government to watch for and support further scientific cooperation.
Springtime for science
Mao died on 9 September 1976. A book of condolence was opened at the Chinese Embassy on Portland Place, London. David Martin signed the book on behalf of the Royal Society.50 In China, the following months were marked by an intense power struggle between the Gang of Four on the left and traditionalists and reformist modernizers on the right. Only in mid 1977 did Deng Xiaoping, who had undergone severe ideological criticism in the Cultural Revolution period, secure full control over the party and country. China watchers in Whitehall and the Royal Society kept a careful eye on developments.
The opening came in early 1978. In China, a landmark was the lengthy speech made by Fang Yi, vice premier and minister in charge of the State Scientific and Technical Commission, at the National Science Conference, Beijing, in March 1978.51 The conference also heard a speech by the President of the Chinese Academy of Science, 86-year old Kuo Mo-jo, entitled ‘It is springtime for science’.52 Deng Xiaoping had opened the conference ‘with an opening speech remarkable for its political daring and lack of jargon’, in which ‘he called on the party to subordinate politics to modernisation, and to free scientists from political restraints so as to act as the motive force of modernisation.’53 Fang Yi placed science at the heart of the four modernizations,54 and announced a series of dramatic expansions in resources, personnel and facilities, as well as specific policies for agricultural science, energy research, materials, electronic computers, laser and space science, high-energy physics and genetic engineering.55 Finally, Fang Yi announced that ‘a logical corollary to a philosophy which maximises the pursuit of scientific knowledge’ was an ‘approach of utilizing the experience of others and avoiding the duplication of their pioneering efforts’, which in turn meant greatly increasing international scientific and technical cooperation.
Responding to Spring
An ad hoc meeting of Whitehall representatives gathered in March and agreed that a new attempt to secure a scientific and technological agreement would now ‘do no harm and might do some political good.’56 Industry (for example Hawker Siddeley) supported the move.57 Simultaneously, the Chinese embassy in Tokyo signalled that, following ‘China's decision to modernise every aspect of her industry and agriculture’, exchanges should be explored.58 ‘My impression’, glossed the UK's scientific counsellor in Tokyo, was ‘that they need technical help and are prepared to go to considerable lengths to get what they want.’59 Adding nuance, he added—after a discussion with more Chinese diplomatic staff—that the Chinese were weighing up to what extent to buy in expertise (and from whom) and to what extent ‘they “should go it alone”.60 The ignorance of the professional observers of science and technology in China should not be underestimated. As one informed commentator at the Department of Industry noted, for example, ‘it wasn't a question of what, if any, research was being done at a specific university: no-one was certain if that University was still in existence.’61
The UK's rivals here were primarily Japan but also France and Germany. (The USA, also invited by the Chinese, seems not to have been on the Foreign Office's radar.) Paris received the same signals as London, and had speedily signed an agreement on scientific and technical cooperation in February. British diplomats wheedled the document from French diplomats in Tokyo, and it was read with interest. It was judged to be ‘very unremarkable’.62 The French had no desire to ‘let things get out of control or proliferate like their scientific relations with the Russians’, which had become burdensome. The Germans followed a similar path.63 So the UK saw an opportunity, as long as a better, deeper agreement could be reached. My claim here is that this agreement was closely modelled on existing agreements with Eastern European countries.
An interesting area of new policy in the late 1960s and 1970s was the increasing number of International Technology Agreements signed between the UK and other countries. Starting with Romania, Hungary and Poland in 1967, these agreements had a primarily Eastern Bloc focus. By 1971 these three countries had been joined by the Soviet Union (1968), Czechoslovakia (1968), Yugoslavia (1968), Bulgaria (1969) and Argentina (1971), with further memoranda of understanding signed with Finland (1970) and Italy (1969).64 These agreements did not cover ‘scientific exchanges of a pure research type, nor the exchange of specialists in narrow fields of interest’, which could be covered by separate ‘Cultural Agreements’. Nor did they offer direct technical aid. What they did do was aim to ‘create a favourable climate and “sponsorship” for collaboration’, leading to sales of products, patents, licences under patents, and other trade opportunities. The lead organization on the British side was the International Technological Collaboration Unit (ITCU) within the Department of Trade and Industry, and the main participants were firms. There was always a danger of time wasted through ‘rather ritual sessions’, or misunderstandings over what each side could bring to the table. Formal encounters were therefore downplayed, and less formal study tours and fringe meetings were encouraged. The agreements were considered to be more flexible and targeted than the equivalent tools of foreign technological policy deployed by France and Italy.
The supporters of the agreements struggled, it has to be said, to produce quantitative evidence of their ‘value’, insisting instead that they must be seen as initiative that would repay effort on a longer term.65 The supporters were more robust, however, in their rejection of charges that the agreements ‘encourage or promote a drain of valuable technological information to the other side with no corresponding advantage to the UK.’ Instead, firms were put under no pressure to release technological information, and if they did so it was because the firms themselves saw commercial advantage.
I think that these agreements are interesting first as a policy means of organizing encounters for science-based industries in the years of relative Cold War détente, and second as a model that later, and ultimately perhaps more significant, relationships were built, especially with China. In 1975–76 the ITCU had canvassed industrial opinion about a possible bilateral scientific and technological agreement with China, and had received the response there was no need for one, indeed that it might ‘do positive harm’.66
The China–UK agreements
As a model for its new relations with China, the UK government turned to its technological agreements made through ITCU. Professor John Ashworth, of the Central Policy Review Staff, wrote:
As you know, there is a growing fear here that we are not doing enough to stimulate trade with China and a bilateral agreement along the lines of the ones we have with East European countries might help. Such an agreement would involve science and technological matters as well as economic and trade concerns … .67
In May and June, diplomats received further signals that cultural, scientific and technological agreements would ‘receive favourable consideration’ by the Chinese.68
In fact, of the other agreements in the works, none were so advanced as the scientific one, partly it seems because Taiwanese complications did not arise or were not raised.69 Again, therefore, science was well placed to be in the vanguard. A second general meeting in Whitehall on 17 May 1978 agreed that it was in the UK's interests to negotiate a bilateral science and technology agreement. The model would be the ITCU-arranged agreements with the Eastern Bloc. Thus China was taken to be, at least in this instance, a larger Romania. But the relationship would also be deepened by a second agreement at an academy level.
The Royal Society and the research councils were consulted, with the Royal Society stating that it ‘had no evidence that their existing contacts would be at risk if we failed to conclude an Agreement.’70 John Ashworth then wrote to the Lord Privy Seal (Fred Peart) urging the formal, ministerial level opening of negotiations.71 On 23 June 1978, Peart in turn asked Shirley Williams, as Secretary of State for Education and Science, to proceed.72 She visited China in July 1978.73
The contrasting experiences of three British scientists who wanted to visit China were also used, at this critical juncture, to draw policy implications. Professor Norman Cocking and Dr Edward C. Sunderland were botanists funded by the Royal Society. They visited Dr Man-chang Wiu and were underwhelmed by his well-publicized genetic engineering experiments with goldfish. However, they were both impressed by Chinese plant genetics, judging the wheat and maize work to be ‘undisputedly’ world leading. Cocking, who spoke no Chinese, was subsequently invited to work at the Institute of Plant Physiology in Beijing. In contrast, Dr F. Richard Stephenson, an astronomer based in Newcastle University, was refused entry, despite the fact that he spoke Chinese and wished only to consult records. ‘The difference’, noted the British Embassy to the FCO, was that ‘Professor Cocking possesses knowledge which China wants; Dr Stephenson does not.’74 The Chinese approval of Dorothy Hodgkin's visits to China to work on insulin fitted the same pattern. It was an example of one-sided, self-interested exchange that those negotiating the proposed agreement must seek ways to avoid. But the existence of world-leading Chinese science also made the agreement desirable.
One interesting feature of the growing scientific links between the UK and China in this period is that the Royal Society and the UK government followed separate tracks that met when interests overlapped. The UK government approach was dominated by issues of strategy, trade and competition with rivals. (To give a concrete example—excuse the pun—of what was being pushed, officials urged the highlighting of Pilkington's new Cemfil, a glass fibre for reinforcing cement.75) The Royal Society approach covered science, extending to ‘applied science’ but not, as the Society's Foreign Secretary, Michael Stoker, explained to John Ashworth, ‘technology, with its commercial and industrial implications’.76 The occasion of this explanation was Stoker's writing to Ashworth with regard to the expansion of links between the Royal Society and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He suggested a ‘meeting of interested parties’ ahead of the Chinese academicians’ visit in October 1978 to ‘consider and coordinate our initiatives and responses’, adding, ‘depending on the Chinese attitude, we might even continue meetings subsequently to formulate strategies for prompting strong scientific links with China.’ The point I wish to draw from this is that these meetings were a natural extension of links that had been scrupulously, and at times perilously, cultivated.
Closely foreshadowing the main event, the Royal Society and the Chinese Academy of Sciences signed an Agreement on Scientific Cooperation in early November 1978. It provided for a range of scientific interchange, including short-term visits and lectures by senior scientists, exchange of junior scientists, participation in seminars and meetings, joint research projects, and exchange of scientific materials and publications.77 The Chinese began extracting the best of British science, for example soliciting a state-of-the-art bubble chamber, based on the device at CERN.78 The Royal Society formed its China Committee, with members drawn from the research councils, academia and elsewhere, to review relations.79
The senior bilateral intergovernmental Science and Technology Agreement was drafted in autumn 1978 and signed at Lancaster House, London, on 15 November 1978 by the British Foreign Secretary, David Owen, and by vice-premier Wang Chen.80 It was the first treaty signed between Chinese and British governments since the communist victory of 1949.81 The agreement between the Royal Society and the Chinese Academy of Sciences was considered to come under its ‘general umbrella’.82 It was, in the judgement of British diplomats and officials, a better agreement than the French and Germans secured.83 On a wider stage, it was also considered to be a good, visible counterweight to lack of progress on defence matters.84 Some of the sticking points in the negotiations are intriguing; for example, the Chinese did not recognize the category of ‘fundamental science’:
One immutable point, which we tried several times to get round, was the Chinese insistence that fundamental science should be treated in the same way as other possible fields of cooperation, since the Chinese do not themselves recognise fundamental science as different in kind from applied science. Indeed, given their way of controlling intellectual activity in this country, their position was hardly surprising. (Earlier, and perhaps not consistently, they had hinted that they would not be prepared to include fundamental science at all.)85
It is a matter for further investigation to find out how the Royal Society and the Chinese Academy of Sciences negotiated this issue of ‘fundamental science’. (As an aside, it is precisely because this kind of research reveals assumptions behind the nature of science in different societies that such study is particularly valuable.)
Conclusion: greasing the wheels
The agreements signed between the Chinese and British governments and between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society spurred a new era of exchange between the two countries. Science, as I have argued, was a diplomatic pathfinder. Ronald Keay, the successor to D. C. Martin as Executive Secretary of the Royal Society, visited Hong Kong, China and the Philippines in April and May 1979. Taking place a year after ‘Springtime’ was announced, but in the same season, Keay found ‘much evidence of delight and keenness among the scientists I met and a desire to extend and strengthen their international contacts, and to buy equipment from abroad’, while at the same time sounding a note of caution: ‘I sensed that scientific staff did not want to expose themselves too much in case there is a change in their present good fortune.’86 Keay discussed the specific proposal of British assistance in expanding the Chengdu University of Science and Technology, following an agenda sketched between Shirley Williams and her Chinese ministerial opposite number. That the cultural and political contrasts between Britain and China were still clear can be seen in an extraordinary document—a description of an imaginary Maoist Royal Society circulated by Keay for the amusement of his fellow officers (figure 2).87
The president of the Royal Society, Alexander Todd, followed in September and October 1979. He also discussed Chengdu, and filed a detailed, confidential account of his experience.88 The Royal Society was, at the time, keen ‘to move as far as possible from formal visits by delegations to working visits by research scientists.’89 Indeed, travel in both directions seems to have picked up after 1978. (This was a general phenomenon, with many Chinese students, especially, being sent to study in the West.) Meanwhile the Central Policy Review Staff, the Whitehall think tank led by John Ashworth, which was yet to lose influence during the early Thatcher administration, identified a list of sectors for exchange and cooperation. Although the economic downturn of the early 1980s led to a scaling back of some ambitions, provoking some expressions of disappointment and sniping between bodies (one Royal Society staff member characterized Whitehall backtracking in 1980 as being reminiscent of ‘Yes Minister’), the transformation of Sino-British relations since the Cultural Revolution was clear.90
Immediately from 1978, scientists and engineers, as well as science-based industrial firms, took up the opportunity of selling their wares in China. The exchange was also symbolic. In July 1979, for example, six Sinclair calculators were proudly given as gifts.91 One of the first, and most enthusiastic, missionaries was Peter Jost, self-proclaimed founder of the science of tribology—the science of surfaces in contact: of wear, friction, traction and lubrication. The British Tribology Mission to China left in May 1979.92 Fittingly, then, the science greased the wheels of diplomacy.
There is still plenty of research to be done. It would be fascinating to know more about how the waning and waxing of China–UK relations shaped the scientific work and education that was achieved during the periods before and after the Cultural Revolution. The experiences of working scientists as well as those of scientific visitors need further exploration and analysis. Even at the institutional level, more historical research is needed to understand, for example, the attitudes of the academies and interested government bodies. The Royal Society and the Chinese Academy of Sciences were quite different organizations: one was relatively small, employed no researchers, but prided itself on discreet influence, and the latter was large, an arm of the state, and an umbrella for a large number of institutes. Yet they corresponded, despite difficulties, as equals. Perhaps most significantly, we know something about how the Royal Society and the Foreign Office viewed and valued links with China, but little about the view from Beijing. To do so properly will require access to Chinese documents and, ideally, collaboration with Chinese scholars of the history of modern science.
↵1 Knowledge, networks and nations: global scientific collaboration in the 21st century (The Royal Society, London, 2011), pp. 19 and 43. See http://royalsociety.org/uploadedFiles/Royal_Society_Content/Influencing_Policy/Reports/2011-03-28-Knowledge-networks-nations.pdf.
↵2 Science in modern China is attracting increasing attention. See Benjamin A. Elman, ‘New directions in the history of modern science in China: global science and comparative history’, Isis 98, 517–523 (2007), for an overview, as well as other papers in the Isis special issue. Notable and interesting work on science in the PRC include Peter Neushul and Zuoyue Wang, ‘Between the devil and the deep sea: C. K. Tseng, mariculture, and the politics of science in modern China’, Isis 91, 59–88 (2000); Susan Greenhalgh, Just one child: science and policy in Deng's China (University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 2008). A useful introduction to modern Chinese history is: Jonathan Fenby, The Penguin history of modern China: the fall and rise of a great power, 1850–2008 (Penguin, London, 2009). British foreign policy towards China (up to 1972) is partly the subject of Victor Kaufman, Confronting Communism: US and British policies toward China (University of Missouri Press, Columbia, MO, 2001). China's post-Mao research and development system is of great interest to scholars of different disciplines. Guides include: Denis Fred Simon, ‘China's drive to close the technological gap: S&T reform and the imperative to catch up’, China Q. 119, 598–630 (1989), and his edited collection, Denis Fred Simon and Merle Goldman, Science and technology in post-Mao China (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1989), and Zhicun Gao and Clem Tisdell, ‘China's reformed science and technology system: an overview and assessment’, Prometheus 22, 311–331 (2004). More recent science and policy in China (with special reference to the Chinese Academy of Sciences) is covered in Cong Cao, China's scientific elite (Routledge, London, 2004).
↵3 Kathlin Smith, ‘The role of scientists in normalizing US–China relations: 1965–1979’, Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 866, 114–136 (1998). The accompanying paper, Richard P. Suttmeier, ‘Scientific cooperation and conflict management in US–China relations from 1978 to the present’, Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 866, 137–164 (1998), takes the story further. See also Zuoyue Wang, ‘U.S.–China scientific exchange: a case study of state-sponsored scientific internationalism’, Hist. Stud. Phys. Biol. Sci. 30, 249–277 (1999), especially for its valuable Chinese references.
↵4 Patrick Wright, Passport to Peking: a very British mission to Mao's China (Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 94 and 366.
↵5 Wright, op. cit. (note 4), pp. 381–389.
↵6 Harold Thompson, ‘Cyril Norman Hinshelwood, 1897–1967’, Biogr. Mems Fell. R. Soc. 19, 375–431 (1973).
↵7 Thompson, op. cit. (note 6), p. 399.
↵8 Royal Society archives GLB/66/15 (report), GLB/66/4 (notebook) and GLB/66/19 (photographs).
↵9 Smith, op. cit. (note 3), pp. 114–135 and 118.
↵10 ‘Report on visits to China organised by the Royal Society using Universities China Committee funds’, undated, Royal Society archives 17/1/5/4.
↵11 Quoted in Fenby, op. cit. (note 2).
↵12 Fenby, op. cit. (note 2).
↵13 Rex Richards, ‘Harold Warris Thompson’, Biogr. Mems Fell. R. Soc. 31, 572–610 (1985), at p. 595.
↵14 ‘Scientific exchanges between the UK and China’, 29 March 1976, TNA CAB 164/1474; Royal Society, ‘Relations with the Academy of Sciences of the People's Republic of China. Background note about relations between the Academy and the Royal Society’, 1978, TNA CAB 164/1385.
↵15 The 1971 thaw was paralleled in China–France relations. Claude Levi (director, CNRS), ‘Récent voyage de la délégation scientifique française en Chine’, 1974, Royal Society archives 17/1/6/4 (Visits to China 1975).
↵16 Yueh Chih-chien to Dunham, 29 January 1972, TNA FCO 34/153. There is no mention of China in G. A. L. Johnson, ‘Sir Kingsley Charles Dunham, 2 January 1910 – 5 April 2001’, Biogr. Mems Fell. R. Soc. 49, 147–162 (2003).
↵17 Dunham to Yueh Chih-chien, 9 March 1972, TNA FCO 34/153.
↵18 Lamb to Vines, 23 March 1972, TNA FCO 34/153.
↵19 Yueh Chih-chien (acting Secretary-General, Academia Sinica) to Mendelssohn, 29 June 1971, Royal Society archives 17/1/6/4 (Visits to China—General, 1971–1972).
↵20 Kurt Mendelssohn, ‘Science in China’, Nature 215, 10–12 (1967).
↵21 Note of comment Thompson to Martin, 8 July 1971, Royal Society archives 17/1/6/4 (Visits to China—General, 1971–1972).
↵22 Mendelssohn, ‘Account of our trip’, undated (1971), Royal Society archives 17/1/6/4 (Visits to China—General, 1971–1972).
↵23 Dorothy Hodgkin to Alan Hodgkin, 17 May 1972. Alan Hodgkin to Dorothy Hodgkin, 1 June 1972, Royal Society archives 17/1/6/4 (Visits to China—General, 1971–1972). Alan made contact with Chinese X-ray crystallographers at Dorothy's request. He also enclosed sketches of structures made on the basis of conversations with Shanghai scientists.
↵24 Deverill to Nelson, 21 August 1972, Royal Society archives 17/1/6/4 (Visits to China—General, 1971–1972).
↵25 Grabowski to Rose, 17 October 1972, Royal Society archives 17/1/6/4 (Visits to China—General, 1971–1972). The Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), also kept the Royal Society informed of its efforts to organize a visit to China in April 1972. Oldham to Kuo Mo-jo, 28 April 1972, loc. cit.
↵26 MacDonald to Morgan (Head of Far Eastern Department, FCO), 22 February 1972, TNA FCO 34/153. MacKinnon to Williams, 28 July 1972, and MacDonald to Williams, 26 July 1972, Royal Society archives 17/1/6/4 (Visits to China—General, 1971–1972).
↵27 Sean Gallagher (Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting), ‘Featured expert: John MacKinnon’; see http://pulitzercenter.org/blog/untold-stories/china-wetlands-john-mackinnon#.
↵28 ‘Royal Society delegation to China 1972. Meeting of representatives of the Academia Sinica and the Royal Society at 7.30pm on 25 May 1972 at the Academia Sinica, Peking’, Royal Society archives 17/1/6/4 (Visits to China—General, 1971–1972).
↵29 See, for example, Royal Society, ‘Report of visit of Royal Society Delegation to China as guests of the Academia Sinica, 20–30 May 1972’, TNA FCO 34/153. Copy also in Royal Society archives 17/1/6/4 (Visits to China—General, 1971–1972).
↵31 ‘Delegation of scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’, by Cultural Exchange Department of FCO, October 1972, TNA FCO 34/153.
↵32 Dunham to Phillips, 8 February 1972, Royal Society archives 17/1/6/4 (Visits to China—General, 1971–1972).
↵33 Royal Society archives HWT/39/108/C.215 contains correspondence on the GB–China Committee, as do other files in the HWT/39 series. Royal Society archives HWT/25/11/B.422 contains Thompson's notes. The GB–China Committee concerned itself with encouraging broader links between the two countries. Successes included bringing Chinese art and acrobats to London, and, close to Thompson's heart (he was a senior official in the Football Association), the dispatch of a British football team to tour China.
↵34 Op. cit. (note 32).
↵35 Op. cit. (note 28).
↵36 ‘Account of a visit to the Royal Society on 2 May 1975 by Mr Liu Ching-hua of the Chinese Embassy’, 6 May 1975, Royal Society archives 17/1/5/4 (China—General), records the advice given by the Royal Society to the PRC government, citing the 1972 delegation visit to the Academia Sinica as the moment when it ‘came to understand the Chinese view of the problem’. Dr M. G. P. Stoker. Personal. Dunham to Stoker, 13 August 1977, Royal Society archives 30/1/5/3, reports the decision of the International Union of Geological Sciences (on a 45–7 vote) to admit PRC and dismiss Taiwan.
↵37 Correspondence with FCO. Orr to Barrass, 20 July 1973, Royal Society archives 17/1/3/5. Orr reported on a meeting between the British Ambassador and the assistant foreign minister, Chang Wen-chin, that reviewed cultural exchanges in general. The first item on the agenda was exchanges between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society. Also discussed were relations between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the British Academy, conservation issues, dictionaries and Thompson's GB–China Committee.
↵38 Executive Secretary to Nygren, 19 December 1974, Royal Society archives 17/1/6/4 (Visits to China—general, 1973–1974). The Fellows were R. L. Wain (of Wye College) and F. L. Rose (of ICI); the exception was the polymer chemist Geoffrey Allen. Reports from each were published as pamphlets by the Royal Society and can be found in Royal Society archives 17/1/6/4 (China).
↵39 Sutton to Dunham, 20 November 1974, and Sutton, ‘Report on a visit to China, 9–26 November 1973', Royal Society archives 30/1/5/3 (Roy. Soc. Misc. KCO). Sutton gave a vivid description of the Great Wall in terms of its geology, and a detailed account of the Institute of Geology in Beijing. Also in the 1973 delegation were A. H. Cook, Marthe Vogt and Edith Bülbring.
↵40 FCO, ‘Notes on Chinese protocol for delegations visiting China’, undated, Royal Society archives 17/1/3/5 (Correspondence with FCO).
↵41 Macdonald to Ford, 20 May 1976, Royal Society archives 17/1/5/4 (Visits to China 1976).
↵42 Blaxter to Deverill, 20 November 1975, Royal Society archives 17/1/5/4 (Visits to China 1976).
↵43 Deverill, ‘RS Delegation—lunch with Chinese ambassador’, 10 May 1974, Royal Society archives 17/1/5/4 (China—General), recorded: ‘Mr Liu Ching-hua told me quietly that the current anti-Confucius and anti-Lin Piao movement in China would make it most unlikely that we would receive any Chinese senior visitors this year, nor would it be apposite to propose any further British visitors to go to China before 1975.’
↵44 Deverill, ‘Delegation to China’, 17 May 1972, Royal Society archives 17/1/6/4 (RS Delegation in China).
↵45 ‘Scientific exchanges between the UK and China’, 29 March 1976, TNA CAB 164/1474.
↵46 The delegation was from the French Commissariat à L’énergie Atomique and met Hua Kuo-feng. The Chinese ‘proposed an agreement to exchange research scientists in each direction (The Chinese would like to send scientists in the field of peaceful application of nuclear energy; the French would like to send a mineralogist and expert in uranium extraction … )’. A draft of these documents was sent to the Royal Society and can be found in Draft memorandum by Far Eastern Department of FCO, ‘The possibility of a scientific exchange agreement with the Chinese’, undated [February 1976], Royal Society archives 17/1/3/5 (Correspondence with FCO).
↵47 ‘Scientific exchanges with China’, 26 February 1976, Royal Society archives 17/1/3/5 (Correspondence with FCO), is Deverill's summary, with informal and frank comments by senior Royal Society officers.
↵48 Op. cit. (note 45).
↵50 Handwritten note on back of envelope, Martin to Deverill, 12 September 1976, Royal Society archives 17/1/5/4 (China—General).
↵51 ‘National Science Conference’, notes by Canadian embassy, Beijing, TNA CAB 164/1383.
↵52 ‘Mrs Williams’ visit to China. Brief No. 6’, July 1978, TNA CAB 164/1385.
↵53 Telegram from Davies, ‘National Science Conference’, undated [March 1976], Royal Society archives, HWT/25/11/B.422.
↵54 The four modernizations—the aim to develop agriculture, industry, national defence, and science and technology to make China strong—were articulated by Zhou Enlai in the early 1960s. Science, said Deng, should contribute to all four.
↵55 Telegram from Davies, ‘MIPT. National Science Conference: science development programme’, undated [March 1976], Royal Society archives, HWT/25/11/B.422.
↵56 Ashworth to Priston, 8 March 1978, TNA CAB 164/1383.
↵57 Steele to Ashworth, 10 May 1978, TNA CAB 164/1383.
↵58 Minutes, ‘Meeting at the Chinese Embassy—Wednesday 8 March’, TNA CAB 164/1383.
↵59 Prentice to Goodman, 14 March 1978, TNA CAB 164/1383.
↵60 ‘Visit by Mr Chen, Mr Chang and Mr Wu of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China—Wednesday 15 March—3.00PM’, 18 March 1978, TNA CAB 164/1383.
↵61 Goodman to Ashworth, 31 March 1978, TNA CAB 164/1383.
↵62 Macrae (British Embassy, Tokyo) to Lovelock (Energy, Science and Space Department, FCO), 10 February 1978, TNA CAB 164/1383.
↵63 Telegram, Davies (Peking) to London, 21 April 1978, and telegram, Ehrman (Peking) to Hannay (FCO), 8 May 1978, TNA CAB 164/1383.
↵64 ‘International technological agreements’, December 1971, TNA FCO 55/899.
↵66 Op. cit. (note 56).
↵67 Ashworth to Prentice, 27 April 1978, TNA CAB 164/1383.
↵68 Telegram, ‘Anglo-Chinese relations’, 2 May 1978, TNA CAB 164/1383. Telegrams, Peking to London, 31 May 1978 and 7 June 1978, TNA CAB 164/1384. See also Goodman to Ashworth, 9 June 1978, TNA CAB 164/1383: ‘I was buttonholed last night at the Anglo/Finnish Joint Commission reception by Mr Chi Te-Yu the Third Secretary with responsibility for scientific affairs at the Chinese Embassy. Unprompted, he leapt enthusiastically into the possibilities of the above Agreement’, although on the issue of British progress ‘He smiled. I was unable to interpret why.’
↵69 ‘UK/China bilateral agreements’, 18 May 1978, TNA CAB 164/1383. Agreements in the works were: an air services agreement (initialled in 1975 but unsigned because of Chinese conditions relating to Taiwan), a shipping agreement (negotiations suspended), the proposed scientific agreement, a cultural agreement and a consular agreement.
↵70 Minutes, ‘Meeting to discuss a Science and Technology Agreement with China … 19 June 1978 at 3.00pm’, 20 June 1978, TNA CAB 164/1383. The Royal Society was first consulted on this specific issue in May 1978. Gann to Keay, 31 May 1978, and Deverill, ‘Account of discussions on the occasion of a visit to the Society on 6 June 1978 by Mr Chi Te-yu, Chinese Science Attache in London’, 6 June 1978, Royal Society archives 17/1/3/1 (China—General UK policy).
↵71 Ashworth to Lord Privy Seal, 21 June 1978, TNA CAB 164/1383.
↵72 Peart to Williams, 23 June 1978, TNA CAB 164/1383.
↵73 This visit took place at the same time as that of Frank Press, President Carter's science advisor. Press led a delegation to China, receiving a warm welcome from Fang Yi. Three important US–China agreements, on agriculture, space technology, and exchange of students and scholars, were signed before the end of the year. The last of the agreements led to a great many Chinese researchers visiting the USA. Smith, op. cit. (note 3), p. 128.
↵74 Ehrman (Second Secretary, British Embassy) to Dean, 8 June 1978, TNA CAB 164/1383.
↵75 Holdgate to Ashworth, 7 July 1978, TNA CAB 164/1385.
↵76 Stoker to Ashworth, 4 July 1978, TNA CAB 164/1385. This letter was copied to many interested parties across the research councils and Whitehall. See ‘Brief correspondence on the Chinese Academy of Sciences’, Stoker to Thompson, 4 July 1978, Royal Society archives HWT/5/328/B.42.
↵77 ‘Agreement on scientific cooperation between the Royal Society of London and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’, November 1978, TNA AT 82/139.
↵78 Minutes, ‘Meeting with members of delegation from PRC Academy of Sciences, at the Royal Society, 8 November’, TNA AT 82/139.
↵79 Todd to Holdgate, 16 November 1978, TNA AT 82/139. Representatives came from the Science Research Council, the Natural Environment Research Council, the Department of Industry, the Medical Research Council, the Department of Environment, the British Council, the Agricultural Research Council, the ITCU, the Great Britain–China Committee, the Department of Education and Science, seven Fellows of the Royal Society (including Joseph Needham), with the President, Todd, as chair and the Foreign Secretary, Stoker, as deputy chair. See Royal Society archives CMN/399/a for the China Committee minutes. The Royal Society's International Relations Committee also had a China Selection Subcommittee to continue the gatekeeper role, specifically to ‘recommend to Council on behalf of the International Relations Committee the names of persons to be nominated to the Chinese Academy of Sciences for visits to China and to advise on the placing of Chinese scientists visits to the UK under agreement between the Academy and this Society.’ Royal Society archives CMB/400a contains minutes.
↵80 ‘Agreement on scientific and technological cooperation between the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the government of the People's Republic of China’, TNA CAB 164/1429. A separate Protocol was signed by Gerald Kaufman and Liu Hua-che'ing.
↵81 The treaty itself is in TNA FO 93/23/68.
↵82 Todd to Holdgate, 16 November 1978, TNA AT 82/139.
↵83 George to Hannay, 13 November 1978, TNA CAB 164/1429.
↵84 ‘Scientific and technological cooperation agreement with China’, 2 November 1978, TNA CAB 164/1429.
↵85 Op. cit. (note 83).
↵86 Keay, ‘General report on a visit to Hong Kong, China and Manila’, 5 May 1979, Royal Society archives 17/2/2/2 (RWJK's visit to China).
↵87 Keay, ‘Notes for a speech (or poster), 1 May 1979, Royal Society archives 17/2/2/2 (RWJK's visit to China).
↵88 ‘Report by the President and Foreign Secretary on a visit to China 29 September—11 October 1979’, 1979, Royal Society archives 17/2/2/2 (President's visit to China 1979).
↵89 Keay to Gann, 7 June 1978, Royal Society archives 17/1/3/1 (China—General UK Policy).
↵90 See Royal Society archives 17/1/3/1 (China—General UK Policy): Craddock (British Embassy) to Mason, 28 January 1981, for ‘present economic climate’ and scaling back assistance to Chengdu; and Deverill to Keay, 1 May 1980, for ‘sounds like “Yes Minister”’.
↵91 Franklin to Ashworth, 20 August 1979, TNA CAB 164/1431.
↵92 Speech by Peter Jost, April 1979. Records of the British Tribology Mission to China, May 1979, TNA CAB 164/1430.
- © 2012 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society.