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Old comrades and new brothers: a historical re-examination of the Sino-Zanzibari and Sino-Tanzanian bilateral relationships in the 1960s

Altorfer-Ong, Alicia N. (2014) Old comrades and new brothers: a historical re-examination of the Sino-Zanzibari and Sino-Tanzanian bilateral relationships in the 1960s. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

This thesis makes a contribution to the study of Sino-African relations by analysing the bilateral relationship between the People’s Republic of China and the United Republic of Tanzania during its formative period in the 1960s. Tanzania was the largest recipient of Chinese aid during this period, which also marked the height of European decolonisation in Africa. As a work of international history, the thesis combines the analysis of the relevant secondary literature with extensive research using archival sources in Tanzania, China, the United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US), as well as oral history interviews. It links Tanzanian political developments with China’s African policy in the 1960s. The Sino-Tanzanian relationship was complex and multi-faceted; it was affected by external as well as local African factors. Indeed, as the thesis shows, its development owed much to African political actors and especially to President Julius Nyerere’s gradual consolidation of power and Tanzania’s relative political stability. The study begins by tracing the contact between Chinese officials and the Zanzibari and Tanganyikan nationalists in the late 1950s, which set the stage for the strong bilateral relations that emerged after independence. Chinese military assistance to Tanzania and Chairman Mao Zedong’s offer to construct the Tanzania-Zambia rail link buttressed these ties at the highest levels of government. This was further complemented by the nature of the Chinese aid programme, which contrasted starkly with Western aid. The resilience of the bilateral relationship was demonstrated most clearly by its continued resilience in the face of the destabilising effects of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution that were manifested in Tanzania from 1966 to 1968. Publicly, the Tanzanian government remained a stalwart supporter of the Chinese government, as shown by the Tanzanian delegation’s support for the “restoration” the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the China seat at the United Nations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2014 Alicia N. Altorfer-Ong
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
D History General and Old World > DT Africa
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International History
Supervisor: Lewis, Joanna
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/811

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