On a bright cold Thursday morning in London, 15 December 1949, the 54th birthday of King George VI, His Majesty’s Government decided to accord diplomatic recognition to the Central Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), a newly established communist revolutionary regime which had publicly denounced the West. Unfortunately, King George VI did not live to see the formal establishment of diplomatic relations between Britain and revolutionary China, which took place after four years of protracted negotiations. The remarkable decision by the British government to recognize the new Chinese government at a time when the Cold War was intensifying, and the tortuous process leading to the establishment of formal relations between the two countries in 1954, marked an important stage in Anglo-Chinese relations. Their interactions during this period also revealed much about post-war British foreign policy and the international behaviour of the People’s Republic in its early years as a revolutionary state.


Foreign Policy International Relation Diplomatic Relation China Policy Policy Formulation Process 
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Copyright information

© James Tuck-Hong Tang 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Tuck-Hong Tang
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Hong KongChina

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