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Felix Boecking | Chinese trade wars in historical perspective— No Great Wall: Trade, Tariffs, and Nationalism in Republican China, 1927-1945

April 23, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Listen to an interview with Felix Boecking on our “Harvard on China” podcast. Download and read the podcast transcript here Download and read the podcast transcript here.

Speaker: Felix Boecking, University of Edinburgh

No Great Wall (Harvard Asia Center, 2017), an in-depth study of Nationalist tariff policy, fundamentally challenges the widely accepted idea that the key to the Communist seizure of power in China lay in the incompetence of Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist government. It argues instead that during the second Sino-Japanese War, China’s international trade, the Nationalist government’s tariff revenues, and hence its fiscal policy and state-making project all collapsed. Drawing on the historical lessons of my research, in this talk, I will also discuss the unintended consequences of protectionism, the difficulties of strategising trade wars, and the differences between trade wars and real wars.

Felix Boecking is a Senior Lecturer in Modern Chinese Economic and Political History at the University of Edinburgh, UK, and currently a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC. Among his research interests are China’s political economy, the history of economics in the People’s Republic of China, and the history of China’s foreign relations. His current project at the Wilson Center is “Economics on the Edge: An Intellectual History of Economists in the PRC since 1949.”


April 23, 2019
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


CGIS Knafel K262
1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
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Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

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