Redrawing the Boundaries: Arrival of the Cold War, Expansion of the Communist States, and Transformation of the Land-Maritime Border Region in Southwestern China


Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Predissertation-Summer Travel Grants




This project studies the interplay between the Cold War and expansion of two Communist states in transforming China’s southern border with Vietnam in Guangxi, including shared access to the Gulf of Tonkin and a land border ranging from coastal lowland to mountain highland, from 1949 to 1969. I identify three levels of tensions shaping the area: 1)The Cold War gave rise to the politics of aid and problem of “face” in the management of China-Vietnam relations at the border. 2)While adhering to the concept of “socialist brotherhood,” the two Communist states nonetheless attempted at creating respective identities on each side of the border and competed for resources in frontier. 3)There was tension between increasing state manipulation of local society and continuing cross-border networks.