Jason M. KellyAug 19, 2021
The Communist Origins of China's Capitalist Ascent
Harvard University Press 2021
We think we know the history of China’s opening to the outside world. Maoist China was closed off, until Deng Xiaoping decided to reform the economy and open up to international trade, leading to the economic powerhouse we see today.
Except Deng’s opening was built upon an existing foundation of international trade, as shown by Professor Jason Kelly’s Market Maoists: The Communist Origins of China’s Capitalist Ascent (Harvard University Press, 2021)
Jason M. Kelly is a historian of modern China with interests in Chinese foreign relations during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, commerce and diplomacy, U.S.-China relations, and East Asian international history. He is currently an assistant professor in the Strategy & Policy Department at the U.S. Naval War College and an associate in research at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University.
The views he expressed in this interview are his own, and not those of the U.S. Naval War College.
We’re joined in this interview by fellow NBN host Sarah Bramao-Ramos. Sarah is a PHD candidate at Harvard University that studies Qing China and, like Jason, is a graduate associate at the Fairbank Center.
Today, the three of us talk about trade policy in Maoist China, and what that means for our understanding of the country’s attitude towards both the capitalist and socialist worlds. We also discuss what this history may mean for how we understand China’s attitude towards trade today.
Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.