Ends of Solidarity: China, Tanzania, and Black Internationalism, 1960-1972
CitationDuan, Ruodi. 2022. Ends of Solidarity: China, Tanzania, and Black Internationalism, 1960-1972. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
AbstractAt the height of the Cold War, postcolonial state representatives and transnational activists struggled over the premises and boundaries of Afro-Asian unity. This dissertation traces the making and unmaking of 1960s Afro-Asianism along two arcs: on the one hand, the interface of Chinese officials with U.S. civil rights and Black Power activists, and on the other, the cultural and political engagements between Chinese and Tanzanian nationalists, diplomats, and civil society delegates. It presents these narratives side by side while attuned to their interstices, highlighting how Afro-Asian visions, in the years after the 1955 Bandung Conference, persisted in the continued interaction between ideas of Black internationalism and Asian socialism. But these Afro-Asian discourses tended to rely on the demarcation of other Third World formations of solidarity as the foil, and enduring debates over the role of Pan-Africanism and Black nationalism in relation to class struggle impeded this postcolonial expression of Afro-Asian solidarities.
This story is bookended by a series of events in the early 1960s, from Tanganyikan independence to the intensification of the Sino-Soviet Split, and by U.S.-China rapprochement and the assassination of Zanzibar’s President Abeid Karume in 1972. In deconstructing the heterogeneities and contingencies of post-Bandung Afro-Asianism, this dissertation contributes to the interdisciplinary scholarship on the Cold War, China and Africa, decolonization, Black internationalism, comparative ethnic studies, and twentieth-century formations of international society more broadly. It draws from national archives, personal collections, and political ephemera in China, the United States, the United Kingdom, mainland Tanzania, and Zanzibar. In addition to the Sino-Soviet Split, it considers seriously the 1960s conflict between China and India, as well as the fraught histories of Arab engagements in Sub-Saharan Africa, as fault lines with significant fall-out for the contours of coalition politics in the Third World. Its focus on the multi-faceted role of racial and ethnic politics in Afro-Asian constructs also offers insight into the Third World entanglements of the local and global, lived experiences and interstate diplomacy, colonial legacies and the postcolonial imaginations of new world orders.
The possibilities of racial co-identifications both facilitated and inhibited the potential of Afro-Asian unity. Chapters 1 and 3 examine how Chinese officials and propagandists foregrounded racial sensitivities in their appeals to African American civil rights activists, a strategy that proved relatively effective in light of Soviet and Cuban failures to demonstrate an equivalent appreciation of race and racism. But the Black Power activists who centered space, land, and power in their correlation of self-governance for minority nationalities in China with visions of Black nationalism saw their calls for self-determination become overwritten in Chinese narratives of U.S. civil rights activism. Chapters 2 and 4 reconstruct the negotiation of relations between Chinese representatives and African nationalists in mainland Tanzania and in Zanzibar. Anti-Indian and anti-Arab sentiments in postcolonial Tanzania, widespread as a result of British colonial policies that granted economic and social privileges to the Indian and Arab minorities, dovetailed with the Chinese campaign to denounce Indian revisionism and Indians as imperial collaborators in light of mounting geopolitical contest between the two countries, which culminated in the 1962 Sino-Indian Border War. Thus, in spite of an official rhetoric of Afro-Asian unity, the development of China-Tanzanian relations relied on the vilification of India, on account of its alleged provocation of Sino-Indian Border War and the role of its East African diaspora in upholding and benefiting from the structures of colonialism.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37371188
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