By the same authors

The Shanghai News (1950-1952): external propaganda and New Democracy in early 1950s Shanghai

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Publication details

JournalJournal of Chinese History
DateAccepted/In press - 19 Jan 2020
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 28 Aug 2020
Number of pages24
Pages (from-to)1-24
Early online date28/08/20
Original languageEnglish


The Shanghai News was the first English-language newspaper produced in the People’s Republic of China. This idiosyncratic publication was a product of “New Democracy”: the defining political paradigm in the PRC between the communist revolution of 1949 and 1953. New Democracy entailed uniting a cross-class coalition in the name of national reconstruction. Historians normally focus on the ways New Democracy was undermined or dismiss it as a “bogus” façade for Communist authoritarianism. In this article the history of The Shanghai News is used to reappraise the real-world impacts of New Democratic ideals, divorced from teleological narratives. The News was set up on New Democratic principles, deploying a commercial business model and employing experienced personnel who had worked for the Guomindang regime. The News’s short history has much to teach us too about how the promise of New Democracy was compromised by economic malaise, mass movements and China’s international isolation.

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    Research areas

  • Asia, Modern History, Political History, Media History, CHINA, Shanghai

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