Missing the ‘Klondike Rush?’ British Trade with China 1971–9 and the Politics of Defence Sales

  • Ed Hampshire


This chapter provides an account of British Government attempts to gain a portion of the trade with the People’s Republic of China, as it began to open up commercially, and tentatively align with the West against its main adversary, the Soviet Union. It soon became clear that defence contracts would provide a large part of the possible deals. This chapter provides a case study not only of the role of the FCO in supporting trade with a communist state that was beginning its journey towards a form of capitalism, but also of the role of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in negotiating its way through the difficult and contentious field of overseas sales of defence equipment.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ed Hampshire
    • 1
  1. 1.King’s College LondonLondonUK

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