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Trade, The Cold War, And Decolonisation, 1945–1960

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Chapter Summary

Xiamen was China's third largest exporter of tea in 1946 but it still ranked far behind Shanghai and Fuzhou. Western agency houses continued to reject Xiamen as a port for foreign trade and so most of the tea from Xiamen continued to be exported to the Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. Compounded with the problems faced by the tea merchants in importing Fujian tea into Singapore was the attitude taken by both the British colonial authorities and the government of Singapore towards trading with the People's Republic of China (PRC). While the Chinese merchants remained concerned about Fujian and its tea industry, it was clear that in the 1950s their concerns could not be divorced from the international political scene that was the Cold War. The main impact of the Cold War on the Fujian-Singapore trade was the economic rivalry in the export of wulong tea from Taiwan and Fujian.

Keywords: Cold War; foreign trade; Fujian tea; People's Republic of China (PRC); Singapore; Southeast Asia; Xiamen

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