Books on China Archives - Damien Stark

Chinese Rules for Talking to Foreigners in the 1970s

By | China, Cultural Differences | No Comments

Below are a few excerpts from a book that is still banned in China called Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, by Jung Chang. The snippets below describe the author’s experience of talking to foreigners for the first time in 1975 in Zhanjiang and Guilin.

It was a time when China was still enduring its Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) and there were rules to be followed when talking with “barbarians”.  The rules were severely strict at the time but they are humorous by today’s standards.  Before the early ‘70’s merely speaking with a foreigner was both forbidden and illegal – you could be thrown in jail. Read More