Coca-Cola in China

I am giving a conference paper next week at the 2016 SHAFR Annual Meeting on Coca-Cola’s fitful return to China in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I blogged about this topic once in autumn 2015 in a post titled, “This Coke’s Not For You,” but have since obtained more sources and thought about the subject a bit more.

The title, abstract, time, and location for my paper are pasted below:

2016 Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) Annual Meeting
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Session I, Panel 11

Between ‘Lagging Far Behind’ and Losing ‘National Self-Respect’: Coca-Cola and China’s Early Reform and Opening

Coca-Cola’s fitful reentry into the Chinese market in the 1970s and 1980s intersected with a series of political, economic, social, and medicinal debates ongoing in China. Drawing on materials from the Shanghai Municipal Archives and the Coca-Cola Company Archives, U.S. diplomatic records, Chinese and American newspaper articles, and more recent reminiscences and reportage published in China, this paper introduces the international negotiations and the behind-the-scenes debates about Coca-Cola in order to reassess the early period of China’s reform and opening era as well as America’s cultural and economic presence in China in the aftermath of Sino-American normalization.

Room 220A
Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice
University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park
92110-2492 San Diego , CA


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