Colonial Legacies and Peripheral Strategies — Continuity and Transformation of China's Telecom Development Since 1840
Global Media and Communication, Forthcoming
26 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2014
Date Written: March 25, 2014
This paper describes and makes sense of why and how China’s telecommunications was undeveloped from the late Qing Dynasty through the Civil War in the 1940s. The purpose is to bring into sharp focus the imprint of global capitalism imperialism on domestic socio-spatial relations in China — and its legacy effect on contemporary underdevelopment tendencies. It argues that communications infrastructures, shaped successively by historical configurations of social relations since the late 19th century, domesticated spatially China’s peripheral position in the world capitalist system. This spatiality, expressing internal underdevelopment and external domination, had not been effectively overhauled and remained characteristic of colonial modernity, which then informed and deformed China’s communications development after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
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