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China: protection against nuclear, chemical and germ warfare. Colour lithographs, 1971.

Date
1971

About this work

Also known as

Three protections

Description

Set of 15 posters produced in 1971 when anxiety about possible attack from both America and the Soviet Union was being spread throughout China by propaganda such as this. Behind the scenes, however, the Chinese government had already decided to throw in its lot with the Americans as against the Russians, who were perceived as the greater threat. After the two bloody border conflicts between the Soviet Union and China at Zhenbao (Damansky) Island in March and August 1969, there were reports that the Soviets were considering a pre-emptive nuclear strike against China: four marshals advising Mao Zedong emphasized the need for Beijing to prepare for a "worst-case scenario". President Nixon, after his election in 1969, declared his wish for America to have good relations with all countries, not excluding China. His remarks were taken up by Mao, leading to a secret visit to Beijing by Dr Henry Kissinger in July 1971 and an open one in October 1971, laying the foundations for President Nixon's visit in February 1972. In the negotiations with the United States Mao stressed the necessity of American withdrawal from Vietnam. The posters therefore reflect Chinese fears of nuclear attack by the Soviet Union, presented for propaganda purposes as fears of attack from the USA (Chen, op. cit., pp. 240-244; Yang, op. cit.)

Lettering

San fang changshi: yuanzi, huaxue, xijun wuqi de fanghu

Publication/Creation

Tianjin : [publisher not identified], 1971.

Physical description

15 prints : lithographs, printed in colours ; sheets approximately 77 x 52 cm

Publications note

Chen Jian, Mao's China and the Cold War, Chapel Hill 2001

Yang Kuisong, 'The Sino-Soviet border clash of 1969: from Zhenbao Island to Sino-American rapprochement', Cold War history, 2000, 1: 21-52

Exhibitions note

No. 4 and No. 6 exhibited in "War of Nerves: Psychological Landscapes of the Cold War" at The Wende Museum, Culver City, USA, 16 September 2018 - 13 January 2019 UkLW

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 660567i

Contents

[No. 0]. Introductory poster of propaganda text

No. 1. Peoples of the world unite! - Defeat to the American invaders and all other running dogs! (Peoples of various nationalities and races (Chinese holding the Little Red Book, Africans, Arabs, Europeans etc.) protesting against American imperialism in Vietnam. In the foreground are three Chinese soldiers armed with battle weapons and poised to use them)

No. 2. Thought education for war preparedness. (Chinese in a classroom setting. The ever-present portrait of Mao on the wall; copies of the Little Red Book on the table; a Chinese defense squad drilling outside)

No. 3. Education in general knowledge about the three protections. (Three figures showing education and protective preparations)

No. 4. General knowledge to protect against nuclear attack: The external appearance of a nuclear explosion. (Three figures showing stages of a nuclear explosion, fireball and mushroom cloud)

No. 5. General knowledge to protect against nuclear attack: destruction caused by a nuclear bomb. (Four figures showing the devastation caused by a nuclear explosion with people safe in underground bunkers, wearing anti-radiation suits etc.)

No. 6. General knowledge to protect against nuclear attack: emergency measures at the time of a nuclear explosion. (Five figures showing people going into bunkers, lying flat on the ground, in ditches etc.)

No. 7. General knowledge to protect against chemical attack: how to recognize a chemical attack. (Five figures showing indicators of a chemical weapon attack: an aircraft spraying in the sky, crops withering, a dead bird etc.)

No. 8. General knowledge to protect against chemical attack: characteristics of a chemical attack. (Four figures showing people fleeing beneath a spraying aircraft plus images showing how people can become affected by the chemicals: eating affected fruit, touching contaminated surfaces etc.)

No. 9. General knowledge to protect against germ warfare. (Two large figures, one showing bacterial warfare bombs dropped by parachute, the second showing protective and preventive measures being implemented. Accompanied by nine smaller figures showing vectors of germ warfare ranging from fleas to an innocent-looking toy)

No. 10. General knowledge to protect against germ warfare. (Three figures showing protective measures against germ warfare: wearing masks and protective clothing, inoculation, and civilian defence)

No. 11. Protection against nuclear and chemical weapons: protective measures for the individual. (A range of everyday clothing that can be used as protection in the event of attack, and basic measures to make filtered breathing equipment)

No. 12. Protection against nuclear and chemical weapons: protective buildings. (A range of figures detailing the sealing of buildings and survival in bunkers)

No. 13. Protection against nuclear and chemical weapons: decontamination. (Three figures showing methods of decontamination)

No. 14. Protection against nuclear and chemical weapons: further decontamination measures. (Three more figures showing methods of decontamination)

Type/Technique

Language

  • Chinese


Identifiers


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