China: protection against nuclear, chemical and germ warfare. Colour lithographs, 1971.
About this picture
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.)
Tianjin : [publisher not identified], 1971.
15 prints : lithographs, printed in colours ; sheets approximately 77 x 52 cm
San fang changshi: yuanzi, huaxue, xijun wuqi de fanghu