The Owl of Minerva 17 (2):227-229 (1986)
AbstractIn the spring of 1980 everyone in China wore the blue Mao uniform; the Cultural Revolution had been terminated a year before and the “Let 1000 Flowers Blossom” campaign introducing economic and cultural diversity and personal responsibility had just gotten off the ground. Ten lines of bicycles in each direction respectfully gave way for the few official, window-curtained limousines of the Red Flag or Shanghai type. Cadres and academics were interested in keeping up with what had happened in the rest of the world during the three decades of Chinese self-isolation during the Civil War first and the Cultural Revolution thereafter. In the fall of 1985 the dresses were more colorful, and Beijing experienced lovers walking hand in hand, cadres preferring Nissan compact cars without curtains over full-sized, curtained Red Flags, and a real rush hour, mixing the ever increasing number of bicycles with official and private cars, trucks, and three-horse wagons bringing vegetables and meat from market oriented farmers into town for good profit. The blue Mao outfit becomes more and more the business dress of cadres and business executives or the clothing of the less fortunate; fabric and style indicate the precise social rank of the wearer.
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