Het dossier ‘Urk’: De rol van de luchtvaart in de Nederlandse betrekkingen met de Volksrepubliek China, 1949-1996

Translated title of the contribution: Dossier Urk: the role of aviation in relations between the Netherlands and the People’s Republic of China, 1949-96

M.L.J. Dierikx, Jan Petit

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

In the study of the history of international relations much of the focus has been on the high politics of alliances. Trading interests, generally regarded as belonging to the realm of low politics, have received less attention, although they were often significant. Aviation serves here as an example. As symbols of national prestige, airlines have played an important role in bilateral relations. An exchange of landing rights symbolizes a good relationship between countries. When disputes between countries arise, air transport is one of the first fields to
suffer. Although the Netherlands recognized the People’s Republic of China in 1950, political differences ensured that a bilateral air transport agreement was not reached until 1979. It was not ratified, however. When The Hague approved the delivery of two submarines to the Taiwanese navy in 1980, Beijing regarded this as an unfriendly act. In the years that followed, Dutch airlines began services to Taiwan, under a private contract. This became a new obstacle to normal relations with the People’s Republic. Beijing regarded the Dutch air services to Taiwan as an infringement of Chinese sovereignty. Only after years of diplomatic
skirmishes and the removal of all symbols of nationality from the aircraft used on the route to Taipeh was a bilateral air transport agreement with the People’s Republic signed in 1996. This shows that aviation played a more important role in bilateral relations than is generally assumed.
Translated title of the contributionDossier Urk: the role of aviation in relations between the Netherlands and the People’s Republic of China, 1949-96
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)173
Number of pages196
JournalTijdschrift voor geschiedenis
Volume130
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • China
  • Taiwan
  • bilateral relations
  • air transport

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