The LJMU Centre for Modern and Contemporary History and Centre for Port and Maritime History are holding a public-facing event on Thursday 23 March, 7pm at the Carnival Brewing Company (L3 7HJ). Professor Nick White will be speaking on the theme of ‘“Hostage Capitalism” Liverpool, Shanghai and the Blue Funnel Line in the 1960s’ (abstract below). 

In the late-1960s a number of Blue Funnel seafarers were interned in China. The Liverpool-based Blue Funnel Line was Britain’s premier shipping group in eastern Asia, and the talk will address this ‘hostage capitalism’ in the context of China’s Cultural Revolution and the UK’s enfeeblement ‘east of Suez’. But it will also delve deeper in discussing the shifting power balance between Liverpool and Shanghai going back to the 1860s and the ‘informal empire’ period, followed by the twentieth-century upheavals of the Nationalist Revolution, Japanese militarism and the ascendancy of the Chinese Communist Party.