The historical phenomenon of cultural delegations was characterized by several distinctive features during the Cold War and can be considered a significant aspect of cultural relations more in general. The Italian-Chinese case has a certain interest, as it underlines the existence of intricate local dynamics that acquired an increasingly in-ternational dimension throughout the years. Culture was both seen as an issue that stressed the distance between Italy and China and as a possible ground for dialogue. This approach to cultural phenomena shows how, in the context of the Cold War, cul-tural facts permeated political relations as well as commercial ones. The evolution of delegations has been marked by a gradual internationalization and, at the same time, by their being rooted in the national milieu. This process started with the Korean War and reached a turning point with the economic reforms under Deng Xiaoping.
Keywords: The Cold War, Chinese foreign policy, Italian foreign policy, maoism, communism, Sino-European relations, International trade