Coca Cola and Goji Berries
On December 16th, 1978, Jimmy Carter and Deng Xiaoping signed the Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the People’ Republic of China and the United States of America, which normalized relations between two countries whose relationship had been anything but normal until then. A few days later, Coca Cola became the first foreign company in more than two decades to be allowed back into China.
Whereas today, an international beverage company might be expected to avoid political affiliation, the Coca Cola companies of the 1950s were one that actively sought to align itself with the American government’s goals of ridding the world of Communism and promoting Democracy. Chinese propaganda, meanwhile, had painted the drinks maker as American expansionism incarnate. In 1950, Minister of Culture Mao Dun warned
in the People’s Daily that Coca-Cola’s role in spreading “American civilization” represented a peril on par with the country’s formidable military.