This article discusses the ambivalent role of U.S. non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in shaping Hong Kong's institutions of higher education in the 1950s. Cold War concerns about Communist expansion induced the NGOs to pursue ideological goals that were not part of their main mission, even as they continued policy directions that superseded and sometimes unintentionally counteracted Cold War thinking and strategies. Hong Kong, as a site important but marginal to both China and Britain, had strategic value in the Cold War and as such impelled many different forces to contest it. By examining how U.S. NGO educational work in Hong Kong both reinforced and destabilized Cold War ideology, one gains a clearer picture not only of Hong Kong's cultural significance in Cold War politics but also the ambiguity of Cold War intellectual paradigms of culture and education.

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