An update to this if I may. Copied from a post in another forum, so apologies it doesn't quite flow with the first post:
'I'll be writing my dissertation next year for my degree in Chinese & French. One of the areas that I'm seriously looking at studying is Chinese photography, in particular photography by Chinese snappers from the founding of the PRC in '49 to the founding of the East Village in '93. I'd like to write about the evolution from the portrait and landscape styles, which were heavily influenced by prior Chinese art forms, through the imported Russian Socialst Art (Kitsch!), ending with the eventual 'freedom of photography' which is nicely marked by the East Village and which is carried on today in the 798 art district.
One area of influence for Chinese photographers appears to have been the work of Cartier-Bresson & Capa, both of whom covered the Chinese civil war. Exposure to their work on China seems to have been the catalyst for the move away from simply emulating landscape paintings and taking stages portraits into the beginnings of Chinese photojournalism.
I would very much appreciate any books or online sources which you guys can supply me with on Cartier-Bresson and Capa - particularly Bresson. I've got his bibliography and I'll certainly be getting hold of 'China in Transition', 'China. Photographs and notes on fifteen months spent in China', The Face of Asia' & 'L'Autre Chine', but I'd kill for anything that gives a good overview of his work, philosophy and style. The same goes for Capa, to a slightly lesser extent.
Finally, if anyone knows any wonderful books by Chinese photographers from '49 to the 70s-80s I'd love them for ever... For obvious reasons it's hard to get hold of work from this period.'