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International Relations In The Era Of The Cold War China Notes

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John W. Garver. Foreign Relations of the People's Republic of China. Prentice-Hall, Inc.: Upper Saddle River, NJ (1993) David Shambaugh. Beautiful Imperialist: China Perceives America, 19721990. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1991 Lowell Dittmer. Sino-Soviet Normalisation and Its International Implications: 1945-1990. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1992 Shu Guang Zhang, 'The Sino-Soviet Alliance and the Cold War in Asia, 1954-62'. M. Leffler & O. A. Westad. The Cambridge History of the Cold War. Chen Jian, 'China and the Cold War after Mao'. M. Leffler & O. A. Westad. The Cambridge History of the Cold War. Sergey Radchenko, 'The Sino-Soviet Split'. M. Leffler & O. A. Westad. The Cambridge History of the Cold War. Niu Jun, 'The Birth of the PRC and the Road to the Korean War'. M. Leffler & O. A. Westad. The Cambridge History of the Cold War. He Di (1994). The Most Respected Enemy: Mao Zedong's Perception of the United States. The China Quarterly Nancy Bernkopf Tucker (1991). China and America, 1941-1991. Foreign Affairs, 70.5

2 John W. Garver. Foreign Relations of the People's Republic of China. Prentice-Hall, Inc.: Upper Saddle River, NJ (1993) Chapters 2-4


China was exceptionally flexible in its superpower alignments: Mao's theory of contradiction said that at every historical stage there was a 'primary enemy blocking the progressive advance of history', requiring the neutralization or assimilation of secondary enemies. Alignment was a 'high-payoff, high-risk game', which superpowers tried to undermine because of potentials of Chinese contribution. China benefited from its room for manoeuvre, so nightmare scenario was anti-Chinese superpower condominium.

Phase #1: Soviet-American, 1945-49


US feared GMD would collapse before defeat of Japan; CCP offered neutrality and market access in exchange for support against Japanese - FDR rejected offer (unclear how sincere). Sino-Soviet Treaty 1950 committed Nationalist China not to join antiSoviet bloc; Stalin urged CCP to reach accommodation and accept de facto partition of China, lest take-over mar Soviet-American relations as a violation of Yalta. CCP prevailed because US preferred to accept united China, but draw it away from USSR.

Phase #2: Sino-Soviet, 1950-60


China 'leaned to one side' because it needed: Soviet experience to build socialism; Soviet exit from Manchuria; insurance against American intervention in conquest of Taiwan. However, alliance increased American hostility and likelihood of intervention: earlier policy driven by fear of Soviet takeover (not anti-Communism), so hoped to accommodate with CCP and draw China away from USSR. Post-Stalin Soviets reached rapprochement: abandoned privileges in Manchuria, increased economic assistance.


US signed bilateral/multilateral mutual security treaties with Asian states, to bolster its ability to defend Sino-Soviet periphery. Containment was meant to force China into greater dependence on the USSR, then break them apart because of inevitable fissures. Peaceful coexistence was meant to reduce tensions, to persuade the US to drop this tactic; China softened image in TW - international contacts, reduce dependence on Moscow.


China induced the Taiwan Straits crises and accelerated nuclear drive, to get the US to stop throwing its weight around: break its nuclear monopoly, force it to act cautiously. After first crisis, Beijing adopted conciliatory approach on Taiwan to urge ease of US pressure: US refused de facto recognition and blocked cultural exchanges, unilateral delegation of journalists. American intransigence was not ideological! Pressure was meant to force China to break ties with USSR; conciliation would only confirm utility of Sino-Soviet alliance.


Mao ordered strike on Quemoy (2nd crisis) when Americans suspended talks, to bring Americans back to table: peaceful coexistence not working; conciliation persuaded US of 3

Chinese weakness. Also hoped retaliation would force USSR to align fully with China (same reason with provocation of Indian dispute): disappointed USSR didn't help - evidence Mao didn't understand why nukes were game-changer. USSR stopped indulging China: suspended nuclear aid, intensified peaceful coexistence. China read this as abandonment, attempt to keep it weak by withdrawing opposition to American pressure.


China tried to force USSR to abandon peaceful coexistence. 1960 denounced 'modern revisionism'; expected Moscow to succumb to pressure and reinforce Chinese alliance!
USSR responded with retributive measures to stop derailing of peaceful coexistence.

Phase #3: Soviet-American, 1963-69


US believed that USSR was becoming less dogmatic as it industrialised ('convergence theory'): deal with USSR as pragmatic agent but contain China. USSR's agreement meant convergence of policies, e.g. encouragement of Indo-Pakistani rapprochement, Soviet mediation to end 1965 war. USSR/US deployed 'light' ABM, lest they derail MAD by eroding other's second-strike capacity; suspected as anti-Chinese collusion.


Lin-Zhou debate: Lin argued opposition to US, as most dangerous in crisis; Zhou urged opposition to USSR, increasingly aggressive. Mao decided to exploit US-Soviet competition, to which collusion against China was secondary: divide superpowers by improving relations with US (thus breaking collusion) and using US against USSR. Soviet-American detente rendered rapprochement urgent, lest collusion intensify: USSR had urged condominium against China, mutual retaliation against 'provocative actions'.

Phase #4: Sino-American, 1971-82


Joint communique 1972 pledged China not to support Soviet anti-American policies in East Asia, and US to prevent Soviet attack on China and abandon containment of China. China feared Soviet-American detente would offset its attempts to use US to offset Soviet pressure! Chinese at first eschewed defence links but increased interest after pragmatists came to power and USSR grew stronger; Carter ignored this until Cambodia and Afghanistan ended hopes for detente - but American refusal to build anti-Chinese alliance encouraged Moscow to adopt aggressive policies, which derailed detente!


China feared end of Vietnam signalled American isolationism and Soviet expansionism. Feared European detente was Soviet attempt to split Europe and NATO, thereby enabling stronger anti-Chinese deployment. China called for global united front against USSR: supported US-Japan axis, endorsed American presence, launched anti-Soviet propaganda. NB. There was no revolutionary content to anti-Soviet united front: all about BOP.

Phase #4: Dual cordiality, 1982-89


China pursued 'independent foreign policy': moderated criticism of USSR, distanced itself from US. American recovery obviated need for global anti-Soviet alliance; now it could redirect resources to economic development. China concluded that threatening to defect would make the US more sensitive over Taiwan. Relations thawed with USSR 4

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