Isolation or Alienation?

  • Yongjin Zhang
Part of the St Antony’s Series book series


To all intents and purposes, the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in October 1949 is one of the most significant events in twentieth-century world politics. It helped reshape the political and strategic balance in the post-war international system, and has since exercised profound and lasting influence in the evolution of international relations in the second half of the twentieth century. The PRC entered international politics, however, at a critical juncture in world history. By October 1949, the bipolarisation of the world was already crystallised by the division of Europe in the wake of the Berlin Crisis and the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Nuclear confrontation between the two superpowers was taking shape with the explosion of the Soviet atomic bomb in July 1949. A titanic struggle between two ideologies, communism and capitalism and between East and West, was in the making. The emergence of the PRC in such a divided world had profound implications for its place in post-war international society.


International Society Foreign Policy Foreign Trade Security Council International System 
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Copyright information

© Yongjin Zhang 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yongjin Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political StudiesUniversity of AucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.St Antony’s CollegeOxfordUK

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