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Changing Perceptions

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

Abstract

Studies of China’s international relations in the 1980s are dominated by analyses of changes in China’s international strategy, particularly by examinations of China’s independent foreign policy.’ There are good reasons for that. The 1980s has been sometimes characterised as an ‘unusual decade’ for China.2 China’s second revolution — the opening of China to the world economy and economic reforms — had a profound impact on the international outlook of China and consequently the orientation of Chinese foreign policy. The emergence first of China’s redefined independent foreign policy in 1982 and later the independent foreign policy of peace in 1986 was, the Chinese themselves claimed, the ‘timely adjustment, enrichment and improvement’ of Chinese foreign policy. The first official pronouncement of China’s independent foreign policy in the 1980s was made by General Secretary Hu Yaobang on 1 September 1982. China would, Hu proclaimed, ‘consistently carry out an independent foreign policy’. Chinese foreign policy, he continued, would ‘definitely not be swayed by expediency or by anybody’s instigation or provocation’.3 One major aspect of this independent foreign policy, as Deng Xiaoping later explained, was that China ‘will not play the “United States card” or the “Soviet Union card”. Nor will it allow others to play the “China card”.’4

Keywords

Foreign Policy International System International Division International Order World Peace 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    See in particular, J. C. Hsiung (ed.), Beyond China’s Independent Foreign Policy: Challenge for the US and its Asian Allies; H. Harding (ed.), China’s Foreign Relations in the 1980s; S. S. Kim (ed.), China and the World: New Directions in Chinese Foreign Relations; L. Dittmer, Sino-Soviet Normalisation and Its International Implications, 1945–1990; T. W. Robinson and D. Shambaugh (eds), Chinese Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice. See also published works in Chinese: Tian Zengpei (ed.), Gaige Kaifang Yilai de Zhongguo Waijiao (China’s Diplomacy since the Opening and Reform); and Xue Mouhong et al, Dangdai Zhongguo Waijiao. Google Scholar
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    See Hu Yaobang, ‘Report to the Twelfth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party’, Beijing Review, 37 (1982) 29. In December 1982, the independent foreign policy was incorporated into the revised Constitution of the PRC. See ‘Constitution of the People’s Republic of China’, Beijing Review, 52 (1982) 11.Google Scholar
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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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