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China’s Worldview and Its Foreign Aid and Investment Diplomacy

  • John F. Copper

Abstract

As noted in Volume 1, Chapter 1, since 1950, the People’s Republic of China has given foreign assistance to a significant number of countries throughout the world. By most accounts China has been very generous—giving aid at considerable cost and sacrifice. More important to the analysis here, its foreign assistance has been, and is, a much more important instrument of China’s diplomacy than it is for most aid-giving countries. Explaining this is not easy; it requires assessing both China’s history and its leaders’ worldviews.

Keywords

Foreign Policy Intermediate Zone Chinese Communist Party World Country Chinese Leader 
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Notes

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    Mao needed an enemy to justify his style of governing. The United States fit this role as it had supported Chiang Kai-shek and opposed Mao’s rule. Moreover, the United States was antiCommunist, in fact, increasingly so, and hostile to Mao’s regime. See Wang Shuzhong, “The Post-war International System,” in Harish Kapur (ed.), As China Sees the World: Perceptions of Chinese Scholars (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1987), pp. 14–15. However, Mao’s perception of a bifurcated world was not so simplistic. In fact, many of the specifics of Mao’s worldview helped define the nature and the objectives of China’s foreign policy and its foreign aid, which are not too different from China’s historical view. Mao took up Lenin’s view that imperialism had shifted the focus of the worldwide struggle to the underdeveloped countries that were exploited by Western colonial countries. They were, in Lenin’s view, and Mao’s, the core of the revolution. Early on Mao spoke of forming an international united front against imperialism. He advocated and wrote of “peoples war,” self-reliance, the “paper tiger” theory (that the West was in some ways weak and vulnerable), and anti-imperialism (that the Western capitalist countries were exploiters and, in fact, had to maintain this kind of relationship with the Third World to survive).Google Scholar
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