Editors: William C. Kirby, Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration and T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University, as well as Chair of the Harvard China Fund and Faculty Chair of the Harvard Center Shanghai. His many books include Can China Lead? Reaching the Limits of Power and Growth, Robert S. Ross, Professor of Political Science at Boston College and a Research Associate at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University, and Gong Li, Professor of International Relations at the International Strategic Research Center, Central Party School of the Chinese Communist Party, Beijing.
About the Book
Relations between China and the United States have been of central importance to both countries over the past half-century, as well as to all states affected by that relationship—Taiwan and the Soviet Union foremost among them. Only recently, however, has the opening of archives made it possible to research this history dispassionately. The eight chapters in this volume offer the first multinational, multi-archival review of the history of Chinese–American conflict and cooperation in the 1970s.
On the Chinese side, normalization of relations was instrumental to Beijing’s effort to enhance its security vis-à-vis the Soviet Union and was seen as a tactical necessity to promote Chinese military and economic interests. The United States was equally motivated by national security concerns. In the wake of Vietnam, policymakers saw normalization as a means of forestalling Soviet power. As the essays in this volume show, normalization was far from a foregone conclusion.