Handbook on China and Developing Countries
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Handbook on China and Developing Countries

Edited by Carla P. Freeman

This Handbook explores the rapidly evolving and increasingly multifaceted relations between China and developing countries. Cutting-edge analyses by leading experts from around the world critically assess such timely issues as the ‘China model’, Beijing’s role in international development assistance, Chinese peacekeeping and South-South relations, and developing countries and the internationalization of the renminbi. Chapters also examine China’s engagement with individual countries and regions throughout the developing world. For scholars, practitioners, and postgraduates, the volume’s breadth and depth of coverage will inform and guide present and future analysis.
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Chapter 4: China’s Third World odyssey: changing priorities, continuities, and many contradictions

Mel Gurtov


In a well-known interview in 1946 with the American leftist journalist Anna Louise Strong, Mao Zedong predicted that the developing countries would be the main battleground between East and West. This vast ‘intermediate zone,’ as he called those countries, would be the main setting for United States-Soviet conflict, absorbing both sides’ energies but keeping them from direct confrontation. Mao’s prediction was not entirely accurate inasmuch as serious conflicts occurred in Central Europe fairly regularly in the early Cold War years. By and large, however, Mao was prescient: he understood that African, Middle Eastern, and Latin American countries would become proxies in the East-West contest for political influence and strategic advantage.

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