Handbook of the Politics of China
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Handbook of the Politics of China

Edited by David S.G. Goodman

The Handbook of the Politics of China is a comprehensive resource introducing readers to the very latest in research on Chinese politics. David Goodman provides an introduction to the key structures and issues, providing the foundations on which later learning can be built. It contains four sections of new and original research, dealing with leadership and institutions, public policy, political economy and social change, and international relations and includes a comprehensive bibliography. Each of the 26 chapters has been written by an established authority in the field and each reviews the literature on the topic, and presents the latest findings of research. An essential primer for the study of China’s politics.
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Chapter 24: Admiration, ambivalence, antipathy: the past and future for US–China relations

Bates Gill


The history of foreign relations between the United States and China is often dated to the voyage of the Empress of China which set sail from New York on George Washington’s birthday in February 1784 – just a few months following the Treaty of Paris formally ending the American Revolutionary War – and became the first American merchant vessel to enter Chinese waters. Now some 230 years later, the two Pacific nations look back on a complex and all-encompassing relationship; respectful and raucous, complex and calculating, aloof and attentive, at times close and at times bitterly hostile, a mix of admiration, ambivalence and antipathy. And the future looks to be no different, with the bilateral relationship between the United States and China already defining the future of the twenty-first century, for better or for worse. All the more reason, then, that a search of ‘WorldCat’, the online world library catalogue, turns up more than 26 000 books and articles on the topic of ‘United States – Foreign relations – China’. Remarkably, this is more than for ‘United States – Foreign relations – Soviet Union’ (16 730), and several times more than for US foreign relations with Great Britain, France, Canada or Australia.

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