Edited by Andrew T.H. Tan
Chapter 3: US relations with the PRC during the Cold War
AbstractThis chapter examines the United States’ relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from the establishment of a communist regime on the Mainland of China to the collapse of the Cold War bipolar order in the late 1980s. In charting four decades of Sino–US relations, it provides a broad historical overview of the main issues and problems that characterized the political and economic interactions between Washington and Beijing during a turbulent phase in twentieth-century international politics. The chapter is divided into three main key sections: the first and second explain why, during the early Cold War, in the 1950s and 1960s, relations between Washington and Beijing remained largely antagonistic notwithstanding some behind-the-scene efforts to reduce conflict. The third section, on the other hand, covers Nixon’s ‘opening to China’ and Washington’s subsequent rapprochement with Beijing. In so doing, it shows how Beijing and Washington managed to overcome their mutual suspicions and establish a mutually satisfactory political and economic relationship.
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