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Chinese foreign policy 49-06 - resources?


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Hello folks!

once again i come to this place hoping for advice and enlighttification :help

I'm recently working on a little essay on Chinas foreign affairs focussing on the years since founding of the PRC. I do have a pretty good overview on the issue concerning the basic facts and my writing is adressed to scientific readers.

Who can recommend online resources of any (!) kind drawing outline of the issue and/or maybe give (sensible) suggestions to questions for the current debate or future developments?

thanks everybody in advance!

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I don't know any online resources, but there are tons of books written about the subject, so maybe you can check the nearest (academic) library that has a decent amount of books about China.

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A great book is Mao’s China and the Cold War by Chen Jian, which mainly deals with foreign policy from Mao’s point of view, and by extension, the Chinese point of view.


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Current events in chiinese foreign policy are very interesting.

Foreign policy in the early years of the PRC were based mainly upon solidifying the regime and china's integrity, mixed with a little bit of supporting revolutionary movements in Africa and S America (mostly moral rather than economic, especially when compared to the super-powers and their proxies during the cold war) and exerting pressure within the east Asia region.

Now China's economic position and stance on politics of revolution has changed. China is becoming a major player throughout the globe and the legacy this will leave for the planet.

Things I would explore:

1/ the idea of "non-interference in other states internal affairs", in my opinion this idea was defensible originally and necessary to protect China's own integrity, however now China has become fully enmeshed in the world trade system we have to analyse how much china's trade influence is having upon other sovereign states, the recent furore in Zambia is a good example. Is "yuan" diplomacy going to make as much of a mark on the world as the "dollar" diplomacy that went before?

2/ trade relations, sanctions and the China Threat. China is hungry for raw materials and as the jet-setting tours of Wen and Hu have shown they are prepared to go all out to obtain access to raw materials. However what impression is this giving to democratic countries- China props up Myanmar, gives economic aid to Sudan (oil) and Zimbabwe (ZANU-PF has old links with China, going back into the previous era of support for revolutionary groups) these are stats that human rights groups deplore and many western states have tried to put sanctions in place against, China will trade with any state where they can get resources disregarding even a pretense of caring for human rights. For the Chinese this directly ties into "non-interference" however when you are supporting a ruling groups which may fall otherwise is this not interference? And how is this form of trading affecting those states who fear a China Threat e.g. any state that US has sanctions against automatically becomes a prime target for Chinese co-operation- their leverage being increased by the fact they face no US competition for influence.

3/ Increasing trade and the third world. S America and Africa have become major markets for Chinese trade- China has moved from being part of the thrid world to providing goods for the third world. The trading patterns of Africa have completely changed and much debate remains about whether this 4relatively new partner in Africa will be of benifit to the continent or not. On one side many believe that because China does not add (at least that we know of) conditions to loans and infrstructure projects they are allowing African countries to develop autonomously instead of being forces into lifting protection of their markets and privatisation of industries. On the other however human rights activists worry that this will mean African rulers will be even less accountable to the people than before and human rights abuses and undemocratic regimes will increase under chinese economic protection.

4/ China and the UN- PRC originally had little time for UN peacekeeping missions (not suprising when you look back at Korea) believing them to be a way of "interfering in others internal affairs". Now however China has been contributing heavily to missions in Africa, notablly in the DR Congo, and has just pledged lifting it's UN forces in Lebanon from around 200 to 1,000. What will this mean for circumstances where UN plans conflict with the wishes of the PRC? At a time when US forces are stretched will this new position strengthen China's reputation across the globe and will help understanding between China and the west that China wants to work within global organisations and give credence to the idea of the "peaceful rise"

Very interesting area at the moment, but I think I would probably either concentrate on early PRC foreign policy or foreign policy since china's entry to the WTO, as I believe the two are very different animals in the same way as the CCP now and then are very different.

good luck with your essays.

hope you can post them as I am very interested in this area myself.

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