Constructing the U.S. rapprochement with China, 1961-1974 : from "red menace" to "tacit ally"

Goh, Evelyn

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  • Creator Evelyn Goh
  • Format Books
  • Publication New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2004.
  • Physical Details
    • xiv, 299 pages ; 24 cm
  • ISBNs 9780521839860, 0521839866
  • OCLC ocm54826141


  • "With Nixon's historic reconciliation with China in 1972, Sino-American relations were restored, and China moved from being regarded as America's most implacable enemy to being a friend and tacit ally. Existing accounts of the rapprochement focus on the shifting balance of power between the United States, China, and the Soviet Union, but in this book Goh argues that they cannot adequately explain the timing and policy choices related to Washington's decisions for reconciliation with Beijing. Instead, she applies a more historically sensitive approach that privileges contending official American constructions of China's identity and character. This book demonstrates that ideas of reconciliation with China were already being propagated and debated within official circles in the United States during the 1960s. It traces the related policy discourse and imagery, examining their continuities and evolution into the early 1970s and the ways in which they facilitated Nixon's new policy. Furthermore, the book analyzes the implementation of the policy of rapprochement and demonstrates how the two sides constructed the basis for the new relationship based on friendly mutual images, shared interests, and common enemies. It reveals how, beginning in 1973, Nixon and Kissinger pursued the policy of supporting China as a "tacit ally" against the Soviet Union."--BOOK JACKET.


  • Includes bibliographical references (pages 269-294) and index.


  • Foreword / Rosemary Foot -- 1. Introduction -- 2. "Red menace" to "revolutionary rival" : recasting the Chinese Communist threat -- 3. "Troubled modernizer" to "resurgent power" : revisionist images of the PRC and arguments for a new China policy -- 4. The revisionist legacy : the discourse of reconciliation with China by 1968 -- 5. Nixon's China policy discourse in context -- 6. Debating the rapprochement : "resurgent revolutionary power" versus "threatened major power" -- 7. "Principled" realist power : laying the discursive foundations of a new relationship, July 1971 to February 1972 -- 8. Principles in practice : policy implications of the U.S. decision for rapprochement -- 9. "Selling" the rapprochement : the Nixon administration's justification of the New China policy -- 10. "Tacit ally," June 1972 to 1974 : consolidating or saving the U.S.-China rapprochement -- 11. Conclusion
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