China's Foreign Relations in the 1980s

In This Review

China's Foreign Relations in the 1980s

Edited by Harry Harding
Yale University Press (in cooperation with the Asia Society), 1984
240 pp. $18.50
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Perhaps the single most important question about China's future foreign policy concerns the durability of the current economic reforms. In this volume, two China specialists come up with conflicting assessments. Kenneth Lieberthal believes that the domestic reform program will eventually run into political difficulties as bureaucratic interests reassert themselves; the military and a strengthened central-planning apparatus might then shift economic priorities back to machine-building and metallurgy; this would "sap some of the energy" from relations with developed countries including the U.S. Bruce Reynolds, on the other hand, sees some grounds for optimism. He thinks that the agricultural reforms have been extraordinarily successful and difficult to reverse. Indeed, their success has already emboldened the leaders to embark on similar reforms in the industrial sector. He believes that China's top leaders are genuinely committed to the reform process.