In This Review

New Tides In The Pacific: Pacific Basin Cooperation And The Big Four (Japan, PRC, USA, USSR)
New Tides In The Pacific: Pacific Basin Cooperation And The Big Four (Japan, PRC, USA, USSR)
Edited by Roy Kim and Hilary Conroy
Greenwood Press, 1987, 232 pp

This is a curious volume. Although it is true, as John Stephan points out in one essay, that there has been little serious discussion in the United States of Gorbachev's efforts to legitimize the Soviet Union as a Pacific power, this volume does little to clarify the complex issues involved. It includes two essays by Soviet officials and none by their American counterparts. The essay by Eugene Primakov, an influential figure in the Soviet foreign policy establishment, lays most of the blame for Soviet-American tensions in the Pacific on the U.S. government. The essay on Sino-Soviet relations is little more than a tirade against "mainstream experts" (including this writer), but the essay is a caricature of "mainstream" views. It praises Mao's "genius" for having aroused the collective consciousness of the Chinese people in the 1950s, and expresses doubts about whether "the market system, as the 'experts' seem to assume, is an eternal and self-evident good." Rather, it suggests, "the people themselves actually demand more socialist relations of production." Moreover, most of Deng Xiaoping's reforms-the adoption of professional management, promotion of technocrats, adoption of new hiring, firing and plant-closing policies, the dawn of a consumer mentality-are all written off as "American-style" reforms.