The Making of U.S. China Policy: From Normalization to The Post-Cold War Era

In This Review

The Making of U.S. China Policy: From Normalization to The Post-Cold War Era

By Tan Qingshan
Rienner, 1992
179 pp. $32.00
Purchase

What sets this study apart from most works on U.S.-China relations is the detailed attention to the governmental processes--particularly the interaction between the executive and congressional branches of the U.S. government-that help influence U.S. policy towards China. The author, who was a student at the Beijing Institute of International Relations in the early 1980s and is now teaching in the United States, has put together a richly detailed analysis of the U.S. political process and its impact on policymaking toward China. He focuses on four case studies: the Taiwan Relations Act, U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, the U.S.-China trade agreement and U.S. technology transfers to China. One important conclusion he derives from this exercise--a conclusion that many foreign governments do not adequately comprehend--is that U.S. policy toward China is not always guided by strategic considerations and that Congress and the bureaucracy have a critical impact on policy outcomes.