National Security Strategy: Examining Chou En Lai's Rapprochement with the United States
NATIONAL WAR COLL WASHINGTON DC
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In 1971, Chinese Premier Chou En Lai, deeply concerned about the threat posed by growing Soviet power in Asia and its willingness to employ it to advance Soviet interests, concluded that rapprochement with the United States would help counter the Soviet threat and offer China other important benefits. It would enhance Chinas international image, reduce its isolation, signal to rival Taiwan U.S. recognition of Chinas preeminence, and provide possible long-term economic opportunities through enhanced economic links with the West. Relying on his diplomatic skill, pragmatism, and understanding of American and Soviet objectives, Chou engineered President Nixons visit to China in February 1972 that was capped by the Shanghai Communique. This document, while outlining the two governments key areas of agreement and disagreement, made clear to the Soviet Union that China and the United States would oppose Soviet efforts to extend its influence in Asia. The rapprochement with the U.S. successfully accomplished Chous key objectives of reducing Chinas vulnerability to Soviet intentions and enhancing its world position despite its relative military and economic weakness.
- Government and Political Science
- Humanities and History