Chou Enlai and Balance of Power Statecraft
NATIONAL WAR COLL WASHINGTON DC
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In 1971, after years of hostile relations, the leaders of the United States and the Peoples Republic of China then known as Red China were finally, albeit cautiously, engaging in dialogue ultimately culminating in President Richard Nixons visit to China in February, 1972. The opening of Chinas door and subsequent actions by the two countries represents a classic case in balance of power diplomacy, orchestrated by Premier Chou Enlai and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, two brilliant but ideologically opposed statesmen who shared a common realist perspective in the conduct of foreign policy. In what Kissinger referred to as Triangular Diplomacy, the seemingly simple act of receiving a US President the leader of an avowed enemy in the Chinese capital provided a critical benefit to both countries by checking the advance of Soviet influence and lessening the possibility of direct conflict between the three powers. By tempering strongly held ideological convictions with realist pragmatism, Chou Enlai acted on his recognition of a situation where the political cost-benefit ratio in terms of gains and concessions foreign and domestic would be highly favorable to both China and the United States.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Government and Political Science