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China during the Cold War Period - Book Report/Review Example

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Chen Jian's study, Mao's China and the Cold War (2000), is an input for knowledge on China's relation with the Cold War. It exposes the vital role Beijing took in the course of the Cold War and the tussle between the United States and the Soviet Union. Jian is a professor of History and an expert of Chinese-American Relations teaching at a number of Chinese and American Universities…
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China during the Cold War Period
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Download file to see previous pages Ross's The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress, 1997; Philip Short's Mao: A Life, 1999, and Ross Terrill's Mao Zedong: A Biography, Stanford Univ., 2000). Jian's study includes two vital factors: First, he contends that Mao's decisions were mainly made to uphold "continuous revolution" in China and strengthen his own authority. And, second, that Mao used the Chinese people's paranoia about being persecuted by distant powers to gather public opinion in his favor. The author examines many cases, together with the rise of the Cold War, America's "loss" of China, the Sino-Soviet agreement, the Korean War, the first and second Indochina War, the Polish-Hungarian disaster, and the Taiwan Strait crisis (Library Journal, amazon.com, Library Journal). The author, of course admits in the introduction that:
"To be sure, with a Communist regime remaining in Beijing (no matter how quasi it actually is today), China still has a long way to go before "free academic inquiry" becomes a reality, but the contribution of China's documentary opening to the study of the Chinese Cold War experience cannot be underestimated"
To explain China's position in the Cold War Jian says, the place of Mao's China in the Cold War, in many important ways key, was not marginal but vital in the Cold War, albeit a conflict mainly between the two opposing "superpowers" that is, the United States and the Soviet Union. He thinks that in this case, the study made by political scientists Andrew J. Nathan and Robert S. Ross undoubtedly strike remarkable and he quotes those authors saying: "During the Cold War, China was the only major country that stood at the intersection of the two superpower camps, a target of influence and enmity for both" (as cited in the Notes, Introduction, Chen Jian).
To Jian, China's sheer size mainly becomes the reason of its influencing the Cold War. With the biggest population figure "occupying" the third biggest land in the world, China could not be disregarded either by Russia or by the U.S. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, when Mao's China tactically associated with the Soviet Union, the United States instantly felt endangered. In its attempts to "roll back" the Soviet/Communist threat, the United States got engaged in the Korean and the Vietnam War, overstretching itself in a worldwide conflict with the Soviet/Communist block. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the state of affairs turned totally around after China's rift with the Soviet Union and re- establishing ties with the United States. Thus, he concludes, to face the West and China concurrently, the Soviet Union strained its strength adding considerably to the final flop of the Soviet Russia in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Jian thinks, the role of China in the cold war also changed its philosophical perspectives also , since China's surfacing as a "revolutionary country" spectacularly changed the insight of the Cold War as a war between "good" and "evil", making the battle more openly and widely encased by ideologies. This was especially true as, the author intends to make clear by a concise comparison of the two Communist countries where he asserts Mao's China as being more revolutionary in its activities than the Soviet Union by the late 1940s. The Chinese ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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