This paper analyses the impact of changes in political leadership on the foreign policies of the People's Republic of China. As a key player in global economic and political spectrum at present, China’s foreign policies are studied with curiosity by political analysts…
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This study will begin with the statement that China is one of the most rapidly developing countries in the world. Many people believe that China may become a superpower in near future itself and the supremacy of America in global political and economic matters will be ended shortly. Even though communism is prevailing in China for the last few decades, it doesn’t mean that China’s internal and external policies undergone no changes. Some of the communist leaders in the past were adamant in implementing communist policies whereas modern political leaderships seems to be adopting more liberal approaches in implementing communist policies in China. Deng Xiao Ping is considered as the father of modern China. Even though Mao was one of the most charismatic leaders of China, his economic and political policies were strictly in line with communist principles. He never tried to dilute communist principles even for the betterment of China. However, the leadership followed by Mao was not so, especially Deng Xiao Ping. Deng succeeded in putting strong bases to China’s economic growth without sacrificing many of the communist principles. The leaders succeeded by Deng were also followed the same path of Deng and currently China is one of the most prosperous countries in the world. Interpreting China’s foreign policy is an important key to understand the tides of global affairs in 1990’s, not only because China, with the world’s largest population wields demographic and economic clouts, but also it arguably the most dynamic country in the second half of twentieth century. (Zhao, 1996, p.4). As a key player in global economic and political spectrum at present, China’s foreign policies are studied with curiosity by political analysts. This paper analyses the impact of changes in political leadership on the foreign policies of the People's Republic of China. Political leadership and China’s foreign policies Sun Yat Sen era Sun Yat Sen is often referred as the father of China. He assumed power immediately after the destruction of Qing dynasty, but forced to resign in 1912 because of his differences with the Nationalist party and the government. But he was successful assuming power again in 1923. He was a visionary leader who worked hard for China’s economic progress. “Sun summarized his policies in the Three Principles of the People--nationalism, democracy, and socialism” (Chinese Cultural Studies). He was a great admirer of Soviet Union and was keen in keeping stronger ties with Soviet Union. He tried hard to implant a Soviet model of economic growth in China. He was a liberal leader and was not much adamant in implementing communist principles. In fact he had respect towards democracy. After the death of Sun Yat Sen in 1925, Chiang Kai Shek assumed power and continued the good work of Sun Yat Sen. Chiang Kai Shek Era Chiang Kai Shek was the leader of China till the Chinese Cultural Revolution in 1949.he was successful in keeping China away from the two World Wars. He was keen in keeping good relations with Western countries such as America and Britain. He was a strong critic of communism and did everything possible to avoid the growth of communism in Chinese soil. However, October revolution in 1949, forced Chiang Kai Shek to accept defeat and hand over the power to communist leader Mao Zedong. Mao era Even though, Mao was responsible for the Cultural Revolution in China, his contributions to China’s economic progress were limited. He was a leader who strictly followed communist principles in all internal and external matters. “Mao followed an aggressive foreign policy towards China’s neighboring countries” (Hongyi, 2010, p.17). It should be noted that China attacked India during Mao era. At sunrise on October 20, 1962, China's People's Liberation Army invaded India with overwhelming force on two separate flanks - in the west in Ladakh, and in the east across the McMahon Line in the then North-East Frontier Agency. The
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