TITLE

CHINA'S FOREIGN POLICY IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

AUTHOR(S)
Fairbank, John K.
PUB. DATE
April 1969
SOURCE
Foreign Affairs;Apr1969, Vol. 47 Issue 3, p449
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article looks at the history of the development of foreign policy in China. The U.S. breakthrough in studies of Communist China during the last decade, despite all the difficulties of study from a distance has given us a new capacity to appraise the country's shift of current policy. To deal with a major power without regard for its history and especially its tradition in foreign policy is truly to be flying blind. The fact that in the case of China we have flown blind and still survived does not guarantee our future. Even with us, tradition provides the base-line for foreign policy and even the most novel of our policies has points of reference in the past. The danger in flying blind, ignorant of an antagonist's inherited style and propensities in making war and peace, lies in our resulting lack of objectivity. Not sensing the values and modes of his culture, we impute to him those of our culture. Great traditions have to be seen first in their context of world history, China has been the great hold-over, the one ancient empire that, largely because of its isolation in the Far East, survived into the twentieth century. Its anachronistic tardiness in modernizing has now intensified the stress of China's revolution -- there is so much to change and do in order to catch up.
ACCESSION #
5800803

 

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