US Relations with China in Perspective

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  • September 2022
    Book Review

    Ever since the communist victory and establishment of a People’s Republic (PRC) on the mainland, China has greatly influenced the basic tenor of American policies in Asia. For the United States, the fact of China going communist was indeed a traumatic experience as China had a special place in the American psyche.1 Historical links of trade, missionary activities, intellectual curiosity, extra-territoriality and war-time camaraderie had brought the US closest to China in Asia. These links disintegrated in the aftermath of the communist victory. Thus, besides the emotional reaction to the loss of China, the timing of such a fundamental change in China’s power structure was nothing short of a major catastrophe from the American point of view. It reinforced the American belief in an international communist conspiracy for global hegemony. Persistence of this belief was undoubtedly an important element in American attitude towards Communist China.