Beyond Tiananmen: The Politics of U.S.-China Relations, 1989-2000
Grage, Doris, The China Business Review
Beyond Tiananmen: The Politics of U.S.-China Relations, 1989-2000 by Robert L. Suettinger. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 2003, 556 pp. $39.95 hardcover.
professor once described to me that US-China relations are like "a snake in a bamboo tube." The snake continuously slides through, while every now and then squeezing itself through inevitable tight spots. There couldn't be a better analogy to describe bilateral relations as portrayed in Robert L. Suettinger's Beyond Tiananmen: The Politics of U.S. -China Relations, 1989-2000. He begins by recounting the events leading up to the Tiananmen Square massacre on june 4, 1989, when "the United States and other Western countries recoiled from China in horror and disgust." he then takes the readers through each important turn in US -China relations from that fateful day until the end of the Clinton Administration, relating how many US and PRC policy decisions were the outcomes of complex intragovernmental processes.
Suettinger also details the two countries' inveterate dance between estrangement and détente. President George H.W. Bush initiated contact with China immediately following Tiananmen, and after receiving an agreement from China, sent a secret envoy of US diplomats to Beijing while the rest of the United States was outraged. A few years later, the Clinton Administration's hard line on human rights threatened to revoke China's Most Favored Nation status in 1994. In 1996, Bei) ing reacted intensely when Taiwan President Lee Teng -hui visited the United States, and began People's Liberation Army navy and air force drills on an island in the Taiwan Strait, 75 miles from Taiwan. President Jiang Zemin was the first Chinese president to make a state visit to the United States in 1997 following a 12 -year gap. …