The Strategic Triangle: China, the United States, and the Soviet Union

The Strategic Triangle: China, the United States, and the Soviet Union

The Strategic Triangle: China, the United States, and the Soviet Union

The Strategic Triangle: China, the United States, and the Soviet Union

Excerpt

A series of events in the early 1980s, among them the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S. boycott of the Olympics in Moscow, and the cancellation of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), ushered in a new cold war. In contrast to the trends toward detente and a multipolar world in the 1970s, characterized by the Kissinger balance-of-power diplomacy which was designed to restructure the bipolar international system to a multipolar system, a shift in U.S. policy in the 1980s has yielded a new strategic triangle between the U.S., the Soviet Union, and China. Moreover, the normalization of relations between the United States and China in 1979, and the abrogation of the thirty-year treaty between China and the Soviet Union for Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in April 1980, contributed to further changes in the relationships between these three powers.

The rise of China as a world power after the Cultural Revolution has created a new pattern of relations within the U.S.-Soviet-Chinese triangle in world politics. In the beginning of the 1980s the power triangle could be analyzed in terms of relative distance from each other, with these distances representing degrees of hostility or friendliness. Thus, the Sino-American relations following the normalization treaty have been increasingly friendly while the U.S.-Soviet relations were fairly hostile and the Sino-Soviet . . .

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