China: An Introduction

China: An Introduction

China: An Introduction

China: An Introduction

Excerpt

The first edition of China: An Introduction was written in the wake of the Cultural Revolution and was completed shortly after President Richard Nixon's first visit to China and the opening of a new phase in United States-China relations. Now that the Mao era has ended, an updated revision of the original study is appropriate. In some respects the story of China has significantly changed: New leaders have emerged, formerly well-established ones have been toppled, and the country has come out of deep isolation to seek a more formal role in world affairs. On the other hand, the central theme of the story of China has not changed much: The issue of succession to Mao that began in the Cultural Revolution has not yet been resolved, questions of ideology and policy still divide the leaders, and the country continues to grapple with the problem of transforming a great civilization into a powerful modern nationstate.

Students interested in the current scene in China need historical perspective in order to appreciate the significance of recent developments. This edition, like the first, will introduce students and laymen to the Confucian traditions of China, the landmark events in modern Chinese history, and the details of politics and life in the People's Republic of China. In the second edition, not only have we extended the chronology to include the struggles that followed Mao's death, but we have also added information garnered from first hand observations by myself and others about the condition of life in today's China. With these new additions, we hope the second edition will come even closer to achieving the ambition be-

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