Negotiating Cooperation: The United States and China, 1969-1989

Negotiating Cooperation: The United States and China, 1969-1989

Negotiating Cooperation: The United States and China, 1969-1989

Negotiating Cooperation: The United States and China, 1969-1989

Synopsis

In short, the book is a series of case studies of U.S.-China negotiations, examining the impact, at various points in time, of distinct combinations of internal and external factors on the behavior of the negotiators and the outcome of the negotiations.

Excerpt

It has become nearly a truism to say that in the 1970s and 1980s, the United States and the People's Republic of China developed cooperative relations in order to enhance their security against the threat to both from the Soviet Union. This was clearly the case. U.S.-PRC rapprochement in the early 1970s and in the ensuing twenty years was characterized by perceptions in Washington and Beijing that the USSR was intent on unlimited expansion, and that it was necessary to establish as large a coalition as possible to compel Moscow to limit its ambitions. China and the United States were the two largest countries opposing the USSR, and they sought each other's assistance to bolster their respective Soviet policies.

But like most truisms, this description of U.S.-PRC relations during the 1970s and 1980s obscures more than it reveals. Although the common threat encouraged Washington and Beijing to cooperate, it does not explain how they were able to cooperate. Initiating and sustaining cooperation is never easy, because it not only requires that both sides have common interests but also requires that their conflicts of interests be either insignificant or manageable. More often than not, there are significant preexisting and ongoing bilateral conflicts, so that establishing and sustaining cooperation requires mutual adjustment and extensive negotiations. Cooperation is neither spontaneous nor self-perpetuating. Maintaining cooperative relations requires considerable effort by both parties.

It has also become the conventional wisdom that for most of the years of >U.S.-PRC cooperation, Washington and Beijing agreed to . . .

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