The Making of U.S. China Policy: From Normalization to the Post-Cold War Era

The Making of U.S. China Policy: From Normalization to the Post-Cold War Era

The Making of U.S. China Policy: From Normalization to the Post-Cold War Era

The Making of U.S. China Policy: From Normalization to the Post-Cold War Era

Synopsis

This work evaluates US policy toward China since normalisation, exploring the importance of government institutions (Congress, the executive and so on), the interactions among those institutions, and the roles that specific individuals have played in policymaking.

Excerpt

As a student at the Beijing Institute of International Relations in the early 1980s, I took a course in U.S. politics. I was frustrated to find that the course offered little insight into U.S. politics and political processes because the course depicted the U.S. government as the captive of U.S. capitalists and financiers. I questioned whether it is intellectually satisfactory and politically wise to overlook the division of power in U.S. politics. Despite China's reluctance to distinguish the U.S. Congress from the administration in terms of policymaking, Congress began to play a more assertive role in the making of U.S. China policy after normalization.

To find an answer to my question, I decided to come to the United States to study. I chose Emory University, because of its Carter Center, to study U.S. China policy since normalization. I cannot claim that I have found a complete answer, for any political system is dynamic. But I have gained a much better understanding of the importance of U.S. political institutions in China policymaking.

The U.S.-China relationship expanded rapidly in the early post‐ normalization period. The bilateral relations extended from diplomatic arenas to exchanges involving security, trade, tourism, business, culture, education, health, environment, science, and technology. These new developments in U.S.-China relations have had a profound impact on the governmental process regarding China policymaking. First, U.S. China policy objectives became diversified with the expansion of Sino-U.S. relations after normalization. As a result, U.S. China policymaking was pluralized and decentralized. Second, U.S.-China relations were institutionalized as the relationship expanded to other areas of interest. The institutionalization had an effect on China policymaking in that it involved different interests of governmental agencies with various policy goals. Bureaucratic players exerted greater influence in China policymaking. Third, the rapid expansion of U.S.‐ China ties led to an increasing role for Congress in providing a legal framework for China policy and sharing China policymaking power with the executive. Institutional differences in goals, priorities, and approaches highlighted a China policymaking process with conflict and compromise. In . . .

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