China's Relations with Arabia and the Gulf, 1949-1999

By Mohamed Bin Huwaidin | Go to book overview

3

China's relations with the United States, the Soviet Union, and Russia

As shown in Chapter 2, the study of China's foreign policy behaviour has witnessed different theoretical approaches by scholars and researchers. Since we argue that China's foreign policy towards the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula region depends on China's relations with both the United States and the Soviet Union, this chapter is going to discuss China's foreign relations with both powers. China's relations with both superpowers and the superpowers' interactions with each other, along with its view of the world are the keys to understanding China's policy towards the Gulf and Peninsula region. And since China's relations with both the United States and the Soviet Union have changed, China's involvement in the Gulf and Peninsula region has also changed with time. The change reflects China's overall analysis of the international system and its relations with the main actors in it. China's relations with both powers will be discussed here chronologically.


CHINA'S EARLY INTERACTIONS WITH THE SUPERPOWERS (1949-1954)

China-superpowers relations have evolved throughout different stages since the establishment of the PRC in 1949. Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong's thought played a profound role in China's relations with both superpowers during the first three decades of their interactions. Mao Zedong's perception of the 'enemy' and his theory of contradictions 1 brought the PRC's leadership to view the Soviet Union as China's most trusted partner in the 1950s, and as China's most dangerous enemy in the 1970s. It also brought them to engage in a hostile relationship with the Unites States in the 1950s, and in strategic alignment in the 1970s. In addition to ideology, history-another component of China's foreign policy

1 See the ideology section in the previous chapter for further details.

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