China Table of Contents

Affected by the confluence of a myriad of factors, including its historical legacy, worldview, nationalism, ideology, the decision-making process in Beijing, and the international situation, China's foreign relations have had a rich and varied development in the years since 1949. Two aspects of Chinese foreign policy that have led to wide fluctuations over time are the degree of militancy or peacefulness Beijing has espoused and its ambivalence in choosing between self-reliance and openness to the outside world. Although dividing something as complex as foreign policy into time periods necessarily obscures certain details, Chinese foreign relations can be examined roughly by decades: the Sino-Soviet alliance of the 1950s, isolation and radicalism in the 1960s, increased international involvement in the 1970s, and the independent foreign policy of the 1980s. During each of these periods, China's relations with the rest of the world underwent significant changes.

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Source: U.S. Library of Congress