Congressional Policymaking in Sino-U.S. Relations during the Post-Cold War Era

1st Edition

Joseph A Gagliano

Published September 4, 2014
Reference - 186 Pages
ISBN 9780415704120 - CAT# Y154549
Series: Routledge Studies in US Foreign Policy


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Conventional wisdom holds that the President enjoys the preponderance of foreign policy power, however Congress has influenced China policymaking more than is generally recognized. The legislature has demonstrated consistent interests in the realm of China policy, and it has invariably pursued those interests through law-making.

During the post-Cold War period in particular, the Sino-U.S. relationship has evolved in a radically changing international environment, marked by a power transition inherent in China's rise. The development of official relations between Washington and Beijing during the Cold War occurred in the shadow of an assertive Soviet power, when the United States and China were able to find common geopolitical ground in opposing Soviet expansion while overlooking longstanding political disagreements. The dissolution of the Soviet empire, however, put the United States and China on a new geostrategic footing. Political disagreements were no longer exempted in light of a counter-Soviet strategy, and the reduction in concern for the Soviet threat allowed policymakers in Washington to more aggressively pursue trade interests that conflicted with those of China. Given this international context, this book aims to discern how Congress reconciled competing Sino-U.S. interests in a post-Cold War era, when external threats no longer dictated an apparent hierarchy that favored China over the Soviet Union.

This work will be of interest to students and scholars of US foreign policy, China Studies and international relations in general.

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