Sino-American Relations


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…And a very different current world order

Various proposals have been put forward for relaxing the official American stand on such issues as admission of Peking to the United Nations, the trade embargo and exchanges of various sorts. The United States must first recognize in its own mind the reality of China and its place in the world. Having done this, American policy can then come to grips with the issues requiring settlement. As long as the U. Those detrimental to the interest of the people will not be granted freedom. Soon the innumerable bookstalls of Shanghai began to be flooded with booklets and pamphlets following The Line as the published houses were taken over.

Quite an impressive list. The Red drive to wipe out the scourge of imperialism soon rid the city of such street names as Wedemeyer Road. It substituted Chinese for English on such manufactured items as soap.

By such maneuvers the Communists were able within four months after their capture of Shanghai to plug every hole in the iron curtain, excepting only the Voice of America. Unlike the Russians, they did not yet have the jamming equipment to do that. Just as it was the slave trade that made the African coast well known to the mariners of the 18th and early 19th centuries, it was the opium trade that familiarized the British and American seafaring men with the coast and commercial opportunities of China. Gradually, however, public sentiment became aroused against the opium traffic and in the United States concluded a treaty with China, by which the governments of the two countries mutually agreed to prohibit the importation of opium by Americans into China or by Chinese into the United States.

Normalization of Sino-American Relations: 40 Years Later

Our legislation putting this treaty into effect dates from , and it is this statute which makes the smuggling of opium back and forth across the Pacific a criminal act. Ever since this enactment, the detection of opium smugglers has been one of the best known activities of American customs and consular officers.

The trade is now, as always, extremely lucrative— provided the smuggler is not caught—and, despite the fact that action taken by our authorities in China has resulted in the confiscation and destruction of large quantities of opium, clandestine traffic continues. One of the most daring schemes for selling opium was that unearthed by Vice Consul Walter A. People also read Article. Mohsen Shariatinia et al.


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Journal of Contemporary China Volume 28, - Issue Published online: 21 Mar Published online: 2 Apr Published online: 3 Apr Published online: 21 Jun Henelito A. Published online: 27 Apr Dara Conduit et al. Kissinger's secret visit, both in , followed by Nixon's dramatic trip to China in The Shanghai Communique, a milestone document describing the new state of relations between the two countries, and signed by Nixon and Zhou Enlai, included a certain degree of ambiguity that allowed China and the United States to set aside differences, especially on the Taiwan issue, and begin the process of normalizing relations.

After the signing of the Shanghai Communique, however, movement toward United States-China normalization during the s saw only limited progress. The United States and China set up liaison offices in each other's capitals in , and bilateral trade grew unevenly throughout the decade.

From the FSJ Archive: Sino-American Relations Through the Years

Chinese statements continued to express the view that both superpowers were theoretically adversaries of China, but they usually singled out the Soviet Union as the more "dangerous" of the two. In the second half of the s, China perceived an increasing Soviet threat and called more explicitly for an international united front against Soviet hegemony. In addition, rather than strictly adhering to the principle of self-reliance, China adopted an economic and technological modernization program that greatly increased commercial links with foreign countries.

These trends toward strategic and economic cooperation with the West gave momentum to Sino-United States normalization, which had been at an impasse for most of the decade. Ties between China and the United States began to strengthen in , culminating in the December announcement that diplomatic relations would be established as of January 1, In establishing relations, Washington reaffirmed its agreement that the People's Republic was the sole legal government of China and that Taiwan was an inalienable part of China.

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Deng Xiaoping's visit to the United States the following month was symbolic of the optimism felt in Beijing and Washington concerning their strategic alignment and their burgeoning commercial, technical, and cultural relations. In the s United States-China relations went through several twists and turns.

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By late China appeared to pull back somewhat from the United States as it asserted its independent foreign policy. Beijing began to express increasing impatience with the lack of resolution on the Taiwan issue. One of the main issues of contention was the Taiwan Relations Act, passed by the United States Congress in , which provided for continuing unofficial relations between Washington and Taipei.

In late China began to make serious demands that the United States set a firm timetable for terminating American arms sales to Taiwan, even threatening to retaliate with the possible downgrading of diplomatic relations. In early Washington announced it would not sell Taiwan more advanced aircraft than it had already provided, and in August, after several months of intense negotiations, China and the United States concluded a joint communique that afforded at least a partial resolution of the problem.

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