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Mao Zedong’s Perception of the World in 1968–1972: Rationale for the Sino-American Rapprochement

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image of Journal of American-East Asian Relations

The leaders of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have always been aware that every development in this world affects their country, and they are constantly analyzing and reacting to these developments. The importance of this analysis has already been discussed by John Gittings; and it is this constant analysis that is responsible for the evolution of the PRC leadership’s perceptions of the world on which the foreign policy framework of the PRC is based. Naturally, in this sense, the PRC’s foreign policy is continuously changing because the world is evolving. On the other hand, different interpretations of various developments and different views on priorities may give rise to debates within the PRC leadership. This is particularly so because, as Michael Yahuda pointed out, the authoritative conceptualizations of world developments serve as a very important basis in the foreign policymaking of the PRC.


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