CHINESE FOREIGN POLICY IN AN AGE OF TRANSITION: The Diplomacy of Cultural Despair by Ishwer C. Ojha

CHINESE FOREIGN POLICY IN AN AGE OF TRANSITION: The Diplomacy of Cultural Despair

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Studies in this area tend to settle for the bene trovato, but this is a matter-of-factly edifying essay by an associate professor of government at Boston University which challenges the reflex interpretation of Communist Chinese foreign policy in terms of ancient historical continuities. Although he doesn't go very far with his ""anti-Western Westernization"" view of the stresses of change, Ojha's comparative approach is sound and refreshing. Tracing national aspirations and the adaptation (rather than ""sinicization"") of Marxist theory, Ojha discusses boundary issues, defensive nuclear buildup, and Third World relations (omitting Indonesia). He commends to the U.S. a saner view of the Chinese, as conscientious trading partners, cautious veterans of Korea and U.S. encirclement, in short anything but demonically expansionist. The book's most valuable sections deal with China's self-definition as revolutionary leader; the Sino-Soviet split; and the Vietnam war. Lin Piao's famous 1965 speech is convincingly transcribed as a statement of merely-conditional support for the NLF, and Chinese interference with Soviet shipments to North Vietnam receives fruitful speculation. The book offers a solid, concise basis for debate and further study, quite suitable for general readers.

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 1969
Publisher: Beacon