Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

John Petersen, Georg Bluhm, John Parker

Degree Type

Master of Arts


This study analyzes United States foreign policy toward Communist China in the transitional period since 1966, based on the American China experts' writings in journals dealing with international affairs and their views expressed in Congressional hearings. The contents explain the changing of American policy toward China from "containment without isolation" toward a rapprochement with Peking and progress toward normalization. The achievement of normalization has been a basic policy goal of the United States and has received bipartisan support, but the formula to accomplish normalization still remains obscure, due mainly to the settlement of the "Taiwan question."

The essay includes four parts: (1). The introduction provides a general review of United States policy toward Peking since the establishment of the People's Republic of China; (2). Chapter I analyzes and explains the reasons for the Nixon Administration seeking a new approach to Peking; (3). Chapter II reports on American and Chinese signals of their willingness to pursue rapprochement and improve their relations; (4). Chapter III describes the American normalization process with China since the 1972 Shanghai Communique and the obstacles to the development of normalization; (5). Chapter IV concludes with speculation on future United States policy toward China.


American Politics | Arts and Humanities | Asian History | Asian Studies | Diplomatic History | History | International and Area Studies | Political Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences | United States History