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The China syndrome : rising nationalism and conflict with the West

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Publication Date: January 1996

Publisher(s): East-West Center

Author(s): Bin Yu

Series: AsiaPacific issues ; no. 27

Topic: Government (Foreign relations)
Politics (Nationalism)

Type: Report

Coverage: China United States


Seven years after the end of the Cold War, China has yet to take its place in a number of international fora or have a summit with the United States. For the Chinese, this is bitterly reminiscent of events after the First and Second World Wars, when, despite their country's contributions to victory, they were left out of the post-war deal making. Today, many in China complain that the West ignored abuses under Mao in exchange for China's partnership against the Soviets, only to criticize and discard China when the Cold War was won. Current frustration is contributing to an intense debate between nationalist and internationalist schools over how China should relate to the rest of the world. Few issues so feed this debate as that of Taiwan's future, and recent stirrings on that island and apparent shifts in U.S. policy have heightened China's expression of a confrontational nationalism. With U.S.-China relations fraying, Western interests would be best served by a genuine policy of engagement.