The major external issue for China in the 1980s will concern the character of Peking's relations with both the global system and the Asian regional system. There will be two principal tests in the coming decade: (1) Will China's international beliefs and practices prove compatible with the policies of states whose assistance and cooperation China now solicits? (2) Will China's adversarial relations remain predictable, or might the political and military pressure directed against China shift markedly? The author discusses three principal factors upon which stability in China's foreign policy will depend: (1) the directions of the international system as a whole, (2) its manifestations in China's areas of more immediate interest in East Asia, and (3) China's capacity to resist or deflect pressures for change in its internal and external policy objectives.
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