Problems of U.S.-China Relations and Governmental Decisionmaking

by Richard H. Moorsteen, Morton Abramowitz

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China is potentially a major influence on every U.S. interest in Asia, including Taiwan's status and Japanese rearmament. Wherever the Nixon Doctrine is challenged in Asia, the Chinese role will be important, if not dominating. Chinese acquisition of nuclear weapons will also have its impact. Moreover, China is a major factor influencing U.S.-Soviet relations. The problem facing U.S. policymakers is how to coordinate these highly diverse considerations. This report recommends the creation of a China Group at the policymaking level. The Group would meet periodically for discussions and recommendations on matters relating to China. Given the time limitations on its members, the Group's value would depend largely on the quality of its staff's work and interactions with the specialist community. Also recommended are research and intelligence studies to bridge the information gap and improved procedures for managing policy development.

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