Cover: The Sino-Soviet Rivalry and Chinese Security Debate

The Sino-Soviet Rivalry and Chinese Security Debate

Published 1982

by Jonathan D. Pollack

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This report describes and analyzes the policy implications of the shifting security and foreign policy concerns among China's leaders since the mid-1960s. Among these concerns, none has more profoundly affected Chinese policymaking than the deterioration and militarization of Sino-Soviet relations. This study traces the course of the conflict between Moscow and Beijing to indicate the increasing emphasis that both leaderships have placed on the national security aspects of their rivalry. Beijing's predominant security concern is to reduce (or at least to stabilize) the Soviet political and military threat to China. Several key policy considerations continue to be contentious issues within the Chinese leadership, including (1) China's effort to construct an anti-Soviet security coalition with the United States and other major powers; (2) a burgeoning pattern of economic, technological, and political links between China and the noncommunist industrialized world intended to facilitate China's modernization; and (3) periodic overtures to the Soviet Union that test Moscow's willingness to negotiate key bilateral issues.

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