Chinese Foreign Policy: A case study of Chinese foreign policy from 1980-2002, and implications for the future
From Warring States, to Imperial Dynasties, to Communist rule, the nation of China has seen many different forms of government, and therefore many different approaches to foreign policy. The People's Republic of China, as was established on October 1, 1949, by then current and self-proclaimed leader Chairman Mao Zedong, has always held a strict position of independence and sovereignty. The nation of China has also been extremely cautious on issues of territorial integrity. This focus on territorial integrity can be attributed to several things. The first is the fact that some areas of China have in the past been temporarily under military, economic, and political control of other nations, for decades at a time. One example of this is the Japanese occupation of Taiwan for fifty years prior to World War II. Parts of China were also occupied by Great Britain (Hong Kong), and Portugal (Macau). Currently, issues of territorial integrity that concern China are the session of Tibet, in southwestern China, and the Xinjiang province, in the northwestern part of China as both of these territories have expressed interest in becoming independent of China. After World War I, when the allied nations (United States, Great Britain, etc.) awarded areas of China which had been occupied by the Germans to the Japanese instead of returning them to the Chinese government, China became even more intent on preserving the nation's territorial integrity and sovereignty. The most central issue to Chinese territorial integrity is however, the question of Taiwan's independence or allegiance to Mainland China. For Beijing, Taiwan is now, and always has been part of Mainland China, while Taiwan, the United States, and other Western powers have disputed this claim.
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