EASSC Publications

Date of this Version

8-19-2013

Document Type

Conference Paper

Abstract

This paper identifies both the utility and risks of using linkage in foreign policy by considering a historical example. In September of 1949, Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, uttered the now famous words: “占人类总数四分之一的中国人从此站立起来了[The Chinese who account for one-fourth the world’s humanity, have stood up]” putting the world on notice that China had “stood up.” This marked a dramatic break with modern Chinese history of foreign domination, invasion, and civil war. The newly established People’s Republic of China (PRC) had declared that it had the will and ability to end the remaining vestiges of the Unequal Treaties that originated with the Treaty of Nanjing of 1842. In addition, Mao had already announced that the PRC would “lean to one side” when it came to foreign relations.

However, despite the anti-imperialist tone and socialist revolutionary rhetoric this paper demonstrates that the Communist Chinese based their early foreign policy towards Britain less on ideology than on London’s attitude toward the Guomindang, and did not necessarily deliberate on Britain’s imperialist past. The British initially failed to comprehend this opportunity and the PRC’s diplomacy of linking issues. The PRC Government linked seemingly unrelated issues, including withholding recognition of the British to indicate the PRC’s displeasure with Britain’s vote in the United Nations that helped the Guomindang. Similarly, questions over continued ties between the British and the Guomindang also caused the PRC to stall the British as they sought to deal with issues related to custody and upkeep of the Chinese Embassy in London. This paper utilizes the archives of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing and the United Kingdom’s National Archives in London which both record Chinese linkage and stalling, as well as, how British actions and attitudes towards the Guomindang fractured this fragile relationship and lost the opportunity to establish diplomatic relations in the months before the start of the Korean War in June of 1950.

摘要:本文通过分析历史案例,指出在外交政策中将问题联系起来的效用和风险。1949年9月,中国共产党中央委员会主席毛泽东宣布:“占人类总数四分之一的中国人从此站起来了”。这句话现在已经成了一句名言,它向世界宣告,中国已经“站起来了。“这标志着中国近代史上的重大转变,中国摆脱了外国统治、侵略和内战。新成立的中华人民共和国宣布,她有意志和能力,扫除自1842年《南京条约》以来所有不平等条约的遗迹。此外,毛泽东还宣布,在对外关系上,中国将采取“一边倒”的方针。

本文指出,虽然有反帝国主义的激昂口号和社会主义革命的慷慨陈词,中国共产党对英国的早期外交政策,与其说是以意识形态为基础,不如说是以伦敦对国民党的态度为基础的,而且并没有过多纠缠英国的帝国主义历史。一开始,英国没能理解这个机会,也没有理解中国在外交中把问题联系起来的做法。中国政府把看似无关的问题联系在一起,包括不承认英国人,以表达中国对英国在联合国投票帮助国民党的不满。同样,英国和国民党之间继续保持关系的问题,也导致中国在英国寻求中国驻伦敦大使馆的保管和维护问题上一再拖延。本文的资料来自于位于北京的中国外交部档案和伦敦的英国国家档案馆,它们都记录了中国联系问题和拖延处理的做法,其他问题还包括:英国对国民党的行动和态度,使中英间脆弱的关系分崩离析;英国没能抓住在1950年6月朝鲜战争开始的前几个月和中国建立外交关系的时机。

Journal, Book or Conference Title

East Asia Security Symposium and Conference 东亚安全座谈谈论会

Publication Details

Author Information: Tracy Steele is an Associate Professor of History at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. She teaches and writes on diplomatic and Asian history including articles on Anglo-American relations in Asia and a textbook for Chinese students on Cross-Cultural Communication. She is presently completing a monograph on Sino-British relations in the 1950s. It emphasizes the extent to which China linked Britain’s actions and attitudes toward the Republic of China on Taiwan, particularly its vote in the United Nations on Chinese representation and the British Consulate in Taiwan, to improving the two countries’ trade and diplomatic relations.

http://houstonianonline.com/2015/02/23/steele-passes-legacy-lives/

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tbo/obituary.aspx?n=tracy-lee-steele&pid=174268847

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This document has been peer reviewed.