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About Face: A History of America's Curious Relationship with China, from Nixon to Clintonby Jim Mann
Synopses & Reviews
The secret story, covering the years since Nixon's arrival in the White House, of how American leaders first courted China's Communist government — partly out of eagerness to undermine the Soviet Union — and then belatedly changed their minds after the Tiananmen Square massacre and the Soviet collapse.
James Mann, foreign affairs columnist for the Los Angeles Times, has based his investigative history on newly uncovered government documents and scores of interviews. He shows how Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger paid China's price for Kissinger's first visit in 1971 by secretly promising never to support independence for Taiwan; how the Carter and Reagan administrations worked to strengthen the People's Liberation Army; and how the United States and China teamed up in guerrilla operations in Afghanistan. He tells how Bill Clinton first cultivated and then abandoned the movement to restrict China's trade benefits in America.
A book that is sure to inform and influence the current debate on U.S. relations with China.
Book News Annotation:
The inside story of the people, forces, politics, and diplomacy that have shaped contemporary relations between the US and China, written by James Mann, the Beijing bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times from 1984 to 1987. He begins with an account of how Nixon and Kissinger first built up ties to China's Communist government in an attempt to find a way out of the Vietnam War. He then shows how the Carter and Reagan administrations saw China as an ally against the USSR and how a tacit understanding emerged that the US would not subject China to the standards and principles applied to other countries, which subsequent administrations have failed to change. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (email@example.com)
About the Author
James Mann, the author of Beijing Jeep, is a diplomatic correspondent and foreign affairs columnist for the Washington bureau of the Los Angeles Times. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
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