Abstract

On a bright cold Thursday morning in London, 15 December 1949, the 54th birthday of King George VI, His Majesty’s Government decided to accord diplomatic recognition to the Central Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), a newly established communist revolutionary regime which had publicly denounced the West. Unfortunately, King George VI did not live to see the formal establishment of diplomatic relations between Britain and revolutionary China, which took place after four years of protracted negotiations. The remarkable decision by the British government to recognize the new Chinese government at a time when the Cold War was intensifying, and the tortuous process leading to the establishment of formal relations between the two countries in 1954, marked an important stage in Anglo-Chinese relations. Their interactions during this period also revealed much about post-war British foreign policy and the international behaviour of the People’s Republic in its early years as a revolutionary state.

Keywords

Foreign Policy International Relation Diplomatic Relation China Policy Policy Formulation Process 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    C. Hill and M. Light, ‘Foreign Policy Analysis’ in M. Light and A. J. R. Groom (eds), International Relations, A Handbook of Current Theory (London: Francès Pinter, 1985) p. 157. Hill and Light have provided a brief and useful survey of the current theories of foreign policy analysis, and their place in the study of international relations.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    A. Shlaim, P. Jones and K. Sainsbury, British Foreign Secretaries (Newton Abbot: David and Charles, 1977) p. 14.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    In addition to Light and Hill, op. cit., two useful discussions of the different theoretical perspectives in the study of foreign policy decision-making are: J. E. Dougherty and R. L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr, Contending Theories of International Relations: A comprehensive survey (New York: Harper & Row, 1981), chapter 11, pp. 468–510;Google Scholar
  4. B. P. White, ‘Decision-making analysis’ in T. Taylor (ed.), Approaches and Theory in International Relations (London: Longman, 1978) pp. 141–164.Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    For factors influencing foreign policy decision-making see for example, L. P. Bloomfield, The Foreign Policy Process: A Modern Primer (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1982);Google Scholar
  6. M. Clarke and B. White, An Introduction to Foreign Policy Analysis: The Foreign Policy System (Ormskirk and Northridge: G.W. & A. Hesketh, 1981);Google Scholar
  7. M. A. East, S. A. Salmore, C. F. Hermann, Why Nations Act: Theoretical Perspectives for Comparative Foreign Policy Studies (London: Sage, 1978);Google Scholar
  8. L. Jensen, Explaining Foreign Policy (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1982).Google Scholar
  9. A strong case for including policy implementation as a central part of foreign policy decision making has been made in M. Clarke, ‘Foreign policy implementation: problems and approaches’, British Journal of International Studies, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1979, pp. 112–128,CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. S. Smith and M. Clarke (eds), Foreign Policy Implementation (London: Allen & Unwin, 1985).Google Scholar
  11. 5.
    P. Calvert, Revolution and International Politics (London: Frances Pinter, 1984) p. 152.Google Scholar
  12. 6.
    See Martin Wight, Power Politics (Harmondsworth: Pelican Books, 1986) pp. 117–119.Google Scholar
  13. 8.
    H. Bull, The Anarchical Society: A Study of Order in World Politics (London: Macmillan, 1977) pp. 9–10 and p. 13.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© James Tuck-Hong Tang 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Tuck-Hong Tang
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Hong KongChina

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