Leadership Transition and New Foreign Policy Orientation

  • Guoli Liu


Leadership transition often leads to new foreign policy orientation. Following Deng Xiaoping’s emergence as the top leader of China in 1978, Chinese foreign policy experienced a series of fundamental changes in principle and substance. The rise of Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 with his “new political thinking” led to radical restructuring of Soviet foreign policy. When George W. Bush became the President of the United States in 2001, neorealism and unilateralism quickly replaced Bill Clinton’s neoliberalism and multilateralism. Political scientist Robert Putnam examined close links between domestic politics and foreign relations.1 In almost all the countries regardless of their regime types, foreign policies tend to be affected by changeover of the national leadership.


Foreign Policy World Trade Organization Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Leadership Transition China Daily 
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© Weixing Chen and Yang Zhong 2005

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  • Guoli Liu

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