China's Third World Policy
from Maoist Era to Present

by Joseph Lee

[March 14, 2008]


Dr. Joseph T. Lee looks at the current development of the Sino-American encounter in the Third World. During the Maoist and the Dengist era, China was responding to the international pressures from the United States and the Soviet Union rather than dealing with the Third World countries per se. But since the launching of the War on Terror in 2001, the American military expansion into Iraq and Afghanistan completely changed China’s diplomatic priorities. Beijing has begun to pursue an active policy of engaging many Third World countries in order to undermine the U.S.-dominated international order. This development reflects the current Chinese government’s rhetoric about the peaceful rise of China, meaning that a powerful China will not threaten its Asian neighbors as the Western imperialists had done in the past.






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