Friends and Enemies: The United States, China, and the Soviet Union, 1948-1972

Gordon H. Chang, Author Stanford University Press $25 (383p) ISBN 978-0-8047-1565-2
Chang, historian at UC-Irvine, argues that U.S. policymakers from the Truman through the Johnson administrations never regarded the Sino-Soviet relationship as monolithic but recognized their conflicting interests early on, actively encouraged a rift and exploited their differences. Based on newly declassified documents, the study reveals that President Eisenhower came close to ordering a nuclear strike on the Chinese mainland during the 1955 Quemoy-Matsu crisis, and that President Kennedy sought to collaborate with the Soviets in preventing China from developing a nuclear capability. A major consequence of Washington's utilization of the Beijing-Moscow feud, the author indicates, was the role this friction played in President Johnson's decision to escalate American intervention in Vietnam. Chang provides an illuminating inquiry into Washington's China policy during the more than two decades of hostility and non-recognition. Photos. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 397 pages - 978-0-8047-1957-5
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