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America’s Response to China: A History of Sino-American Relations (review)

America’s Response to China: A History of Sino-American Relations (review) Reviews 173 ofthisjournalaremanywhohavebenefittedfromtheintellectualguidanceand personalmentorshipofthesescholars.Thethreebooksreviewedaboveshowthat thescholarshiptheyhelpedbuildandnurtureinthecourseofoverhalfacentury promisestobeevermorevibrantbecauseoftheirlegacies. WingChungNg Wing Chung Ng, with the University of Texas at San Antonio, specializes in the history of modern China and the Chinese diaspora; he is currently completing a monograph on the history of Cantonese opera. Notes 1. Theauthor'sbook-lengthstudyoftheTapefamilyhassincebeenpublishedasThe Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America(Boston:HoughtonMifflin Harcourt,2010).Thatthestudyofbrokershasreceivedcriticalattentioncanbeseeninanother fascinatingstudy,inthiscase,onbrokersinChineseCanadianhistorybyLisaRoseMar,Brokering Belonging: Chinese in Canada's Exclusion Era, 1885­1945(NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress, 2010). 2. Fowler'sbookistitledJapanese and Chinese Immigrant Activists: Organizing in American and International Communist Movements, 1919­1933(NewBrunswick,NJ:RutgersUniversity Press,2007). 3. ThisisthesameargumentthatWonghasdevelopedmorefullyinhisbookAmericans First: Chinese Americans and the Second World War (Cambridge,MA:HarvardUniversityPress, 2005). 4. AfullerdiscussionisavailableinLouie,Chineseness across Borders: Renegotiating Chinese Identities in China and the United States(Durham,NC:DukeUniversityPress,2004). 5. Theauthor'searlierpublicationsincludeChinatowns: Towns within Cities in Canada (Vancouver:UniversityofBritishColumbiaPress,1988),andThe Forbidden City within Victoria: Myth, Symbol, and Streetscape of Canada's Earliest Chinatown(Victoria:OrcaBookPublishers, 1991). WarrenI.Cohen.America's Response to China: A History of Sino-American Relations. Fifthedition.NewYork:ColumbiaUniversityPress,2010.xxiii, 326pp.Paperback$27.50,isbn978-0-231-15077-4. © 2012 by University of Hawai`i Press Nowinitsfifthedition,theabovebookhasseenashelflifeoffourdecades. America's Response to Chinafirstappearedin1971andagainin1980;bothwere publishedbyJohnWiley&SonswiththesubtitleAn Interpretative History of Sino-American Relations. ThesubsequentthreeeditionsbytheColumbiaUniversityPress(1990,2000,and2010)havedroppedtheword"interpretative." 174 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.18,No.2,2011 Settingthefivevolumessidebyside,openedtothepageoftheirrespective contents,wecanseelittlesubstantivechangeotherthanthesameepilogueinthe firstandsecondeditionbecomingafullchapter8inthenextthreeeditions.In eachnewedition,Cohenhasaddedaccumulatedfactsandsignificantnewhistoricalhappenings,suchasthetectonicshiftinChina'sfutureviabilitycausedbythe BeijingmassacreofitscitizensonJune1989,whichbecamechapter9,"Inthe ShadowofTiananmen,"inboththefourthandfiftheditions.Cohendescribes how thetime-testedsurvivalanddiplomaticskillofChineseleaderswithinSinoAmericanrelationswereabletofinesseavoidingChinabeingpermanently brandedasapariahstate. Eachneweditionincludesmoreinformationandinsightsonpeoplesuchas DeanRusk,JohnFosterDulles,HenryKissinger,andothersignificantWashington playersinSino-Americanrelations,nottomentionthepivotalroleofdifferentU.S. presidents.CohenexpressesreliefthatSino-Americanrelationswereableto surviveeightyearsofRonaldReagan,whofavoredfreeChinaTaiwantothepoint ofthreateningthecrystalclearone-ChinaambiguitysetforthintheShanghai communiquéunderNixonin1972andthegainsofnormalizationundertheCarter administrationin1979.Thus,Cohen'sepilogue,"Rapprochement--AtLast,"inthe secondeditionbecameafullchapter8inthefollowingthreeeditions.Itdetailsthe twistsandturnsintheReaganera,andhowVicePresidentGeorgeH.W.Bush, throughpersonalfriendshipwithPremierDengXiaoping,wasabletolessenthe tensionbetweenthetwocountries. WhyAmerica's Response to China hasenjoyeditslongevityisduelargelyto Cohen'scentralfocusonthedrivingforcebehindU.S.foreignrelations--namely, nationalself-interest.Thatnationsintheworldarenaactprimarilyoutofnational self-interestisatruism,butsuchanobviousfactis,nevertheless,oftenoverlooked whenAmericansviewChinaeitherromanticallyorwithunduefear.Thatnations aredrivenbyself-interestwasmostcrasslyexpressedquitecandidlybyPresident AbdoulayeWadeofSenegaltohiscounterpart,ChenShui-bian,that"countries havenofriends,theyhaveonlyinterests"whenhiscountrybrokerelationswith TaiwaninfavorofthePeople'sRepublicofChina.1Or,inamoresubtle,presumablyconciliatorymanner,PresidentClinton'sdelinkingimprovedhumanrightsas aconditionforrenewingmost-favored-nationstatus.Cohenseesthepresident's actasresurrectingthefamousdictumofCalvinCoolidgethat"thebusinessof Americaisbusiness"(p.231,fourthedition). InAmerica's Response to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

America’s Response to China: A History of Sino-American Relations (review)

China Review International , Volume 18 (2) – Sep 19, 2011

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Abstract

Reviews 173 ofthisjournalaremanywhohavebenefittedfromtheintellectualguidanceand personalmentorshipofthesescholars.Thethreebooksreviewedaboveshowthat thescholarshiptheyhelpedbuildandnurtureinthecourseofoverhalfacentury promisestobeevermorevibrantbecauseoftheirlegacies. WingChungNg Wing Chung Ng, with the University of Texas at San Antonio, specializes in the history of modern China and the Chinese diaspora; he is currently completing a monograph on the history of Cantonese opera. Notes 1. Theauthor'sbook-lengthstudyoftheTapefamilyhassincebeenpublishedasThe Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America(Boston:HoughtonMifflin Harcourt,2010).Thatthestudyofbrokershasreceivedcriticalattentioncanbeseeninanother fascinatingstudy,inthiscase,onbrokersinChineseCanadianhistorybyLisaRoseMar,Brokering Belonging: Chinese in Canada's Exclusion Era, 1885­1945(NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress, 2010). 2. Fowler'sbookistitledJapanese and Chinese Immigrant Activists: Organizing in American and International Communist Movements, 1919­1933(NewBrunswick,NJ:RutgersUniversity Press,2007). 3. ThisisthesameargumentthatWonghasdevelopedmorefullyinhisbookAmericans First: Chinese Americans and the Second World War (Cambridge,MA:HarvardUniversityPress, 2005). 4. AfullerdiscussionisavailableinLouie,Chineseness across Borders: Renegotiating Chinese Identities in China and the United States(Durham,NC:DukeUniversityPress,2004). 5. Theauthor'searlierpublicationsincludeChinatowns: Towns within Cities in Canada (Vancouver:UniversityofBritishColumbiaPress,1988),andThe Forbidden City within Victoria: Myth, Symbol, and Streetscape of Canada's Earliest Chinatown(Victoria:OrcaBookPublishers, 1991). WarrenI.Cohen.America's Response to China: A History of Sino-American Relations. Fifthedition.NewYork:ColumbiaUniversityPress,2010.xxiii, 326pp.Paperback$27.50,isbn978-0-231-15077-4. © 2012 by University of Hawai`i Press Nowinitsfifthedition,theabovebookhasseenashelflifeoffourdecades. America's Response to Chinafirstappearedin1971andagainin1980;bothwere publishedbyJohnWiley&SonswiththesubtitleAn Interpretative History of Sino-American Relations. ThesubsequentthreeeditionsbytheColumbiaUniversityPress(1990,2000,and2010)havedroppedtheword"interpretative." 174 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.18,No.2,2011 Settingthefivevolumessidebyside,openedtothepageoftheirrespective contents,wecanseelittlesubstantivechangeotherthanthesameepilogueinthe firstandsecondeditionbecomingafullchapter8inthenextthreeeditions.In eachnewedition,Cohenhasaddedaccumulatedfactsandsignificantnewhistoricalhappenings,suchasthetectonicshiftinChina'sfutureviabilitycausedbythe BeijingmassacreofitscitizensonJune1989,whichbecamechapter9,"Inthe ShadowofTiananmen,"inboththefourthandfiftheditions.Cohendescribes how thetime-testedsurvivalanddiplomaticskillofChineseleaderswithinSinoAmericanrelationswereabletofinesseavoidingChinabeingpermanently brandedasapariahstate. Eachneweditionincludesmoreinformationandinsightsonpeoplesuchas DeanRusk,JohnFosterDulles,HenryKissinger,andothersignificantWashington playersinSino-Americanrelations,nottomentionthepivotalroleofdifferentU.S. presidents.CohenexpressesreliefthatSino-Americanrelationswereableto surviveeightyearsofRonaldReagan,whofavoredfreeChinaTaiwantothepoint ofthreateningthecrystalclearone-ChinaambiguitysetforthintheShanghai communiquéunderNixonin1972andthegainsofnormalizationundertheCarter administrationin1979.Thus,Cohen'sepilogue,"Rapprochement--AtLast,"inthe secondeditionbecameafullchapter8inthefollowingthreeeditions.Itdetailsthe twistsandturnsintheReaganera,andhowVicePresidentGeorgeH.W.Bush, throughpersonalfriendshipwithPremierDengXiaoping,wasabletolessenthe tensionbetweenthetwocountries. WhyAmerica's Response to China hasenjoyeditslongevityisduelargelyto Cohen'scentralfocusonthedrivingforcebehindU.S.foreignrelations--namely, nationalself-interest.Thatnationsintheworldarenaactprimarilyoutofnational self-interestisatruism,butsuchanobviousfactis,nevertheless,oftenoverlooked whenAmericansviewChinaeitherromanticallyorwithunduefear.Thatnations aredrivenbyself-interestwasmostcrasslyexpressedquitecandidlybyPresident AbdoulayeWadeofSenegaltohiscounterpart,ChenShui-bian,that"countries havenofriends,theyhaveonlyinterests"whenhiscountrybrokerelationswith TaiwaninfavorofthePeople'sRepublicofChina.1Or,inamoresubtle,presumablyconciliatorymanner,PresidentClinton'sdelinkingimprovedhumanrightsas aconditionforrenewingmost-favored-nationstatus.Cohenseesthepresident's actasresurrectingthefamousdictumofCalvinCoolidgethat"thebusinessof Americaisbusiness"(p.231,fourthedition). InAmerica's Response to

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Sep 19, 2011

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