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The Middle East in China's united front calculations, 1957-58.

Biel, Robert (1992) The Middle East in China's united front calculations, 1957-58. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The study examines the Chinese leadership's assessment of events in the Middle East in 1957-8, with reference to its line over Socialist Camp support for popular movements in response to US intervention. Addressing Chinese categorisation of forces in world politics, it argues that this period was crucial in interpreting the changing role of the developing countries from an intermediate zone between two camps into the main progressive force. Events in the area were seen as a historical turning point, the focus being regional trials of strength in opposition to US intervention. In this connection, different levels of conflict analysis are explored. The study considers the foreign policy dilemma of uniting 'from above' with regional regimes or 'from below' with mass movements, the theme of historic links with the Arabs as a precursor of 'third world' solidarity, and China's direct contacts with the area, including a detailed study of relations with Yemen as an early instance of 'South-South' co-operation. While Arab nationalism was applauded, the attitude to Nasserism was cool, and Islam very much downplayed. A survey of articles by Chinese specialists pinpoints differing trends in the analysis of social conditions in Arab states, particularly post-revolutionary Iraq. Against the background of China's Great Leap Forward, links between radicalism in domestic and foreign policy spheres are examined, including the nation-wide mass demonstrations, an unprecedented experiment in domestic social mobilisation on an international issue. This provides a context for the decision to bombard Nationalist-held offshore islands. The study casts light on the issue of periodization in Chinese foreign policy, illustrates the origin of important themes which were to resurface in the Sino-Soviet polemic, and reflects problems confronting a radical actor having to adapt previously-held models to major changes in both domestic and international environments.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: History, Asia, Australia and Oceania, Political Science, International Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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