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By Martin Albers

This publication makes a speciality of assisting readers to fill the space of the little recognized historical past among Western Europe and its most vital buying and selling companion: the People’s Republic of China. encouraged through the industrial and political signifance of Sino-European relatives, this e-book indicates how the China guidelines of the 3 largest states of Western Europe – Britain, France, and the Federal Republic of Germany – helped China reintegrate into the foreign group within the Seventies. opposed to the heritage of the chilly warfare, the top of Maoism, and the emergence of globalization, the governments in Bonn, Paris and London needed to locate methods of facing Europe’s declining impression and advertise their very own nationwide pursuits in Asia.

in keeping with newly declassified govt documents, readers will locate such assets beneficial in realizing the argument that, regardless of pursuing very various rules, the 3 governments supported a quick enlargement of peaceable trade among the People’s Republic and Europe and considerably contributed to the good fortune of Beijing's reform policy.

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Additional resources for Britain, France, West Germany and the People's Republic of China, 1969–1982: The European Dimension of China's Great Transition

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Despite these differences, it is also striking that all three countries shared the common goal of normalising diplomatic ties and reaching a positive and productive working relationship with Beijing without harbouring any hopes that this might fundamentally change their own strategic situation, lead to spectacular economic gains, or allow them direct influence in China. These similar aims explain the partial convergence of national China policies during the 1970s. 4 The outbreak of the Cultural Revolution then led to the total collapse of both Beijing’s international strategy and its diplomatic apparatus, and it would take several years to repair these damages.

5 Then, in 1967, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was effectively taken over by radical Red Guards and many © The Author(s) 2016 M. 1057/978-1-137-56567-9_3 35 36 M. 6 This was the background to the burning of the British mission discussed in the previous chapter. 8 Thus, with its diplomatic apparatus barely functioning and surrounded by enemies (at least to some extent of its own making), China’s foreign policy was practically paralysed. Furthermore, the Cultural Revolution also effectively cut off any possibility of seriously engaging with other revolutionary or left-wing movements abroad.

The Gaullist French policy in East Asia had stood an important test. Whereas Britain as colonial power in Hong Kong faced one of the most severe crises of Anglo-Chinese relations since the nineteenth century, France was spared most of the anti-imperialist attacks during the Cultural Revolution, and there were even early Chinese feelers for restoring cordial ties. This enabled Paris and Beijing to normalise political relations quickly after 1969. 38 M. 15 In the earlier period, French recognition had made it possible for the two countries to regard each other as more or less equal partners.

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