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Piercing the Bamboo CurtainTentative Bridge-building to China During the Johnson Years$
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Michael Lumbers

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780719077784

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719077784.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.240) Conclusion
Source:
Piercing the Bamboo Curtain
Author(s):

Michael Lumbers

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719077784.003.0008

This chapter considers the factors underlying the relaxation of US attitudes towards China in the 1960s. It also discusses the significance of the Lyndon Baines Johnson team's tentative bridge-building, and the points of departure between Johnson's and Richard Nixon's respective approaches to the People's Republic of China (PRC). Then, the chapter describes Johnson's strengths and weaknesses as a foreign policy leader within the context of his dealings with Beijing. Johnson was hardly the ideal candidate to initiate changes in America's relationship with China. A new relationship with Beijing might be of use in checking a more conspicuous Soviet threat. Johnson signalled his own interest in a limited war by cautiously escalating America's military involvement and refraining from those actions that could be misconstrued as a direct threat to Chinese security. A cursory look at his consumption of China data confirms that he was the administration's ultimate arbiter.

Keywords:   PRC, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Richard Nixon, foreign policy, Beijing, Soviet threat, Chinese security, America

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