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China: Relations with the Developed World
Country Study > Chapter 12 > Foreign Relations > An Overview of China's Foreign Relations > Relations with the Developed World

RELATIONS WITH THE DEVELOPED WORLD


Since 1949 China's overriding concerns have been security and economic development. In working toward both of these goals, China has focused on its relations with the superpowers. Because most of the developed world, with the exception of Japan, is fairly distant from China and is aligned formally or informally with either the Soviet Union or the United States, China's relations with the developed world often have been subordinate to its relations with the superpowers. In the 1950s China considered most West European countries "lackeys" of United States imperialism, while it sided with Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. As China's relations with the superpowers have changed, so have its ties with other developed nations. An example of this is that more than a dozen developed countries, including the Federal Republic of Germany, Spain, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, all established diplomatic relations with China after the Sino-American rapprochement in the early 1970s.

The developed nations have been important to China for several reasons: as sources of diplomatic recognition, as alternative sources of trade and technology to reduce reliance on one or the other superpower, and as part of China's security calculations. In the 1980s China stressed the role of developed nations in ensuring peace in an increasingly multipolar world. Australia and Canada were important trading partners for China, but Beijing's most important relations with the developed world were with Japan and Europe.

Data as of July 1987




Last Updated: July 1987


Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for China was first published in 1987. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.

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