In the past sixty years, relations between China and the United States have fluctuated wildly. Such divisive issues as human rights, the future of Tibet and Taiwan, trade imbalances, and illegal immigration have fueled intense debate over how the United States should deal with the most populous nation in the world.
Nancy Bernkopf Tucker brings together a wide range of interviews on these and other issues, recorded by the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, with key players in the making and execution of U.S. policy towards China since World War II. Historical events usch as Nixon's trip to China, the Tiananmen Massacre, and the recurring Taiwan Straits crises come to life as never before. Portraits of the essential personalities in Sino-American relations emerge from the pages of "China Confidential, " including Mao Zedong, Henry Kissinger, Zhou Enlai, Ronald Reagan, Chiang Kai-shek, Chiang Ching-kuo, and Lee Teng-hui.
This rich array of interviews provides the context for understanding the otherwise baffling diplomatic interaction between the United States and China, shedding light on the circumstances under which difficult and crucial decisions were reached and revealing the background and biases of the people who made and carried out those policies.
These recollections... greatly enhance our knowledge and appreciation of professional diplomats who devoted-and sometimes sacrificed-their careers to the pursuit of constructive relations between the United States and China. The China Journal A coherent and informative insider's view of a half century of Sino-American relations... Veteran China watchers will enjoy the stories of people who for many were old friends, and those new to the field will enjoy a wonderful introduction to an insider's view of an important era of diplomatic history. China Quarterly This book is to be commended for its usefulness to both the academic community and policy circles. -- Wei-Chin Lee Pacific Affairs