This thoughtful volume is the first to evaluate comprehensively the formation and execution of U.S. policy toward China and Taiwan during the crucial twelve years of the Bush and Clinton administrations. Drawing on an unprecedented array of sources, a group of leading international experts explores the increasingly complex environment facing policymakers in the wake of the tragic events of Tiananmen, particularly the growing role played by interest group lobbies, media commentary, and Congress. All these influences combined to dismantle the bipartisan agreement that had supported positive relations with Beijing, replacing it with a more politicized and pluralized policy arena. The authors document how, within this new context, the Bush and Clinton administrations struggled to forge consensus, implement China policies, and maintain a modicum of relations with the PRC. The study focuses systematically on the range of domestic influences, but also considers the less-obvious but vital roles played by European and Asian nations, as well as Taiwan and China itself. Offering novel interpretations based on pathbreaking research, this book will be indispensable for all those interested in understanding the intricacies that influence the delicate relationship between the United States, China, and Taiwan.
This conference volume is valuable both for American and Chinese policy-makers and for those who hope to understand how Washington wound up with such a shifting, problematical relationship with China. It also implicitly offers important advice to the present administration.--The China Journal