This comprehensive study of China's Cold War experience reveals the
crucial role Beijing played in shaping the orientation of the
global Cold War and the confrontation between the United States and
the Soviet Union.
The success of China's Communist revolution in 1949 set the stage,
Chen says. The Korean War, the Taiwan Strait crises, and the
Vietnam War--all of which involved China as a central
actor--represented the only major "hot" conflicts during the Cold
War period, making East Asia the main battlefield of the Cold War,
while creating conditions to prevent the two superpowers from
engaging in a direct military showdown. Beijing's split with Moscow
and rapprochement with Washington fundamentally transformed the
international balance of power, argues Chen, eventually leading to
the end of the Cold War with the collapse of the Soviet Empire and
the decline of international communism.
Based on sources that include recently declassified Chinese
documents, the book offers pathbreaking insights into the course
and outcome of the Cold War.