Domestic Dimensions of China's Foreign Policy

Manoranjan Mohanty


We must firmly reject and criticize all the decadent bourgeois systems, ideologies and ways of life of foreign countries. But this should in no way prevent us from learning the advanced sciences and technologies of capitalist countries and whatever is scientific in the management in their enterprises.

Mao Zedong: "On the Ten Major Relationships"

Any part we want to play in world affairs depends entirely on the
internal strength, unity and conditions of our country. Our views might create some impression on others for the moment, but they will attach importance to our voice only in proportion to the strength they know we have.

Jawaharlal Nehru: Speech in Lok Sabha

Leaders of all the historic movements are aware of the dynamics of the interaction between the internal and the external dimensions of the processes in which they were involved. In the social science writings, however, several mechanical notions regarding such relationship persist. In this essay, there is an attempt to explain the dynamics of the internal and the external in the light of the Chinese revolutionary experience. There are two objectives of this exercise which are taken up in the two parts of the paper. First, it is argued that rather than engage in the empiricist exercise of listing the roots or sources of a foreign policy, it is more fruitful to place a national or regional experience in the world process and discern the character of both the world process and the distinct process at the lower level. Secondly, we seek to identify the principal problems in China's development experience in terms of three contradictions in socialist construction. Handling of those contradictions has implications at several levels including foreign policy.

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Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies
ISSN (print): 1395-4199, ISSN (online): 2246-2163

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