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Reviews 209 Thomas A. Metzger and Ramon H. Myers, editors. Greater China and U.S. Foreign Policy: The Choice between Confrontation and Mutual Respect. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1996. ix, 124 pp. Paperback $16.95, isbn 0-8179-9412-2. The United States-China relationship is one ofthe most important relationships, ifnot the most important relationship, in the world today. The handing over of Hong Kong is again putting this relationship to the test. Its importance is certain to increase as China continues to gain in economic power, political influence, and military might as we enter the next century. The relations between Washington and Beijing have an immense impact not only on the economic growth and security of the two powers, but also on peace and development in Asia as well as the entire world. "America's relationship to China," as John Fairbank pointed out, "bulks large on the agenda for human survival."1 Despite the importance ofthis relationship, however, it has deteriorated in recent years, a decline aggravated in part by the Taiwan issue. The current problem of United States-China-Taiwan relations continues to cause serious concern among the American public and U.S. government officials, and the difficulties in understanding diese relations have attracted the keen interest of scholars. Thomas A. Metzger and Ramon H. Myers offer American readers the first comprehensive overview of this complex topic in an extraordinary collection of essays. A group ofinternationally prominent China scholars discuss how U.S. policy can best respond to recent changes in greater China, including the People's Republic of China (PRC), the Republic ofChina (ROC or Taiwan), and Hong Kong. They analyze the evolution of Chinese foreign policy; Taiwan's development and its policy on unification; security and economic issues; and the problem ofhuman rights. From their different perspectives and unique personal experiences , the contributors also set forth the main political and diplomatic visions that will affect the future ofgreater China. The principles they formulate in this book "should guide U.S. policy toward greater China in the next decades."2 Bringing fresh air to the study ofUnited States-China-Taiwan relations and shedding new light on many important questions, this book surely fills some major gaps in research. It can serve either as a reference for policy makers, government officials, international businesspeople, and Asia specialists, or as a supplementary text for teachers and college students, all ofwhom will find its previously© 1998 by University unpUDlished sources mostinteresting and its important conclusions provocative. of awai ? ress^£ mtercjjscjpimarv research represented in this volume includes eleven authoritative papers presented at a conference held at the Hoover Institution. In their introduction, Metzger and Myers view changes and shortcomings as a 210 China Review International: Vol. 5, No. 1, Spring 1998 present-day reality of greater China and as a U.S. foreign-policy problem. The editors raise two important questions: Should the key issue in greater China and U.S. foreign policy be "to pose a clear-cut choice between confrontation and mutual respect in U.S.-PRC relations?" And "If so, which option is more reasonable" (p. 4)? They consider the collective insights of the contributors and argue that the United States "should take a clear-cut choice in favor of mutual accommodation and respect" toward greater China (p. 4). Their conclusion makes clear that a "get-tough" policy would ultimately fail and that the United States should work toward a "harmonious" relationship. In chapter 1, Ambassador James R. Lilley uses a historical approach to analyze the evolution of PRC foreign policy, especially toward Taiwan and Hong Kong, and concludes that China began to use "consultation, not confrontation, as the means to work out disputes" (p. 35) by seeking international legal assistance, including assistance from the United States. He feels that although the PRC will become an economic power over the next ten to twenty years, it will maintain close ties with Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia. This view implies that the PRC "remains extremely reluctant" to deal with Taiwan except in a peaceful way (P- 37)· Myers looks into the impasse in cross-Strait relations in chapter 2 by reviewing the history of U.S. policy on...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 209-213
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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