China and the United States: From Hostility to Engagement, 1960-1998 publishes together for the first time recent unclassified and newly declassified documents pertaining to the formulation and implementation of the United States' policies toward the People's Republic of China and Taiwan over the last four decades, indexed for maximum accessibility. This set reproduces on microfiche over 2,000 memoranda and policy studies, diplomatic cables, briefing and information papers, transcripts of conversations between key Chinese and U.S. officials, written communications between U.S. and Chinese officials, government-to-government agreements, and intelligence reports and studies.
The collection includes top-secret studies of the feasibility of preempting China's 1964 atomic test by destroying Chinese nuclear facilities, the verbatim transcript of President Nixon's historic first meeting with Chairman Mao Zedong, secret U.S. embassy reporting on China's 1989 attack on protestors in Tiananmen Sqaure, and secret biographies of Chinese civilian an military leaders prepared by the CIA and DIA.
The approximately 15,000 pages of documentation come from the National Security Council, the State Department in Washington and American Embassy in Beijing, the Defense Department, a variety of U.S. intelligence agencies, the military services and commands, the General Accounting Office, and Congressional Research Service, as well as a number of white papers on arms control and human rights from the People's Republic of China.
China and the United States presents a unique look into America's relations with the nation has become the major surviving Communist power, served as key strategic partner in the the last half of the Cold War, and has posed a major challenge for U.S. policymakers since the end of the Cold War. The documents in the collection are drawn from diverse sources, including the National Archives, presidential libraries, and most importantly, hundreds of Freedom of Information Act requests. The result of the effort is an authoritative collection which will prove of tremendous value in understanding both China and U.S. policy toward that nation.
China and the United States provides a wealth of information and documentation on key aspects of U.S.-China relations, including such extraordinary topics as:
- U.S. exploration of the possibility of destroying China's nascent nuclear weapons program
- The opening to China
- The Nixon/Kissinger-Mao/Zhou meetings in the 1970s
- U.S. policy toward Taiwan
- The U.S.-Chinese military relationship
- The evolution of U.S. China policy
- The 1989 events at Tiananmen Square
- U.S. intelligence reports on China's domestic situation, foreign policy, and military activities.
Significance of the CollectionThe People's Republic of China was first a major adversary of the United States and then, during much of the Cold War, a strategic partner. Today, it is a major challenge for U.S. policymakers as well as topic of heated debate in the post-Cold War era. China not only remains a Communist power, whose foreign and domestic policies clash with U.S. interests and values. It is also a rising military force and a major market for American goods.
China and the United States allows scholars direct access to remarkable newly declassified, primary documents that dramtically enhance understanding of the history of U.S.-Chinese relations and U.S. policy formation and implementation with respect to China. The documents, which go far beyond what is available in secondary sources, are essential for reaching an accurate understanding of what was happening behind the scenes and how that related to the better-known aspects of U.S.-China relations.
The material contained in the set is crucial to assessing the role of key individuals and institutions in the formulation and implementation of U.S. China policy, key considerations for U.S. policymakers, U.S. strategy in dealing with both the PRC and Taiwan, as well as American perceptions of events in China and Chinese external activities.
One-Stop Access to Critical DocumentsIt would take a monumental effort, as well as tens of thousands of dollars, to duplicate the information contained in this collection. China and the United States allows a researcher -- whether interested in the Nixon opening to China, U.S-Chinese military relations, U.S.-Chinese relations since normalization, U.S. intelligence analysis of China or a variety of other subjects -- to use one source at one location to access the thousands of pages of declassified material available in this set.
Through China and the United States the researcher gains access to a wide variety of documents, including Presidential decision and study directives (for the Kennedy through Bush administrations); studies produced in response to Presidential study directives; briefing papers for U.S. State and Defense Department officials covering topics such as the role of Taiwan in U.S.-China relations, human rights in China, and Chinese proliferation activities; transcripts of conversations between Richard Nixon and Mao Zedong; intelligence estimates and reports produced by the CIA, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, DIA, and other intelligence agencies on subjects as diverse as Chinese educational policy to the national command and control structure.
In-depth Indexing Makes Every Document AccessibleThe National Security Archive prepares extensive printed finding aids for its collections. In-depth indexing offers users remarkable ease and precision of access to every document in the set. The printed Index provides document-level access to subjects, individuals, and organizations, and represents a major research contribution in itself. Important transactions within each document are indexed individually using a controlled subjects vocabulary.
The Guide includes an essay; events chronology; glossaries of key individuals, organizations, abbreviations, terms, and weapons and warnings systems; document catalog; and bibliography of secondary sources.
Research VistasWith its depth of documentary detail and balance of perspectives, this collection enables researchers to explore in greater detail:
- China's domestic situation and politics
- U.S. intelligence performance
- The evolution of U.S.-China policy
- U.S-Chinese military relations
- Chinese military institutions and forces
- Human rights in China
- The interaction of U.S. and Chinese officials
- The influence of trade issues on U.S. China policy
The Collection is a Necessity for:
- Scholars and students of
- U.S.-Chinese relations
- U.S. intelligence community policy formation
- International relations and trade
- Human Rights
- Policy analysts
- Concerned citizens
- Librarians and bibliographers
Sample Document Titles
View documents from China and the United States in the electronic briefing book Tiananmen Square 1989, The Declassified History.
- George W. Rathjens, Destruction of Chinese Nuclear Weapons Capabilities, December 14, 1964. TOP SECRET.
- Memorandum of Conversation, [Nixon-Mao Meeting] Chairman Mao's Residence, Peking, February 21, 1972. TOP SECRET.
- National Security Council, U.S. Security Assistance to the Republic of China: NSSM 212, January 10, 1975. TOP SECRET.
- U.S. Army War College, Implications for US-China Security Cooperation, August 17, 1981. SECRET.
- National Security Decision Directive 120, Visit to the United States of Premier Zho Ziyang, January 9, 1984. SECRET.
- National Security Decision Directive 120, Visit to the United States of Premier Zho Ziyang, January 9, 1984. SECRET.
- Amembassy Beijing, Foreign Minister Wu Visit: Handling Chinese Arms Sales to Iran, February 4, 1988. SECRET.
- Amembassy Beijing, Sitrep No. 28: Ten to Fifteen Thousand Armed Troops Stopped at City Perimeter by Human and Bus Barricades, June 3, 1989. CONFIDENTIAL.
- Amembassy Beijing, What Happened on the Night of June 3/4?, June 22, 1989. CONFIDENTIAL.
- State Department, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, China: Aftermath of the Crisis, July 27, 1989. SECRET.
- Office of Naval Intelligence, Worldwide Threat to U.S. Navy and Marine Forces, [deleted], Volume II: Country Study: China, December 1993. SECRET.
- Department of State, Assistant Secretary Shattuck's China Trip, Overview of Issues to be Discussed, January 18, 1994. CONFIDENTIAL.
- Secretary of Defense, U.S.-China Military Relationship, August 1994. SECRET.
- Defense Intelligence Agency, Biographic Sketch: General CHI Haotian, October 1995. CONFIDENTIAL.
- People's Republic of China, White Paper - China: Arms Control and Disarmament, November 16, 1995. UNCLASSIFIED.
- Office of Naval Intelligence, Chinese Exercise Strait 961: 8-25 March, 1996, May 1996. UNCLASSIFIED.
The National Security Archive U.S.-China Relations Project StaffProject Director
Jeffrey T. Richelson
Michael Evans, Research Assistant
Jane Gefter, Research Assistant
Michael Watters, Research Assistant
U.S.- China Relations Advisory Board
Professor George Quester, Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland
Robert Kagan, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Professor Harry Harding, Dean, Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University
Overview and Ordering InformationTitle
China and the United States: From Hostility to Engagement, 1960-1998
Reproduces on microfiche 2,050 U.S. government records totaling over 15,000 pages of documentation concerning the evolution of relations between the United States and China.
Materials were identified, obtained, assembled, and indexed by the National Security Archive.
The Special Collections
Microfiche are arranged chronologically. For ease of use, each document bears a unique accession number to which all indexing is keyed.
The documents are reproduced on 35mm silver halide archivally permanent positive microfiche conforming to NMA and BSI standards. Any microfiche found to be physically substandard in any way will be replaced free of charge.
A printed Guide and Index accompanies the microfiche collection. The Guide contains an events chronology, glossaries, chronological document catalog and a bibliography of secondary sources. The Index provides in-depth, document level access to subjects and individuals.
Date of Publication
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Praise for China and the United StatesThe China collection is a breathtaking record of America's long journey toward the People's Republic of China. To hear the voices, for the first time, of China's revolutionary icons, Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai, cajoling
admonishing and debating American leaders in private, with both sides seeking to out charm and out wit the other, will stand as the greatest contribution to this document set. But for researchers and historians, these conversations are sprinkled over a much broader landscape of documentation that provides the larger context of Chinese-American relations over three decades and six administrations. For Asia hands, this collection will likely prove the indispensable benchmark of primary source documentation for years to come.
Patrick E. Tyler
Beijing Bureau Chief, (1993-1997)
The New York Times
This is an extraordinary collection of newly declassified documents. Covering four decades of U.S.-China relations, it goes far beyond the limited offerings of the FRUS series. Providing full texts, for example, of the historic Nixon-Mao conversations of February 1972 and of a remarkable 1964 U.S. government discussion paper exploring the costs and benefits of a pre-emptive air strike against China's nuclear weapons facilities, this collection will become an indispensible refernece work for serious students of U.S. foreign policy and Sino-American relations.
Department of Political Science
University of California, Los Angeles
Author, Burying Mao: Chinese Politics in the Age of Deng Xiaoping (Princeton University Press)
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