Dr. Jaber Ibrahim SALMAN: China in International Politics

1. Introduction

2. China before the Cold War
2.1 The Chinese Political System’s Impact on Foreign Relations
2.2 The establishment of the Communist Party of China
2.3 The Chinese War of Resistance (19):
2.4 China during the Second World War

3. China during the Cold War
3.1. China: Establishment and Joining the UN (1971-1949)
3.2. China: From Joining the UN to the Reform and Opening-Up Policies (1971-1978)
3.3. Reform and Opening-Up Policies (1978-1991)

4. China and the New World System
4.1. China–United States Relations
4.2. China-Russian Federation Relations
4.3. China-Europe Relations
4.4. China-Southeast Asia Relations
4.5. China-Middle East Relations
4.5.1 Chinese-Arab Relations
4.5.2 China’s Relations with the Larger Region of Middle East

5. Conclusion

1. Introduction
Chinese culture is ancient and deeply rooted in history. What sets it apart from other cultures is the fact that, during the various eras of ancient history, it remained immune to foreign influences. This was because of its distant location away from the conflict zones that surrounded the major empires of the time, such as the Roman Empire. Even when contacts with other cultures were made—such as the Muslim Arab culture which reached the borders of China—their impact on Chinese society was minimal due to the latter’s centuries-old immunity (1). Napoleon best described the country when he once said, “China is a sleeping giant. Don’t wake her up” (2).

Officially known as the People’s Republic of China, the East Asian country stretches from the Pacific Ocean in the east to the Central Asia in the west, bordered by Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam. Its area is estimated with a total square of 9561000 km2 with many rivers that connected with their tributaries and other smaller waterways form one of the best water supply networks in the world (3).

Mao ZEDONG was the Chairman of the Communist Party of China from 1949 to 1976.” Under his leadership, the country proved its trustworthiness in the international arena during the Bandung Conference in April of 1955 where both Zhou ENLAI and Gamal ABDEL NASSER, the Egyptian president, both made a remarkable presence (4). Also, the Soviet Union agreed to sell arms to Egypt following the conference (4). The Egyptian-Soviet relations then witnessed a noticeable improvement in 1989, and so did the Egyptian-Vietnamese relations in 1991.

The country gets its name from the China Sea which branches out from the Pacific Ocean in Eastern Asia dividing China into two parts: eastern and western between which the island of Taiwan is located (5).

The new China was born after the 3rd Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in 1978. This was considered the most important session to be held by the party since the liberation of China in 1949, and its importance stems from: the resulting ideological change within the party, the containment of the conservative wing, the initiation of economic reforms, and the beginning of the Open-Door Policy (6).

To know the Chinese position on international politics, one must know the reality of the country before the Cold War and the hardships it endured due to invasions of foreign powers and civil wars. Such suffering made the Chinese people aware of the conspiracies to target their social unity and the integrity of their land.

Furthermore, it is important to shed the light on the situation after the World War II and the subsequent era of the Cold War. This research will conclude with a review of the reality of China in relation to the New World System that began forming since the 1990s upon the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.

2. China before the Cold War
In the late 19th century and early 20th century, China came into conflict with various Western powers, especially England and the United States. Motivated by their interests in East Asia, the West attempted to divide China into small, weak entities that could be controlled easily. However, the Tsardom of Russia started cooperating with China and prevented the United States and England from realizing their project (7).

With the rise of the Russian Revolution in 1905, young revolutionary forces were formed in China and managed to lead the liberation movement against the dynastic monarchy (8).This movement led by Sun YATSEN – the founder of modern China by the consensus of the Chinese (8) – had struggled till the overthrow of the monarchy and replacing it with a republican system in 1911(10).

After the victory of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in October of 1917, Sun YATSEN and his comrades started thinking about a new way to secure a better future for their country and, therefore, they began studying in depth the Russian Revolution experience.

On the other side, and since the early days of the 1917 Revolution, the Soviet government headed by Lenin took several positive measures to improve relations with China. Thus, a series of communications commenced between the two sides and resulted in the agreement of Beijing to welcome the first Soviet delegation in December 1921.

On May 31, 1924, after two years and five months of negotiation, the first Chinese-Soviet treaty was signed in Beijing in the form of “an Agreement on General Principles for the Settlement of the issues between the Republic of China and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.” According to Article IV of the treaty:

“The Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, in accordance with its policy and declarations of 1919 and 1920, declares that all treaties, agreements, et cetera, concluded between the former Tsarist government and any third party or other parties affecting the sovereign rights or interests of China, are null and void”.

Accordingly, the Soviet government gave up the privileges and rights that inherited from the Tsarist government, and affected the sovereignty and interests of China. This treaty played a major role in giving momentum to the struggle of the Chinese people against all the unfair treaties that had been concluded with imperial powers (11).

2.1 The Chinese Political System’s Impact on Foreign Relations
On February 14, 1912, and after Sun YAT-SEN became the provisional president of China, the first republic was officially established, and Yuan SHIKAI became its first president. On August 10 of the same year, the national parliamentary elections were held, but the participation was limited to the educated and to property owners. This meant that most of the population – the majority of whom were peasants, was deprived of participating in the newly-formed democracy. Nevertheless, Sun YATSEN—the leader of the United League- who formed together with other groups the Nationalist Party (the Kuomintang)— was able to achieve an overwhelming majority in the two parliamentary elections.

However, a rebellion took place in the south of the country against the government of Yun SHIKAI in July 1913. As a result, SHIKAI eliminated this rebellion, so Son YATSEN fled to Japan, where he had previously taken refuge. This was a pretext for SHIKAI to dissolve the National People’s Party (the Kuomintang) on October 4, 1913, and claimed that some of its members had participated in the rebellion. Also, this was followed by the dissolve of the Parliament shortly after the aforementioned party’s bases were dismantled. Furthermore, in an attempt to legitimize his Imperial government, SHIKAI established a new dynasty to rule the country. As a result, his supporters started abandoning him, thus forcing him to forsake his plan.

On June 6, 1916, Yuan SHIKAI passed away, and a new system of regime was introduced: a military system instead of the imperial one. The duration of this military regime lasted nearly ten years, and was known as the period of the war masters, in which China was divided into several regions under the rule of military leaders. Each region had its own army and military ruler, and some these rulers controlled one or two regions, while others extended their control over entire provinces. As for the internationally recognized national government in Beijing, it controlled only the capital and the surrounding areas under the artillery range of the capital’s military leader. It was observed that these military leaders were fighting each other, either to expand their autonomous regions, or to preserve – at least – the province governed by each of them.

In the domain of administration and organization, some of these leaders were interested in organizing the areas that were under control, and carried out some administrative and educational reforms.

However, the majority of them mistreated people by exploiting them and imposing taxes, while the soldiers often stole livestock and grains from the peasants (14). Some analysts compared the situation in China during that period to the situation that prevailed in Germany between the first and second world wars.

Upon closely examining the period of Republican Rule from January 1, 1912 (when Sun YATSEN first declared the establishment of the Chinese Republic) to 1928, one can see that the Republican Rule in China during that period was merely namely republican. The country was plagued with unrest and chaos and split into weak regions and provinces in East Asia. Moreover, the country was unable to establish foreign relations with worldwide countries on the basis of cooperation and mutual respect. This explains why China lacked both influence and presence in the international political arena during that period.

2.2 The establishment of the Communist Party of China
The Colonial hegemony in East Asia made it impossible for China to assert its role as an international political player. As a result, many Chinese, especially the educated, sought to remedy this gloomy situation by reunifying their country on an ideological basis that addressed the widest segments of society. With the onset of the October Socialist Revolution in 1917, a plan was laid out to establish the cells of the Chinese Communist Party in Shanghai, Beijing, and other cities across the country, and this objective was completed in 1920 (15).

In July of 1921, a meeting was held in the Shanghai French Concession Territory by 12 Chinese delegates to declare the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party of China. The declaration was made under the supervision of delegates sent by Moscow, and the number of participants that attended this meeting reached 50 members, including Mao ZEDONG who was not yet 28 years old at that time. During the meeting, the organizational chart of the party was set up, thus the basis of Chinese communism rested, therefore, on new principles to create a new balance (16).

In August of 1922, the Soviets offered the emerging Chinese party profitable financial aids which were accepted by Sun YATSEN as a step towards establishing the cooperation between Moscow and Beijing. In January of 1923, and with the help of a Soviet advisory commission, Sun YATSEN announced the formation of the National People’s Party under his leadership and based on the ideas of Lenin, the spiritual father of Soviet communism. YATSEN found that this new party needed a military wing to protect him, so he asked Moscow to provide him with financial aid, weapons, and trainers.

In May 1924, YATSEN inaugurated the Whampoa Military Academy in southern Guangzhou, which was the first military academy in the country. At the age of 37, Chiang Kai-shek was appointed by YATSEN as its first president of this Academy. In its first National Congress held in Canton in January 1924, the Nationalist People’s Party approved its new organizational structure and decided to ally itself with the Soviet Union.
YATSEN based the party’s ideology on the notions of nationalist and socialist revolutions. He was eager to achieve, especially from the nationalist revolutions, two main objectives:

1st) Reunifying China and fighting military leaders who divided the country apart.
2nd) Fighting imperialism according to Lenin’s principle in an attempt to release China from the grip of imperialists and canceling “unequal treaties” and [all] the privileges granted to the foreigners (17).

The criticism on Sun YATSEN was that he did not consider establishing a Western-style pluralistic democracy. Instead, he created the one-party system that governs the people rather than through the people as was in the old Confucianism (18).

In summary: China fell under the tension of two parties that were saturated with Lenin’s thoughts, and both had totalitarian tendencies. The distinguishing thing between the two parties was that the Chinese Communist Party supported by workers and peasants, whereas the National People’s Party supported by urban traders and army officers.

2.3 The Chinese War of Resistance (19):
Some historians consider that the Second World War was the first truly global war, and that it started in China on July 7, 1937 (20) when the Japanese forces unjustifiably caused an armed conflict near the Marco Polo Bridge to the west of Beijing.

This contrived conflict was intended as a pretext to bring in Japanese military forces to China. Nevertheless, the nationalist sentiment and the desire of Asians to free themselves from foreign occupation made the Chinese people more determined to defend their country and stand up against the invading Japanese forces (21).

Japan’s Colonial greediness and China’s strong determination to resist any foreign occupation were expectedly bound to clash, and an undeclared war between the two countries ensued. Japan conducted a 3-month blitzkrieg operation against China that concluded with the fall of Beijing before the end of July of 1937. The situation in Shanghai was more complex, as Japan faced furious resistance (also for three months) from the Chinese Special Forces trained by German military advisors (22).

In November of the same year, under pressure from the invading Japanese army, the forces of Chiang Kai-shek began to retreat, and the Shanghai front began to collapse. Thus, Chiang Kai-shek relocated the capital to Chongqing, a city surrounded by mountains in the Sichuan Province.

In December, the Japanese forces managed to enter the Shanghainese capital of Nanjing and committed massacres that lasted for several weeks. They pillaged the city, raped women, and tortured men and children. Some historians estimated the death toll at 300 thousand (23).

In the fall of 1938, the central province of Hangzhou, and coastal province of Guangzhou fell into the hands of the Japanese. The latter also managed to invade most of Inner Mongolia and northern China, thus establishing their control over the railways and the important economic centers. But the Japanese move was not well calculated, as the invading forces had to operate in an unknown and hostile environment and deal with a myriad of complicated problems, such as:

a) The stubborn Chinese refusal to negotiate and
b) The difficulty of stretching the troops over vast areas, which led the Japanese, after 16 months of trying, to abandon their blitzkrieg operations and embrace trench warfare.

The Chinese-Japanese War provided Mao ZEDONG, the communist leader, with the chance to expand the influence of his party into more than 70% of the Chinese territories and make it impossible for the Japanese to truly control the occupied areas. The Chinese began embracing the ideals of the Communist Party of China and taking the instructions of its leader seriously. Liberated areas were established behind enemy lines. The Japanese control was limited to cities and railways and maintained by using control towers and conducting sporadic attacks on nearby villages.

The division of China was as follows:
a) Areas under Japanese occupation,
b) Free China headed by Chiang KAI-SHEK with Chongqing as its capital, and
c) North China under the control of the communists with Pan’an as its capital.

Towards the end of the Second World War in 1945, the authority of the Chinese communists extended over 18 regions (one million km2) and a population of one hundred million people (24).

Finally, there are two noteworthy characteristics of the Chinese War of Resistance:
1st) The division that existed within China due to major ideological differences between the nationalist government of Chiang KAI-SHEK and the Communist Party of China led by ZEDONG.

2nd) Each party had a foreign patron. Chiang Kai-shek had the support of the United States, while Mao Zedong was backed by the Soviet Union (25). This was a point of weakness for China that foreign powers used to solidify their influence in East and Central Asia.
Nonetheless, ZEDONG managed to curb the Soviet influence and carve an ideological path for Chinese communism other than that of Moscow’s. From 1924 to 1944, ZEDONG led a campaign to create a firm and unifying ideological ground for his party which he also used as a tool in the power struggle (26).

He eventually triumphed against his ideological enemies and laid the foundations for a form of communism based on “Absolute Power”.
Chiang Kai-shek wholeheartedly opposed Mao Zedong’s agenda and refused any offer for mediation to reach a compromise, including the one proposed by the United States. In July of 1946, the conflict between the two evolved into a civil war that caused the death of tens of thousands of women, children, and elderlies. The Communist Party of China emerged victorious and became the hope of the Chinese people for the development and reconstruction of their country.

2.4 China during the Second World War
To investigate the role of China in the Second World War, one must examine—at least briefly—the pre-war events. On June 3, 1939, the British and French governments declared war on Germany (27), and a new era of conflict unfolded in Europe. Soon afterward, the Soviets invaded Eastern Poland and occupied Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, and thus becoming into direct confrontation with Germany.

In August and September of 1940, the British forces achieved a significant victory against the German forces in a major air battle over Southern England, and halted the advance of the Nazi Army on the Western Front.

In December of 1949, Hitler began preparing for the invasion of the Soviet Union, and in the spring of 1941, he annexed Yugoslavia and Greece. In June of the same year, the German Army defeated the Soviet Armies in a series of battles and occupied vast Soviet territories. However, when winter came, the Soviet Army initiated a series of counterattacks against the unprepared German forces and finally crushed them on the outskirts of Moscow.

On September 27, 1941—as the invading German forces pillaged and destroyed Soviet territories—the three Axis powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan) signed an agreement called the Tripartite Pact, which included the following articles (28):

a) Japan’s recognition of the right of Germany and Italy to establish a new system in Europe
b) Germany and Italy recognize the right of Japan to establish a new system in the Far East
c) The three countries pledge to cooperate to establish the two new systems in Europe and East Asia. Also, they pledge to respond to any attack against any of them by any country that is not yet involved in the war until that date.

The Japanese used this agreement to promote their “Asia for Asians” agenda, where Japan would be the sole leader and protector of Asia. Therefore, it should expel the colonial countries (such as France, Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States) and get rid of their cultural influence. In light of this, Japan divided the areas that will be included in the new system into three categories (29):

a) Some regions such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and New Guinea, and due to their strategic importance, must join Japan directly as they provide naval and military superiority to Japan. That should be under direct Japanese control given their strategic importance, such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and New Guinea

b) Territories that should be given autonomy under Japanese protection, such as Malaysia and Indonesia.

c) Territories that should be allied with Japan, such as Manchukuo, the Philippines, China, Indochina, Siam, and Myanmar; such countries should sign military treaties with Japan, and the latter will have the right to build military bases in selected strategic locations.

Japan further developed the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, an economic plan befitting its military and political ambitions in the region. Under this plan, each member of the bloc was supposed to produce according to its abilities, while being allowed to get the rest of its needs from other members. Priority was to be given to covering the needs of Japan.

Nevertheless, power dynamics changed when the United States joined the Allies. The Nazi forces were finally defeated, and Germany had to sign the instrument of surrender on May 8, 1945. Japan then had to fight major battles in Asia without any allies until the United States dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and on Nagasaki three days later.

Afterward, on August 8, 1945, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, forcing it to sign an instrument of surrender on September 2, 1945. The Second World War ended, and Japan became the center of American influence in the region and the host of various US military bases (30).

Drawing on what has been mentioned so far, one can clearly see that China did not have any noteworthy influence during the Second World War. Due to its incapability, internal division, isolation from the outside world, and the Japanese occupation of some important parts of its territories, China was unable to play any significant role in the international conferences that took place during or after the war.

It is worth noting, however, that Chiang Kai-shek, the then Chinese president, attended the Cairo Conference in the end of November 1943 (31) alongside America’s Roosevelt and Britain’s Churchill. The most important decision taken at the conference was that of Britain and the United States to support the right of China to liberate its territories that had been occupied by Japan, including Formosa (known currently as Taiwan).

One of the most notable outcomes of the Second World War is the change that occurred in the world order. In the 19th century, only European countries were the major players in the world. After the First World War, the United States and Japan joined the list. After the Second World War, the world became dominated by two superpowers: The Soviet Union and the United States. The former led the socialist bloc, whereas the later led the capitalist bloc. A new world conflict thus began with the countries of the Third World as its stage. The year 1947 marked the beginning of the Cold War (32).

3. China during the Cold War
After the end of the Second World War in 1945, a new political and economic regime was in the process of formation in China with the public sector as its cornerstone. The latter was the result of seizing the ownership of the country’s biggest institutions (33). Heavily relying on Soviet expertise, between 1945 and 1947, the Communist Party of China and its apparatus effectuated key social and economic changes in Manchuria (33). The country witnessed at that time an industrial revolution, particularly in the military sector.

The Chinese Civil War, which broke out in July of 1946 (34), was essential in making the people very serious about building a new homeland, one that is strong, united, developed, socially and economically prosperous. They wanted a China that was influential at an international level, especially because of the new global alliances that had resulted in pillar of the then-new bipolar world order that lasted for more than forty years.

What role did China play in that order? What about its political, economic, and cultural relations with the rest of the world?
To answer such questions, one must examine the Chinese political, economic, social, and cultural realities from September 30, 1949 (the official date of declaring the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (35)) and 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed (36) and a unipolar world order began. For the sake of simplifying the present study, this period divided into three parts.

3.1. China: Establishment and Joining the UN (1971-1949)
On October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong, the Chinese leader at the time, declared the establishment of the People’s Republic of China and the Central People’s Government (37). Marking the beginning of a new era in China’s modern history (38) and the establishment of relations with many countries (39), the declaration was made in the city of Tiananmen in the Beijing Province amid massive celebrations.

The New Democratic Revolution was also declared, a work plan to move from a feudal society to a socialist one led by peasants, workers, petty bourgeoisie, and local business owners. Mao and his comrades viewed the New Democratic Revolution as a temporary strategy whose foundation was strong cooperation among all the segments of the society (40).

Furthermore, Mao ZEDONG had to deal with two major challenges:
1st) An internal one represented by the counter-revolution and the danger of a costly, futile civil war and
2nd) An external one requiring resistance against attempted foreign hegemony, especially that of the United States (41). The Chinese leadership had, therefore, to pursue a carefully-constructed political agenda to further unify and inform the masses about the challenges facing the country and the best way to deal with them.

By the end of 1951, ZEDONG managed to achieve his first goal: a unified country subject to the unchallenged authority of the communist party (42). Afterward, he started working towards mitigating hunger and inflation by improving the economic infrastructure. The mission was accomplished in a short period of time: a new economy (one that could perform well on a social level) was created; inflation was reduced; organized crime was largely defeated; illegal drug trade came to an end; and a major reconstruction and reform campaign covering the industrial and agricultural sectors was initiated.

In so doing, ZEDONG viewed the economy as key to solving social problems first, and to achieving development second. To him, a good economy comes before good politics, which was a point of moving from traditional Leninist thought. Lenin believed that politics holds the key to economic development and that the economic challenges that faced the socialist revolution could be solved by bolstering the authority of the working class. From a Leninist perspective, only political forces that carefully consider existing circumstances and available capabilities could truly lead (43).

For 22 years, and in addition to implementing national reforms, China was persistent in its demands to join the United Nations. On October 25, 1971, Albania proposed a motion to admit the People’s Republic of China into the United Nations General Assembly. 76 countries supported the motion, 35 opposed, and 17 abstained (44). The recognition of the People’s Republic of China as the sole representative of the country was considered the second revolution in the history of the UN (45).

A notable accomplishment of Chinese diplomacy at the level of foreign policy, especially in terms of improving the country’s military capabilities, was the signing of the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance on February 14, 1950 (46). This treaty marked the beginning of the cooperation between the two countries, which led to the improvement of China’s military capabilities, the overhaul of its armed forces, and the development of advanced weapon manufacturing— particularly the nuclear industry.

The treaty was followed by the signing of another one in Moscow on October 15, 1957 titled the “New Defense Technology” Agreement. Under this agreement, and in addition to providing the necessary information and technical material, the Soviet Union would assist China in the production of an atomic bomb.

However, on June 10, 1959, the Soviet Union abruptly decided to unilaterally cancel the agreement. This could have been the result of Mao Zedong’s attempt to liberate China from Soviet influence and seek a new leadership and development model, one that is purely Chinese (48). The relationship between the two countries deteriorated, motivating the Chinese to develop their nuclear program independently. By October 16, 1964, progress was made in this regard, and on May 14, 1965, China successfully detonated its second atomic bomb. The 1960s were hence known in China as the Atomic Era (49).

In the cultural aspect, the Chinese adopted the Soviet education system, giving priority to technical and scientific education at school and university levels, such as engineering, natural sciences, etc.(50). Also, during this period, there was a movement within the Communist Party of Chinese that oversaw scientific and cultural development. Those who supported this movement called for a “cultural revolution” (51) that was socialist in character yet free from the fanaticism displayed by the supporters of Mao Zedong. The goal was to help creating a more vibrant intellectual scene instead of the ideological comma Maoism had led to (52).

3.2. China: From Joining the UN to the Reform and Opening-Up Policies (1971-1978)
On the economic aspect, the Chinese leadership conducted serious studies and found various economic and technological problems that had to be dealt with before realizing any true development, most notably:

a) The economic and scientific superiority of Western industrial countries and China’s need to catch up with them;
b) The success of Southeast Asian countries to achieve high growth rates in their gross national income, and the extent to which China is able to catch up with these countries and achieve parallel growth rates; and
c) Finally, and most serious and important challenge, China had to conduct a comprehensive process of economic reform while maintaining its stability.

After careful consideration, government and party officials decided that dealing with the above issues was extremely necessary to realize the aspirations of the Chinese people and find a place for their country on the new global geopolitical map (53).

On the political aspect, the death of Mao ZEDONG in September of 1976 (the leader of China’s communist revolution for 27 years) made it easier for the country to improve its relations with the United States of America and Western European countries, and this break into the capitalist market economy, and thus achieving the highest rates of economic growth in the world (54).

It is worth noting that in 1972, four years before the death of Chairman Mao, the Chinese accomplished a diplomatic breakthrough by hosting American President Nixon, an event that was preceded by a secret visit made by Kissinger in July of 1971.

On the cultural aspect, Mao devised the concept of “Cultural Revolution” whose aim was to modernize the country and rid it of those who did not want to do so. The concept was not applied in practice, remained largely theoretical, and was used to manipulate the masses and secure their support for the ruling communist party (55). Simply put, there was a deliberate exclusion of the other cultures, which resulted in creating a society that was culturally stagnant and isolated from the outside world (56).

3.3. Reform and Opening-Up Policies (1978-1991)
This period came after a transitional period that lasted from September 1976 until the end of 1978. On September 9, 1976, Chairman Mao passed away. In February of 1977, his successor, Hua GUOFENG who became Prime Minister in 1976, issued a new directive, stating that the political decisions of his predecessor would be closely followed and respected (57). Although this angered the masses, the supporters of the cultural revolutions saw this as a victory and a compensation for the material and psychological damage and loss of life they endured. Among such victims was Deng Xiaoping, who in 1978 issued two new Mao-inspired slogans:

1st) “Seek truth from facts” and not in the books of Marx, Lenin, and Mao, and
2nd) “Practical application is the sole criterion for truth.”

In December of 1978, during the 3rd Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Deng XIAOPING became the new leader of the country.

His inauguration marked a new turn in the modern history of China. Xiaoping’s reformist movement had to navigate through a complex landscape and deal with resistance. Eventually, tension within the party and public pressure began to mount, and, in 1989, students and civilians led demonstrations against corruption and totalitarianism. Expectedly, this was a difficult period for the planned economic reformation and functioned simultaneously as a chance for the regime to show that its authority should not be challenged. To do so, violence was used to suppress the protests followed by a more flexible approach (58).

In 1981, Xiaoping divided the positions he had concurrently held (just like Chairman Mao did) among his comrades. Hu YAOBANG became the general secretary of the party, while Zhao ZIYANG became the country’s prime minister. China, hence, began a new era in its history, one that was marked by openness and political, economic, cultural, and developmental reforms. Some reasons for this process included:

a) Psychological readiness: The Chinese people were psychologically ready to accept reforms, a state of mind that was accompanied by a general societal awareness of the importance and inevitability of such a process.

b) China’s increasing interest in economic development as the basis of modernizing the whole country. For China, the economy has always been the cornerstone of society as a whole. Hence, focusing on economic laws and industrial development and infrastructure became a central issue in the daily life of the people (59).

c) The country’s desire to open up to the outside world by making the process of modernization an integral part of global development and creating suitable circumstances to adequately benefit from international aid.

d) The country’s desire to revitalize the cultural identity of modern China by encouraging creativity and enabling people to take initiatives (60).

Xiaoping adopted a bottom-up approach to reformation, starting from farmers, party members, local governments, and leaders of provinces and ending with the pyramid top in Beijing. In January and February of 1992, Xiaoping took the southern tour and visited Guangdong and Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. He used the tour to address the people directly without the mediation of the party’s leadership, declaring the need to develop the “socialist market economy”.

On October 14, 1992, during its 14th National Congress, the party decided to embrace Xiaoping’s “socialist market economy”. This economy is a development model that combines both state-regulated economy and market economy. The implementation of Xiaoping’s reforms began new stage by taking a top-down approach— instead of bottom-up. Accordingly, the central government was tasked with issuing the required legislations and establishing the necessary institutions for creating a free market economy (61). A series of transformations based on reform and opening thus began.

Economically, these reforms extended to the economic structure, management and supervision systems, industrial structure, economic responsibility, labor laws, wages, and prices. These reforms bettered the whole society.

China began knowing a new democratic system of government, especially because it became fully open to the outside world. Also, the country made its process of modernization an integral part of global development and created suitable circumstances to adequately benefit from international aid. A new era of political, economic, cultural, and social openness unfolded, marking the end of a traditional approach and the adoption of one that was more positive towards initiatives and inclusive of the global effort to improve the conditions of humanity and increase its happiness (62).

4. China and the New World System
Almost ten years before the end of the Cold War, and shortly following the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, the winds of change in China begun to blow. As a new unipolar world order emerged, a new movement within the Communist Party of China started calling for more flexibility and economic freedom without compromising the core principles of the party. Known as the Modernization Movement, the faction was closely associated with Deng Xiaoping, the elderly comrade whose reforms began to heavily impact the Chinese economy since the early 1980s.

Despite such changes, the Chinese political system and social order did not collapse by the end of the Cold War. This can be attributed to the determination of the Chinese leadership to keep tight control over the country (63).

The Chinese public also welcomed the abandonment of the concept of an ideologically-driven, partisan cultural revolution and the shift from the 1950s collective farming towards family farming, which, as of 1985, started becoming the most dominant form of farming in the country.

In 1985, Queen Elizabeth visited China following the success of negotiations between China, on the one hand, and the United Kingdom and Portugal, on the other, for the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong and Macau. The visit constituted a positive turn of events and a sign of growing respect for China as an international player.

It seemed that China had anticipated rather early the upcoming change in international politics, and, therefore, its leadership implemented gradual economic reforms in the late 1970s, starting from rural areas. In 1984, a comprehensive development plan was drafted for these areas, and followed by the country’s opening-up policy which was divided into three stages.

The first stage commenced in 1979 and entailed the establishment of export production zones in Guangdong and Fujian near Hong Kong and in Taiwan and Macau. Soon these zones turned into testing grounds to track the development of the country’s market economy.

The second stage began in 1984 with the founding of 14 new coastal cities and granting the local government the right to create economic and technological development zones.

The third stage was launched in 1990 with the revitalizing of Shanghai, the economic and industrial heart of the nation by the establishment of the Pudong New Area. This area incentivized foreign investment just like (and sometimes even more than) the special economic zones (64). It is worth mentioning that the decision to implement the reform process that has become was taken based on a deep understanding of contemporary global development with the desire to maintain stability with change (65).

The economic reforms led to an increase in China’s foreign debt. The country’s inflation rate reached 30% by the end of the 1980s. Consequently, economic growth slowed down in 1990, decreasing to only 3.8% because of the sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe. This abruptly affected the flow of foreign investment and loans and the influx of Western tourists (66).

Politically, the economic reforms resulted in the emergence of civil society (67), unofficial liberalization of various aspects of the Chinese society, spread of corruption (68) and crime, and increase in domestic migration. In 1995, the number of migrants in Shanghai rose to 3.5 million from 1 million in 1984. Also, regionalist sentiments were on the rise because of the market economy reforms, the collapse of old ideologies, and the adoption of a new approach to foreign policy geared towards establishing economic and political relations with all countries based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, most notably non-interventionism.

Furthermore, economic integration (with long-term political implications) among Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the coastal regions of China became a much-debated issue in China. The scheme came to be known as the Chinese Productivity Triangle and was a key factor in fueling economic development in Asia-Pacific by employing a huge business network made up of Chinese expatriates (69).

What happened in China in the early 1990s was part of a larger global change. This brought about a crisis that reshaped the world (70) and created a unipolar order dominated by the United States (71). This was much to the dismay of China who aspired for a multipolar world order that would facilitate its hegemony over Asia-Pacific.

The world order envisioned by China was to have three major pillars: protection of peace, renunciation and resistance of hegemony, and independent decision making. According to these principles, China built its relations with other countries.

In the Post–Cold War era, the most study-worthy aspect of China’s international policy remains the nature of its political, economic, and cultural relations with the United States, Russia, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. But before probing into such an issue, one must mention two concepts put forward by Deng Xiaoping (74):

a) Peaceful Coexistence, a concept proposed by Jawaharlal Nehru and Zhou Enlai in 1954 that rested upon:
1) The respect for regional sovereignty,
2) The non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries,
3) The equality and nondiscrimination against any country for any reason, and
4) Upholding the principle of mutual benefit among countries without international institutions giving privileges to certain countries, such as the power monopoly held by the Security Council.
5) The peaceful settlement of international disputes based on the principles of justice.
b) The development of disputed border areas before reaching any settlement to achieve mutual benefits that prevent these areas from becoming war zones (75).

4.1. China–United States Relations
The conflict of interest between the United States and China does not necessarily negate the possibility for mutually-beneficial cooperation, especially in the fields of economy and trade, two of the countries’ top priorities. For the US, China holds the key to solving its financial problems by investment and export. China, in return, sees the US as an important source of technology (76).

Even though the US mostly resorts to using the economy to pressure China when a political conflict of interest arises, maintaining good relations with China is still one of the best options for the American Administration (77)—at least after the invasion of Iraq. After a series of failures in Iraq, the US began trying to appease Asian countries with political and economic influence, particularly China.

Thus, to influence the country’s economic and political future, American investment poured into China until it was named the most favored nation for US investment. The US further used Taiwan to pressure China into remaining silent about the situation in Iraq and about the policies and security measures the US took in Iraq and the Middle East (78).

Relations between China and the United States began improving when Deng Xiaoping came into power in 1978. Xiaoping was known for his support for normalizing the relations with the US, as he firmly believed that stable, working relations with the US should be a fundamental aspect of Chinese foreign policy (79).

However, relations between the two countries witnessed an increased deterioration in the last decade of the 20th century, most notably when:
a) In line with his campaign promises, Clinton threatened not to renew China’s status as a “most favored nation” for trade unless improvements were made in terms of human right;
b) Clinton refused to visit China during his first term and, until the beginning of his second terms, did not permit his vice president, Al Gore, to do so;
c) Washington, in 1995 and 1996 and in response to China’s alleged software piracy, threatened to impose economic sanctions on China; and
d) When the US refused to give Beijing any technological assistance, citing China’s poor human rights record and environmentally unfriendly practices (80).

4.2. China-Russian Federation Relations
China gave special attention to its relations with the Russian Federation and preferred to forge ties with the Russian people and the people of former Soviet republics without placing much importance on ideological and cultural commitments.

Relations between Russia and China began prospering in an unprecedented fashion since the visit of Boris Yeltsin to Beijing in December of 1992 (81). Border disputes were settled, and the numbers of troops stationed at the borders were decreased.

On April 23, 1997, during a joint summit, China and Russia voiced their rejection of a unipolar, US-led world and worry about the attempted expansion of the NATO and its support of new military blocs. The two countries viewed such actions as a threat to regional and global peace. They, moreover, called for the revival of a multipolar world order where countries deal with one another based on equality and mutual respect (82). Indeed, in the 1990s, Sino-Russian relations achieved several milestones at various levels, as trade between the two nations reached $8 billion in 1997 from $3.9 billion in 1991 (83).

4.3. China-Europe Relations
It is very likely that the Chinese role in international politics will become more influential, as the country possesses all the necessary resources for that (84). The recent coronavirus pandemic that plagued the world and devastated Europe in the early months of 2020 showed China’s capabilities to be an effective player in the international arena (85). Also, it is worth noting here that China, since the beginning of the 21st century, has been achieving the highest economic growth rate in the world (86).

China’s interest in Europe started becoming clear in 1994 when China started establishing closer ties with France. On May 16, 1997, China and France held a summit in Beijing, one that marked a turning point in the relations between China and Europe. During the summit, French President, Jacques Chirac, called upon the countries of the EU to improve dialogue and expand cooperation with China given the country’s importance in Asia and its promising role in international relations. In the concluding statement, Chirac said that China is the country that would determine the state of affairs in the 21st century.

4.4. China-Southeast Asia Relations
China’s relations with its neighboring Asian countries are dictated by a regional vision rather than an international one (87), as it aspires to be the regional leader, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union. China is engaged in border disputes with most of its neighbors. For example, border skirmishes between China and India erupted in 1962 and 1987. India claims that China is occupying 45000 km2 of Indian territories based on the British maps of 1912. China, on the other hand, claims that 94000 km2 of Indian territories are Chinese. Moreover, India has accused China of providing Pakistan with nuclear technology and M-11 missiles and taking Pakistan’s side in the Kashmir territorial conflict.

Nonetheless, on November of 1996, the Chinese president visited India, and an agreement was concluded between the two nations. According to the agreement:
a) Both countries shall reduce their respective military forces in the border areas;
b) Neither country shall attack the other; and
c) Military aircrafts shall not fly within 10 kilometers of the line of actual control (88).

As the dispute with India, China is engaged in territorial disputes with Vietnam over:
a) The Paracel Islands: China claims ownership of the islands.
b) The Spratly Islands: Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei are also involved in the dispute.
c) Border demarcation between the two countries in the Gulf of Tonkin.

The governments of China and Vietnam signed a border demarcation agreement in 1996 (89). China is worried about the arms race between North Korea and South Korea, as this may affect China’s trade relations with the two countries. Trade between China and South Korea is six times higher than that between China and North Korea although the latter is considered a traditional ally of China (90). Despite having periods of improvement and others of tension, China and Japan are always careful to maintain communication channels (91).

4.5. China-Middle East Relations
Sino-Middle Eastern relations can be divided into two categories:

4.5.1 Chinese-Arab Relations
Arab countries have been displaying an interest in increasing cooperation with China, especially after the collapse of the bipolar world order. This is mainly because:

1) The detrimental effect of a unipolar world order on Arab issues, especially after the events of September 11, 2001 and
2) The good relations between Arabs and China that began since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Since there is no colonial inheritance between the two sides. Moreover, China has always been supportive of Arab issues and that constitutes a strong ground for constructive and fruitful cooperation between China and the Arab countries (92).

4.5.2 China’s Relations with the Larger Region of Middle East
This includes China’s relations with Israel, which have always been determined by the balance of power between China and the United States. Moreover, the Zionist lobby in the US is interested in maintaining ties between China and Israel to establish balance with the Arabs. China has recently been improving its relations with Israel, which eventually may affect its good relations with the Arab states (93).

5. Conclusion:
During its modern history, China passed through various stages. Each one had its unique demographic and geopolitical circumstances which helped shape China’s political, economic, and social realities. The country’s successive governments successfully managed to deal with the changes and use them to build a new China.

The modern history of China is the result of a long struggle, one that made the country able to face challenges and overcome them, keep its stability, further its development, create a new future, and develop the needed power to defend itself. China’s history, indeed, contains lots of facts and events.

Annexes
Annex A

Annex B

Notes
(1) Roberts, J.M. A Short History of the World. Translated by Fares Qattan, vol. 1, Ministry of Culture Press (Damascus), 2004. (pp. 367-368)
(2) Same as the above reference, vol. 2. (pp. 745)
(3) Moselli, Nazim, et al. Geography of the People’s Republic of China. Syrian University, Faculty of Letters, 1954-1955. (pp. 52).
(4) Jabbour, George. “Afro-Asia and the United Nations: MA Dissertation.” University of Colorado, 1962. (pp. 5-7)
(5) Al Munjid Fi Al ‘Alam. 11th ed., Dar El Machreq, 1996. China. (pp. 351). Yaqut al-Hamawi (1179–1229) mentions other locations called Al Seen (China) in Arabic. These locations are in (a) Kufa, Iraq; (b) Alexandria, Egypt; and (c) Wasit, Iraq.
Also, see Zaytoun, Mohammed Ahmed. China and the Arabs Throughout History. Dar Al Maaref (Cairo), 1964. (pp. 73).
(6) Ben, Wu. Contemporary Chinese: Moving Towards the Future from the Past. Translated by Abdul Aziz Hamdi, vol. 1, Al Marifa Series, issue 210. (pp. 47).
(7) The West spared no effort to create division between China and Russia, for good relations between the latter were viewed as detrimental for Western interests in Asia. As remarked by an Indian intellectual, China is the only European superpower that did not attempt to go to war with China over three hundred years of relations. See Rayisa Vyrovitskaya and Bori Simonov. The Soviet Union and China: A Historical Review. Novosti (Moscow), 1981. (pp. 6).
(8) More than 21 dynasties ruled over China from the 21st century BC until the beginning of 20th century. See Annex A.

(9) After studying medicine, Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925) traveled to several countries, including the US, Japan, and the Philippines. He was influenced by the political thought prevalent in Europe and America at the time and by the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. He strongly believed that the Qing dynasty showed be overthrown and a republic should be established instead. For him, this was the key to solving China’s problems. See Jalal, Muhammad Numan. The Conflict between Japan and China. Madbouly Library (Cairo), 1989. (pp. 26).
(10) Same as the reference mentioned in note (7) above, (pp. 5-11).
(11) Same as the above reference, (pp. 16-17).
(12) Zeits, Conrad. China: The Return of a Global Power. Translated by Sami Chamoun, 1st ed., Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, 2003. (pp. 137).
(13) The Chinese military leaders who controlled China for nearly ten years were called “warlords” by the British.
(14) Same as the reference mentioned in note (12) above, (pp. 138)
(15) In the summer of 1920, a Marxist group was founded in Shanghai, and the Chinese Socialist Youth League was founded in August of the same year. See Jian Bozan, et al. A Concise History of China. Translated by Hanna Abboud, 1st ed., Dimashq for Printing and Publishing (Damascus), 1983. (pp. 134).
(16) Peyrefitte, Alain. When China awakes … the World Will Tremble. Translated by Henry Zgheib, Oweidat Publishing (Beirut—Paris), 1978. (pp. 250).
(17) Same as the reference mentioned in note (12) above, (pp. 140).
(18) Named after Confucius, the famous Chinese philosopher. See the above reference, (pp. 141).
(19) The Chinese War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression lasted from 1937 to 1945. Same as the reference mentioned in note (6) above, (pp. 47).
(20) Reischauer, Edwin Oldfather. A History of Japan: From the Roots to Hiroshima. Translated by Yusef Shalab al-Sham, 1st ed. Aladdin Publishing (Damascus), 2000. (pp. 159). See also the reference mentioned in note (1) above, (pp. 865).
(21) See the reference mentioned in note (1) above, (pp. 855).
(22) See the reference mentioned in note (12) above, (pp. 157)
(23) See the above reference, (pp. 158) and the reference mentioned in note (20) above, (pp. 159).
(24) See the reference mentioned in note (12) above, (pp. 160).
(25) Al Hemesh, Muneer. People’s Republic of China: A Giant Rising from the East (A Study of the Chinese Experience). Al Ahali Publishing (Damascus), ed. 1, 2000. (pp. 27-26).
(26) See the reference mentioned in note (12) above, (pp. 161).
(27) See the reference mentioned in note (1) above, (pp. 882).
(28) Riad Al Samad’s International Development in the 20th Century (pp. 23) qtd. in the reference mentioned in note (25).
(29) Same as the above reference, (pp. 24).
(30) Sung, Bum Ahn. China: Number 1. Journal of International Culture (Kuwait), issue 144, September 2002, (pp. 136).
(31) See the reference mentioned in note (25) above, (pp. 25).
(32) Same as the above reference, (pp. 26).
(33) See the reference mentioned in note (7) above, (pp. 51).
(34) See the reference mentioned in note (12) above, (pp. 163).
(35) Crankshaw, Edward. The New Cold War, Moscow vs. Pekin. Commercial Office Publications (Beirut), 1963. Series 20. (pp. 63).
(36) Suleiman, Amjad. “China, the United States of America, and the Possibility of Bipolarity (Graduation Dissertation),” 2004. Higher Institute of Political Science (Damascus). (pp. 1).
(37) See the references mentioned in note (15) and (35), consecutively (pp. 203 and 203). The People’s Republic of China was declared on September 30, 1949. The second day, Mao Zedong announced that the People’s Government is China’s sole legitimate government.
(38) After the establishment of China, many laws and regulations were issued to regulate state institutions.
(39) Syria was the second Arab country after Egypt to establish diplomatic relations with China. The two countries exchanged representation on August 1, 1956. See Jabbour, George. Syria: 1918-1968. – 1st ed. Dar Al-Abjadiyyah (Damascus), 1993. (pp.84). See Annex B.
(40) See the reference mentioned in note (12) above, (pp. 193).
(41) The above reference, (pp. 198).
(42) The above reference, (pp. 200).
(43) Mao and his supporters viewed Leninism as lacking in its objective understanding of historical development and ignorant of the interests and needs of workers. They also saw it as synonymous with rigid bureaucracy and social order, which resulted in a political system geared towards displaying power rather than solving problems objectively. See The Political Crisis in China, Progress Publishers (Moscow), (pp. 57-58).
(44) See China and the United Nations. Dar Al Hayat Foundation (Damascus), (pp. 22).
(45) Jabbour, George. “The Place of China in the International Community.” Munadel Magazine, issue 39, Damascus 1972, (pp. 28). It must be noted here that the first revolution in the history of the international organization was in 1955 when several countries were accepted into it, after the door to new countries was tightly closed due to the political differences between the Western and Eastern blocs.

(46) Abdul-Aziz, Hamdi Abdul-Aziz. “China’s Nuclear Power and its Strategic Weight in Asia,” Al-Siyasa Al-Dawlia Journal, issue 145, July 2001, (pp. 76).
(47) Same as the above reference, (pp. 67).
(48) Same as the reference mentioned in note (12) above, (pp. 76).
(49) China carried out the five nuclear explosions in the 1960s. The first was on October 16, 1964.
(50) Same as the reference mentioned in note (12) above, (pp. 204).
(51) The Cultural Revolution was initiated by Mao Zedong in May of 1966 and lasted until April of 1969. Some historians believe it continued until 1976, included all the cities of China with spillovers in the United States and Europe. Mao’s goal was to capture the hearts of the people, change their mindsets, rid the country from bureaucrats who were unable to keep up with recent developments. See the reference mentioned in note (12) above, (pp. 231-233); Shady Mourad’s “Introduction to the Chinese Position on the Arab-Zionist Conflict.” Unity Magazine, National Council for Arab Culture (Rabat), (pp. 68); the reference mentioned in note (12) above, (pp. 925); and the reference mentioned in note (6) above, (pp. 278).
(52) See the reference mentioned in note (43) above, (pp. 31).
(53) See the reference mentioned in note (25) above, (pp. 41).
(54) Al-Jawdah, Fawzi. “Where are US-China relations Heading?” Munadel Magazine, Information and Publishing Office of the National Command (Damascus), issue 294, January-February (1999), (pp.11).
(55) See the reference mentioned in note (12) above, (pp. 204).
(56) See the reference mentioned in note (6) above, (pp. 278-288).
(57) See the reference mentioned in note (12) above, (pp. 271).
(58) Lew, Roland. “Wonderful China.” Le Monde Diplomatique, October 2004. (Translation from French).
(59) See the reference mentioned in note (6) above, (pp. 293).
(60) Same as the above reference, (pp. 290-300).
(61) Same as the above reference, (pp. 278).
(62) See the reference mentioned in note (6) above, (pp. 296-297).
(63) See the reference mentioned in note (1) above, vol. 2, (pp. 964).
(64) Weiwei, Zhang. Transforming China: Economic Reform and its Political Implications. Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (Abu Dhabi). (pp. 11-16).
(65) See the reference mentioned in note (25) above, (pp. 41).
(66) Same as the reference mentioned in note (12) above, (pp. 347).
(67) The term “Civil Society” was coined in the West and then became popular in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa.
(68) During that time, corruption in China and misuse of power for personal gains manifested in three different ways:
a) embezzling from public funds;
b) conducting unethical practices, such as unjustifiably increasing the price of certain products, producing counterfeit goods, etc.; and
c) distributing profits to undeserving employees.
See the reference mentioned in note (64) above, (pp. 35).
(69) See the reference mentioned in note (64) above, (pp. 32-45).
(70) In the mid-1990s, Chinese experts categorizing possible new world orders as follows:
– First: A unipolar world order led by the United States
– Second: A tri-polar world order led by the United States, Europe, and Japan with Russia trying to have a prominent place due to its European position
– Third: A new world order favored by China, one that is fair, reasonable, and in line with the Chinese Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity; non-aggression; non-interference in internal affairs; equality; and mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence).
See Al Dajani, Ahmad Sidqi. Spotlights on China Today, 1st ed. Dar Al-Bashir (Amman), 1995, (pp. 32-34).
(71) A group of researchers. “China: Towards a Multipolar International Order,” Al-Siyasa Al-Dawlia Journal, issue 145, July 2001, (pp. 60).
(72) Muhammad Fahmy, Abdul Qader. China’s Role in Shaping the International Understructure. Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (Abu Dhabi), 1st ed. (1), 2000, (pp. 20).
(73) Same as the reference mentioned in note (70) above, (pp. 20).
(74) Deng Xiaoping became the de facto leader of China in December 1978 by a decision of the 3rd Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. His influence on the country’s economic policies remained strong until his death in 1997. See the reference mentioned in note (12) above, (pp. 272-304).
(75) Abdel Hai, Walid Salim. The Future Position of China in the International System (1978 – 2010). Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (Abu Dhabi), 1st ed., 2000. (pp. 148).
(76) K. E. Calder’s “Asia’s Empty Talk,” Foreign Affairs (March-April 1996) qtd. in the reference mentioned in note (72) above, (pp. 20).
(77) Muhaibish, Omar. “China’s International and Arab Relations,” Ba’ath Cultural Appendix, issue 27, Monday, December 6, 2004, (pp. 29).
(78) Same as the above reference, (pp. 29).
(79) Same as the reference mentioned in note (75) above, (pp. 148).
(80) Daniel Burstein and Arne De Keijzer. Big Dragon: The Future of China. Translated by Shawqi Jalal, 2001. Alam Al Maaref Series (Kuwait), issue 27, July 2001. (pp. 80-86).
(81) Some believe that the Sino-Russian relations began to improve before that date, particularly since 1989 before the collapse of the Soviet Union. See the reference mentioned in note (25) above, (pp. 66).
(82) See the reference mentioned in note (72) above, (pp. 28-29).
(83) See the reference mentioned in note (75) above, (pp. 167)
(84) See the reference mentioned in note (77) above (pp. 30)
(85) While the United States did not provide any aid to Italy and France, China stepped in and provided them with all necessary medical equipment to deal with the global Covid-19 pandemic that devastated Italy and France in particular.
(86) From 2002 to 2004, the average economic growth rate in China increase by 9.4% per year. See “The People’s Republic of China: A Comprehensive Force,” a lecture given by the Chinese ambassador to Damascus during the Fourth National Defense Course in 2004.
(87) Same as the above reference, (pp. 33).
(88) Same as the reference mentioned in note (75) above, (pp. 175).
(89) Same as the above reference, (pp. 175).
(90) Same as the above reference, (pp. 175).
(91) Same as the above reference, (pp. 166).
(92) Same as the reference mentioned in note (77) above, (pp. 30).
(93) According to Omar Mihebish, the improvement in the Sino-Israeli relations did not come at the expense of China’s relations with the Arab states. These relations are not mutually exclusive.
See the reference mentioned in note (77) above, (pp. 30).

References
Academic Dissertations:
1. Suleiman, Amjad. “China, the United States of America, and the Possibility of Bipolarity (Graduation Dissertation),” 2002-2003. Higher Institute of Political Science (Damascus).
2. Jabbour, George. “Afro-Asia and the United Nations: MA Dissertation.” University of Colorado, 1962.
Books:
1. Peyrefitte, Alain. When China awakes … the World Will Tremble. Translated by Henry Zgheib, Oweidat Publishing (Beirut—Paris), 1978.
2. Al Dajani, Ahmad Sidqi. Spotlights on China Today, 1st ed. Dar Al-Bashir (Amman), 1995.
3. Crankshaw, Edward. The New Cold War, Moscow vs. Pekin. Lebanon Publishing (Beirut), 1963.
4. Reischauer, Edwin Oldfather. A History of Japan: From the Roots to Hiroshima. Translated by Yusef Shalab al-Sham, 1st ed. Aladdin Publishing (Damascus), 2000.
5. The Political Crisis in China, Progress Publishers (Moscow), (pp. 57-58).
6. Roberts, J.M. A Short History of the World. Translated by Fares Qattan, vol. 1, Ministry of Culture Press (Damascus), 2004.
7. Jabbour, George. Syria: 1918-1968. – 1st ed. Dar Al-Abjadiyyah (Damascus), 1993.
8. Jian Bozan, et al. A Concise History of China. Translated by Hanna Abboud, 1st ed., Dimashq for Printing and Publishing (Damascus), 1983.
9. Daniel Burstein and Arne De Keijzer. Big Dragon: The Future of China. Translated by Shawqi Jalal, 2001. Alam Al Maaref Series (Kuwait), issue 27, July 2001.
10. Rayisa Vyrovitskaya and Bori Simonov. The Soviet Union and China: A Historical Review. Novosti (Moscow), 1981.
11. Muhammad Fahmy, Abdul Qader. China’s Role in Shaping the International Understructure. Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (Abu Dhabi), 1st ed. (1), 2000.
12. Zeits, Conrad. China: The Return of a Global Power. Translated by Sami Chamoun, 1st ed., Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, 2003.
13. Zaytoun, Mohammed Ahmed. China and the Arabs Throughout History. Dar Al Maaref (Cairo), 1964.
14. Jalal, Muhammad Numan. The Conflict between Japan and China. Madbouly Library (Cairo), 1989.
15. Al Hemesh, Muneer. People’s Republic of China: A Giant Rising from the East (A Study of the Chinese Experience). Al Ahali Publishing (Damascus), 1st ed., 2000. (pp. 27-26).
16. Moselli, Nazim, et al. Geography of the People’s Republic of China. Syrian University, Faculty of Letters, 1954-1955.
17. Abdel Hai, Walid Salim. The Future Position of China in the International System (1978 – 2010). Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (Abu Dhabi), 1st ed., 2000.
18. Ben, Wu. Contemporary Chinese: Moving Towards the Future from the Past. Translated by Abdul Aziz Hamdi, vol. 1, Al Marifa Series, issue 210.
19. Weiwei, Zhang. Transforming China: Economic Reform and its Political Implications. Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (Abu Dhabi).
20. China and the United Nations. Dar Al Hayat Foundation (Damascus),
21. Al Munjid Fi Al ‘Alam. 11th ed., Dar El Machreq, 1996. China.

Newspaper:
1. Ba’ath Cultural Appendix, issue 27, Monday, December 6, 2004.

Magazines:
1. Journal of International Culture (Kuwait), issue 144, September 2002.
2. Al-Siyasa Al-Dawlia Journal (Cairo), issue 145, July 2001.
3. Le Monde Diplomatique, October 2004. (Translation).
4. Munadel Magazine, issues 39 and 294, Damascus 1972 and 1999 (consecutively).
5. Unity Magazine (Rabat), issue 69, 1990.