With the enduring institutions of Chinese statecraft and its civilization clearly in mind, Henry Kissinger in On China examines key episodes in Chinese foreign policy from its earliest days through the 20th century, with a particular emphasis on the modern era.
Kissinger illuminates the inner workings of Chinese diplomacy during such events as the initial encounters between China and modern European powers, the formation and breakdown of the Sino—Soviet alliance, the Korean War, the opening of relations with the United States, the Tiananmen Square crackdown, and China’s accession to the World Trade Organization.
Drawing on both historical records and personal experience, he traces the evolution of Sino–American relations in the past 60 years, following their course from estrangement to strategic partnership and toward an uncertain future. He analyzes the two towering figures of the People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, and their divergent visions of China’s modern destiny. With a final chapter on the future of Sino—American relations and China’s 21st-century world role, Kissinger’s book on China provides a sweeping historical perspective on Chinese foreign policy from one of the premier statesmen of the 20th century.