Testing the waters

Michael Lumbers

in Piercing the Bamboo Curtain

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780719077784
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700808 | DOI:
Testing the waters

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This chapter describes Lyndon Baines Johnson's ensuing interest in exploring means of nurturing moderate elements in Beijing, and the factors that ultimately derailed this policy review. It addresses the final opportunity for reform in the last few weeks of Johnson's tenure in office. The Cultural Revolution effected a significant alteration of Dean Rusk's understanding of the People's Republic of China's role in Vietnam. US decision-makers continued to view China policy through the prism of Vietnam. The last six months of Johnson's presidency witnessed stirrings of change on both sides of the Pacific, with momentous implications for the future. US observers concluded that revolutionary fervor had peaked and moderate elements had outmanouevred hard-line Maoists in the latter half of 1967. A reorientation of Chinese foreign policy only became possible once the Chairman became disenchanted with his own grand enterprise of continuous revolution.

Keywords: Lyndon Baines Johnson; Beijing; reform; Cultural Revolution; Dean Rusk; Vietnam; Chinese foreign policy

Chapter.  11094 words. 

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