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The United States and China

A History from the Eighteenth Century to the Present

Dong Wang

Combining original research with contemporary scholarship, The United States and China re-examines over two centuries of interaction between the United States and China in a changing world. It explains the foundations and character of their political, economic, military, social, and cultural relations, and shows how they have come to shape the domestic and international affairs of the two countries. American-Chinese relations have also been affected by national and global forces. Societal interchanges and government-level interactions are the dual themes of this research survey. Since 1784 when the first American ship, the Empress of China, landed in Canton (Guangzhou), U.S.-Chinese relations have moved from the periphery to the center of strategic attention, for both countries. This transformation has not eroded either American supremacy or Chinese sovereignty, but in the 21st century has given rise to a new order of national, bilateral, and supranational institutions that conjoins the two peoples. Progress, patience and, most importantly, peace are the proven historical cure for the various ills engendered by Sino-U.S. interactions.

This text offers the first comprehensive synthesis of the history of U.S.-Chinese relations from initial contact to the present. Balancing the modern (1784–1949) and contemporary (1949– ) periods, Dong Wang retraces centuries of interaction between two of the world’s great powers from the perspective of both sides. The author explores key themes in each phase of the relationship and highlights important case studies for more in-depth treatment. She examines state-to-state diplomacy, as well as economic, social, military, religious, and cultural interplay within varying national and international contexts.
In both form and content, these multi-faceted encounters have shaped one of the most significant bilateral relationships of our time. As China itself continues to grow in global importance, so does the U.S.-Chinese relationship, and this book provides an essential grounding for understanding its past, present, and possible futures.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 390Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7425-5781-9 • Hardback • January 2013 • $103.00 • (£70.00)
978-0-7425-5782-6 • Paperback • January 2013 • $35.00 • (£23.95)
978-0-7425-5783-3 • eBook • January 2013 • $33.00 • (£22.95)
Dong Wang is professor of contemporary Chinese history and director of the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku in Finland.

Part I: The Pacific Frontier and Qing China, 1784–1911

Chapter 1: Yankee Merchants and the China Trade
Chapter 2: Opium Wars and the Open Door
Chapter 3: Chinese Immigration: Roots in the United States?
Chapter 4: American Protestantism: Roots in China?
Part II: The United States and China in the Era of World Wars and Revolutions, 1912–1970
Chapter 5: Revolutions, Nationalism, and Internationalization
Chapter 6: The Pacific War and Red China
Chapter 7: Facing East and West: Agents of Encounter
Chapter 8: Deterrence and Negotiation: American-Chinese Relations during the Cold War

Part III: Rapprochement, the Default Superpower, and China Resurgent, 1970–Present
Chapter 9: Renewing the Bilateral Relationship, 1970–1989
Chapter 10: The China Market and the Allure of the United States

Chapter 11: Clashes and Cooperation
Chapter 12: China’s Catch-Up: A Game-Changer for America?
The relationship between the United States and China may be the single most important bilateral relationship in the modern world. Dong Wang's book is an extremely valuable guide to that relationship, combining history and international relations to give a powerful account of how the two countries first encountered each other, and why their interaction matters so much in the present day.
Rana Mitter, University of Oxford

Wang has written a remarkable survey of Sino-American relations from the first encounter in 1784 to the present day. There are several surveys of Sino-American relations that primarily focus on the US side of the relationship, and none of these accounts has the depth of this volume. The author constructs her chapters in a manner that gives readers a deep understanding of both sides of the equation as the relationship has developed over more than 200 years. In addition, each chapter guides readers to additional sources to go even deeper into the subject. This book will be the standard account for many years to come of how the relationship has developed and changed over time. The comprehensive bibliography by itself, including both Chinese-language and English-language sources, is worth the price of the book. Strongly recommended for anyone interested in the complex relationship that has developed between two countries that each have their own vision of national greatness; should be standard reading for policy makers on both sides of the Pacific. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries.

• Winner, CHOICE’s "Outstanding Academic Titles" 2013: Top 25 Books