|Analyse a political leader's foreign policy initiative that has had a significant impact internationally.
|State your key points/arguments for your Forum Paper here.|
|1. The former situation under Mao Zedong’s governance |
|2. Deng Xiaoping and its ‘open-door policy’ |
|3. Some examples of consequences |
Political leaders have a specific role in the making of foreign policy. They can even be key success factor for it depending on their motivations and personality. Deng Xiaoping is well known as a political leader who initiated the‘open-door policy’ for Chinese economy since the late 70’s, which was a real revolution for the country. In this paper, I will discuss how this change from a close communist state to an open economy had important consequences for China, its economy in particular and the rest of the world.
The political leader Mao Zedong has been elected by the Time as one of the most important people of lastcentury, in the category ‘Leaders and Revolutionaries’ (2004). He had been widely involved in China’s politics and was leading the Communist Party of China. He was the leader of the People's Republic of China from 1949 until he died in September 1976, just a few months after Zhou Enlai’s death (Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs). His main actions include the collectivisation of theeconomy and the Cultural Revolution (Baum, 1996, p28). He remains a strong communist emblem for China and his supporters are still numerous today despite of the western countries who consider him as a ‘dictator’.
The new leaders were as nationalistic as their predecessors were, but they see an opportunity for the greatness of China to develop worldwide by interacting with other countries (Oksenberg,1986, p503). Deng Xiaoping did not really follow Mao’s ideas about collectivisation, and several disagreements occurred between Mao and Deng. Responsible for the economic sector, he early institute reforms to improve Chinese economy such as ‘rural free markets’ or private agricultural plots (Baum, 1996, p29). Modernisation is a key word of this revolution from a centrally planned economy to amarket oriented economy. The most famous Deng’s quote would be ‘I don't care if it's a white cat or a black cat. It's a good cat so long as it catches mice’ (Yao, 2008). It illustrates quite well the idea of taking advantage of the strengths of western countries; it does not matter if they do not share the same ideology and values. The foreign policy of China tries to follow five principles aiming atgood relations with other countries: ‘mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence’ (Yong Deng, 1998, p311). It appears that China wants to interact with the rest of the world but they refuse to let someone else taking part in their domestic policy. The main...