Chinese Ideology

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1. Ideology – specifically communism, nationalism and anti-imperialism – were prominent in CCP’s rhetoric from the 1950s to 1960s. Ideology played a limited role in Chinese foreign policy then as it was not the primary force that determined its core interests and courses of action. However, it moulded its foreign policy to the form it eventually was manifested by constraining and opening up paths for China. Ideology did not define core interests of Chinese foreign policy as the pursuit of other goals were consistently placed above ideology; it thus did not play a primary role in determining Chinese foreign policy. Firstly, strict adherence to ideology was compromised on for the advancement of other objectives. China impinged on principles…show more content…
However, ideology was not its primary driving force as the path dependency imposed by ideology on foreign policy was contingent on the desire to pursue other goals which were more primary, like CCP’s need to maintain legitimacy domestically and internationally. America’s anti-communist rhetoric in the early Cold War made it difficult for CCP to demonstrate warmer overtures due to its need to stay consistent with its positioning as communist country to maintain regime legitimacy, and set the stage for tenuous Sino-American relations. In the context of the Sino-Soviet alliance, China had to intervene in the Korean War to demonstrate China’s dedication to the communist ideology. This helped position China as a legitimate partner of the USSR worthy of its aid in light of the latter’s fear of abandonment in its prevailing alliance dilemma. While ideology charted specific courses of action for Chinese foreign policy in a path-dependent manner, its contingency on other more key objectives sees arguments on the primacy of ideology unable to systematically account for Chinese foreign policy…show more content…
The initial appeal of the Sino-Soviet alliance laid in both regimes’ ideological compatibility. Anti-imperialist ideology arguably drove China to perceive American intervention in the Korean War as imperialism encroaching onto Asia, and which moved it to intervene. However, I rebut this as while the public might have based their perceptions on ideology, CCP’s actions – key in steering the course of Chinese foreign policy – did not seem to have been driven by them. Mao’s desire to rely on USSR for economic reconstruction and security weighed in more heavily than ideology in sealing the Sino-Soviet alliance. As argued earlier, China’s initial reluctance to intervene in Korea indicates that anti-imperialism was not its key concern. In China, as nationalism, communism and anti-imperialism is not monolithic and are contested, ideology cannot be argued to in and of itself determine foreign policy without accounting for the agency of actors in reinterpreting or manipulating

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