The Foreign Policy of the USA Towards the PRC During Gerald Ford Presidency: 1974-1977

Anatoliy V. Goncharenko, Lybov G. Polyakova.

Abstract. The article researches the US foreign policy towards the PRC during Gerald Ford presidency in 1974-1977. It describes the reasons, course and consequences of the intensification of the US foreign policy strategy in the Chinese direction during the investigated period. There was explored the practical realization of the “Pacific Doctrine”by Washington. The role of various groups in the American establishment in the question of the formation of the Chinese White House policy has been analyzed. The specific foreign policy actions of the administration of the US president  Gerald Fordon the PRC in 1974-1977 are analyzed. The chief results of the foreign policy of the administration of the President of the United States Gerald Ford (1974-1977) concerning the PRC, which resulted from the real political steps taken by the leaders of both countries, was the establishment of systematic and reliable channels of bilateral ties, expansion of economic, scientific and cultural contacts, the beginning of a systematic exchange of views on the most important issues of international relations. In the second half of the 70’s of the twentieth century this dialogue ensured the continuity of China’s policy in Washington, which was based on the concept of a “balance of power”, while China played a complementary role in the foreign policy strategy of the White House. These factors formed the “Pacific Doctrine” of G. Ford, which gave Beijing the status of an American partner in maintaining a balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region and consolidated a positive assessment of the place and role of the People’s Republic of China in Asian politics in the United States of America. The return of American political thought to the ideas of the combination policy occurred in the formation of US-Soviet strategic parity and awareness of the ruling circles in the United States, due to the defeat in Vietnam, the limited resources of force influence on the international situation. Started in the United States the study of China’s behavior in the international arena and its power parameters made it possible then to draw a preliminary conclusion that the People’s Republic of China can fill the place of the missing link in the “triangle” of the global scheme – a place of counterweight to the USSR; this required the removal of a US-Chinese confrontation. However, the socio-political and ideological contradictions that were pushed to the foreground on the initial stage of the Chinese policy of the administration of G. Ford and the process of normalization of bilateral relations, again made themselves felt at a later stage. Their injection was promoted by the logic of the development of bilateral US-China relations, as well as by a number of internal objective and subjective reasons, as in the People’s Republic of China (a sharp increase in the struggle for power connected with the illness and death of Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong), and in the United States (Gerald Ford made certain curtseys towards the American right-wing conservative forces and began to intensify approaches to Beijing and Moscow, and also the presidential campaign of 1976).

Keywords: the USA, PRC, China, foreign policy, American-Chinese relations,  “Pacific Doctrine”,  Gerald Ford,  Henry Kissinger ,  Mao Zedong,  Deng Xiaoping.