1st Edition

Britain, the US and China’s Anti-Soviet Stance in the Cold War Containment and Trade, 1977-1980

By Bruno Pierri Copyright 2024

    This book shows how international trade was a key part of the classic Western policy of containment towards the Soviet Union in the Cold War in the late 1970s.

    Trade and containment may summarise the new relation that communist China moulded with the capitalistic West in the late 1970s. Ideology had become less important and a rapprochement between the PRC (People’s Republic of China) and the Western powers over trade, with the purpose of isolating and weakening the common Russian rival, was practically unavoidable. Within a relatively short span of time the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific area had been reversed. Simply put, Beijing’s market was too big to be ignored and the Atlantic allies collaborated, sometimes even competing with each other, to allow China access to the centres of world finance. However, the Western powers had not realised that Beijing would never pursue alignment with them. On the contrary, the increased trading and financial linkage with capitalistic countries gave China room to manoeuvre, enabling it to play the Western states off against each other.

    This book will be of much interest to students of Cold War Studies, Chinese history, foreign policy and international relations.


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    2. The Road to the Third Plenum

    3. The Policy of Adjustment

    4. Afghanistan and Arms Sales



    Bruno Pierri is an adjunct professor in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Bologna and has a PhD in History of extra-European countries from the University of Pisa, Italy.

    'This is that rare book which will appeal to both scholars and policy makers. It in depth history examines diplomatic and economic factors in the context of great power competition, resource scarcity, and global influence. It has a wealth of information for future researchers and should be read by anyone currently involved in the making of policy either directly with China or in the response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.'

    Michael Hannahan, Donahue Institute, USA 

    'Dr. Pierri offers a careful and insightful analysis of the complexities of Western/Sino relations during a formative time.  It is a subject that is often treated one-dimensionally but Pierri uses both significant historical research and social scientific analysis to uncover the intense gamesmanship that allowed for China to emerge from the Cold War as a global force economically and politically.  The depth of his research is impressive and his ability to make clear sense of a very complex change in power dynamics between the West and China makes this book indispensable for students and scholars alike.'

    Lonce Bailey, Professor of Political Science, Shippensburg University, USA