US-Soviet Top-Down Trust-Building: Lessons for the US-China Relationship
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The China-US relationship is at a crucial inflection point, and there is an urgent need for senior leaders to set out a clear route ahead to avoid a breakdown of relations. One way to go forward is to look back.
In this first report from APLN’s China-US-Asia Dialogue series, Professor Yu Tiejun analyses the process and lessons of three Cold War cases of top-down trust-building between the United States and the Soviet Union and discusses how they may be viewed from a Chinese perspective. He argues that the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 provides lessons for crisis management; the negotiations of the Incidents at Sea Agreement (INCSEA) in 1972 can provide models for security cooperation and confidence-building; and the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) negotiations in 1987 can give valuable insights into arms control negotiations.
About the Author
Yu Tiejun (于铁军) is a Professor at the School of International Studies and Vice President of the Institute of International and Strategic Studies at Peking University. Previously, he served as a visiting fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University in 2005, and also as a visiting scholar at the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research at Harvard University in 2005-06. He received a Ph.D., M.A. and B.A. from the School of International Studies at Peking University.
His research interests include International Security, China-US-Japan Relations, and China’s National Defense Policy. He has co-edited The Sino- Japanese Security and Defense Exchange: Past, Present, and Prospect (Beijing: World Affairs Press, 2012). He is also the Chinese translator of Myths of Empire by Jack Snyder (Beijing: Peking University Press, 2007) and Discord and Collaboration: Essays on International Politics by Arnold Wolfers (Beijing: World Affairs Press, 2006), among other works.
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This publication was made possible by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Image: (Left) President John F. Kennedy and Chairman Nikita Khrushchev during their meeting in Vienna, Austria, 1961; US National Archives and Records Administration. (Right) Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with then-US Vice President Joe Biden inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, 4 December 2013; REUTERS/Lintao Zhang.