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One voice among many : the new China lobby and Sino-US relations in the 1990s

New China lobby and Sino-US relations in the 1990s

Authors Zhong, Jing
Issue Date 1999
Summary The influence of lobbies on the implementation of foreign policy is a peculiar phenomenon in American politics. In the 1950s and 1960s, the effectiveness of the pro-Chiang Kai-shek lobby had a significant impact on American Far Eastern policy. In the 1990s, the new "pro-Mainland China lobby" has received wide attention owing to the annual debate around China's MFN renewal. Making the rounds of congressional and administration offices, this loosely-knit group of people has been very persuasive in mobilizing US political elites to resist efforts to curtail China's MFN or otherwise penalize China for human rights violations, arms proliferation, intellectual property rights protection, etc. This paper explores the impact of the new China lobby on the current Sino-US relations through a case study. Data is collected through personal interviews with leaders of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Hong Kong, who annually send a sizeable group of people to Washington D.C., acting as "Door-Knockers" to lobby for improved Sino-US relations. The study disagrees with the prevalent view that the New China Lobby just represents "dollar diplomacy" in bilateral relations by means of money and votes. As the interview data reveals, the effectiveness of the New China Lobby stems from its ability to exert influence through three different fronts: through the annual "Washington Doorknock" in the U.S. Congress, through its biannual visits to Chinese government in Beijing, and through the portrayal of itself as an "honest broker" between U.S. and China on its daily operation base. So far, the new China lobby has successfully acted as a channel in the bilateral relations through whom information is conveyed, expertise is displayed, and misunderstanding is reduced. In some sense, the new China lobby even helps to resolve the moral dilemma of American China policy in the 1990s by managing to connect their own business operation in China with China's human rights progress.
Note Thesis (M.Phil.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 1999
Language English
Format Thesis
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