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Interactive study of the Sino-US Summit

Author: HuangShuai
Tutor: WuXinBo
School: Fudan University
Course: International relations
Keywords: summitry summit match-up relationship (between summiteers) counterparts foreign decision-making & implementation structure ultimate decision-maker chief administrator routinization institutionalization
CLC: D822.3
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2010
Downloads: 72
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Since the trigger of normalization of Sino-U.S. Relations in 1972, the direct interactions between top leaders of the two countries play a continual pivotal role in facilitating the development of bilateral relationship. And the model of Sino-US summitry always experiences dramatic changes. However, comprehensive and systematical study on contemporary Sino-U.S. summitry is still very limited. The basic hypothesis of this thesis is that in the previous 38 years Sino-US summitry has undergone fluctuations-falling down from an initial high tide and then back to a new climax characterized by routinization and institutionalization. The evolution of agenda of Sino-U.S. relations in different period, as well as the continuous transformation of China’s political system from late-Mao-Era to early 1990s, both contribute to the formation of summitry model in each particular period. Therefore, in this thesis I will firstly aim at chasing the evolution of Sino-U.S. sumjnitry model since 1972. And subsequently analyze how the evolution of agenda of Sino-U.S. relations, and that of contemporary China’s political system influenced on the evolution of summitry model. By analyzing these connections, I attempt to initiate an inter-disciplinary research among subjects of International Relations, Diplomacy and Comparative Politics.In the’Introduction’part, I define the concept of’summitry (highest level interaction)’and elaborate the necessity to detach this concept from the broad-defining’summit diplomacy’. In ChapterⅠ, I differentiate the categories of bilateral summitry based on citing various arguments on the functions of summitry, and analyze how these different categories co-related to different forms of bilateral relationship. Then, I propose the concept of’match-up relationship (between summiteers)’and analyze the criteria to identify’counterparts’in different categories of bilateral summitry. In ChapterⅡ, I discussed how to define the appropriate Chinese counterparts of the U.S. President, as well as the appropriate’summitters’under P.R.C.’s political institution from a functional perspective. In ChapterⅢandⅣ, I review the process of evolution of 38-years’Sino-US summitry under the circumstances of Cold War and post-Cold-War Era respectively. In these decades the identity between China and the U.S. converted from enemy to’quasi-alliance’, then ’friendly non-alignment’, and finally defined as’constructive strategic partnership’ and’responsible stakeholders’. Sinultaneously in these decades the P.R.C.’s political system witnessed from late Mao Era’s unitary autocracy, to 1980s’’inter-generational transition’, and then 1990s’collective leadership as well as the fusion of authorities of the CPC General Secretary, the Presidency and the CMC Chaiman. I will analyze how these two evolution processes shaped the summitry model in each particular periods. Finally I draw the conclusions that, the seven years before China and the U.S. establishing formal diplomatic relationship was the first golden period of Sino-U.S. summitry, in which summits were mainly’ad hoc’ ones; Since early 1980s the functional orientation of Sino-U.S. summitry was declined; As the Clinton Administration readjusted the U.S.’s China Policy in mid-1990s, the second golden period of Sino-U.S. summitry was triggered, and the summitry model gradually became routinized; The enlargement of both countries’common strategic interests in Post-9.11 Era further impelled the institutionalization of Sino-U.S. summitry. As far as the political system is concerned, the symmetry between political systems of the two countries is conductive to a fruitful and effective summitry; on the other hand, frequent inter-governmental interactions will also facilitate the symmetrization of political systems.

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