Kazushi Minami, "People's Diplomacy: How Americans and Chinese Transformed US-China Relations During the Cold War" (Cornell UP, 2024)


In People's Diplomacy: How Americans and Chinese Transformed US-China Relations During the Cold War (Cornell UP, 2024), Kazushi Minami shows how the American and Chinese people rebuilt US-China relations in the 1970s, a pivotal decade bookended by Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to China and 1979 normalization of diplomatic relations. Top policymakers in Washington and Beijing drew the blueprint for the new bilateral relationship, but the work of building it was left to a host of Americans and Chinese from all walks of life, who engaged in "people-to-people" exchanges. After two decades of estrangement and hostility caused by the Cold War, these people dramatically changed the nature of US-China relations. Americans reimagined China as a country of opportunities, irresistible because of its prodigious potential, while Chinese reinterpreted the United States as an agent of modernization, capable of enriching their country and rejuvenating their lives. Drawing on extensive research at two dozen archives in the United States and China, People's Diplomacy redefines contemporary US-China relations as a creation of the American and Chinese people.

Kazushi Minami is Associate Professor at the Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University. He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Texas at Austin before joining OSIPP in 2019. Drawing on English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean sources, his research investigates various aspects of international relations in East Asia to foster a deeper understanding of the region from both historical and policy perspectives.

Nick Zeller is an independent scholar working on China’s international relations and the history of radical politics in Asia. He has held faculty positions in History at the University of South Carolina and Kennesaw State University. He earned his Ph.D. in Modern Chinese History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2021.

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Nicholas Zeller

Nick Zeller is a senior program associate for The Carter Center's China Focus initiative and editor of the English-language U.S.-China Perception Monitor website. As a Ph.D.-trained expert on the People's Republic of China's international relations, he has extensive experience living in and writing about China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Laos. All views expressed here are his own. https://uscnpm.org/
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