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By S. Breslin

China within the international Political economic climate considers some of the most urgent problems with the Twenty-First century: the connection among household configurations of energy and globalized creation tactics in shaping the method and implications of China's re-engagement with the worldwide economy.

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In 1978, Deng and other reform minded leaders were well aware that the party had haemorrhaged popular support as a result of the Cultural Revolution. The masses had lost their trust in the party, their belief in communism and subsequently had a crisis of faith over where China might go in the future (Zhao Suisheng 2000). A new basis of polity was required that rejected mass campaigns and political programmes based on ideological indoctrination as a source of legitimation. 3 In Zheng Shiping’s (2003: 54) words, the party changed from being a ‘revolutionary party’ based on class struggle and mass mobilisation to a ‘ruling party’ based on stability and order.

Area studies as an academic programme in the United States in the post War era owed much to the conditions of the Cold War. In perhaps the classic interpretation of the evolution of Area Studies in Cold War USA, Bruce Cumings (1997) notes: For a generation after World War II the bipolar conflict between Moscow and Washington and the hegemonic position of the United States in the world economy drew academic boundaries that had the virtue of clarity: ‘area studies’ and ‘international studies’, backed with enormous public and private resources, had clear reference to places or to issues and processes that became important to study.

Images of China are also deliberately constructed to serve specific interests in terms of influencing policy towards China. An overly stark dichotomisation here would point to both those who want to engage and contain China using exactly the same evidence in an uncritical manner to strengthen the arguments for why China should be resisted or engaged. Both sides benefit from depicting China as more powerful, Studying China in an Era of Globalisation 27 important and either a danger or an opportunity than is really the case.

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