On China - Chapters 6-9 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 6: China Confronts Both Superpowers

Kissinger refers to Otto von Bismarck, one of the greatest diplomats of the 19th century. Von Bismarck said that when one is a part of a world order of five states, it is the most desirable to be a part of a group of three of those powers. Using that logic, Kissinger says that if there is a group of three countries, it would follow that one country would choose to be part of a group of two.

Bismarck's logic failed to capture the attention of the China-Soviet-U.S. triangle for nearly fifteen years - due in part to the unprecedented maneuvers of Mao.

"In foreign policy, statesmen often serve their objectives by bringing about a confluence of interests. Mao's policy was based on the opposite. He learned to exploit overlapping hostilities. The conflict between Moscow and Washington was the strategic essence...

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