Piercing the bamboo curtain

Tentative bridge-building to China during the Johnson years

By Michael Lumbers

Piercing the bamboo curtain


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9669-3
  • Pages: 300
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £20.99
  • Published Date: October 2014
  • BIC Category: History, History, China, Asian history, HISTORY / Asia / China, Humanities / History


This is the first comprehensive study of U.S. policy toward China during the presidency of Lyndon Johnson, a critical phase of the Cold War immediately preceding the dramatic Sino-American rapprochement of the early 1970s. Based on a wide array of recently declassified government documents, this study challenges the popular view that Johnson's approach to China was marked by stagnation and sterility, exploring the administration's relationship to both the Vietnam War and the Cultural Revolution. By documenting Johnson's contributions to the decision-making process Lumbers offers a new perspective on both his capacity as a foreign policy leader and his role in the further development of the Cold War. A major contribution to our understanding of both Sino-American relations and the Vietnam War, this book will be of great interest to students of the Cold War, U.S. foreign relations, Asian Politics and the Johnson Presidency.


Michael Lumbers is an independent scholar working in Toronto


1. Staying firm: John F. Kennedy's China policy, 1961-1963
2. Holes in the dam: French recognition and the Chinese nuclear test, 1963-1964
3. In Vietnam's shadow: the reaffirmation of U.S. China policy, 1964-1965
4. The irony of Vietnam: the emergence of a two-pronged China policy, 1965-1966
5. Bridge building in limbo: the impact of the Cultural Revolution, 1966-1967
6. Testing the waters: an aborted policy review and closing moves, 1968-1969 Conclusion

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