The Chinese Calculus of Deterrence

India and Indochina
Volume 4
Allen S. Whiting
An international relations classic that reveals the nature of Chinese foreign policy in the late-Maoist years


An international relations classic, The Chinese Calculus of Deterrence presents a framework for anticipating Chinese political-military behavior in the nuclear era. Through analysis and scholarly research, Allen S. Whiting reconstructs China's response to the perceived threat from India in 1962 and Beijing's secret military participation in the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1968. Comparing these with Chinese actions in the Korean War and Sino-Soviet border clashes, Whiting reveals the patterns in Chinese calculations of deterrence and the use of force.

This book throws light on policy divisions at the highest levels in Beijing and on Chinese miscalculations in coping with enemy states. It also suggests ways in which other states can affect Chinese perceptions and behavior to reduce the likelihood of conflict. The analysis presented here strips away the mystery surrounding Chinese behavior and reveals it to be not so far removed from that of other governments. This volume includes a new foreword that considers recent data and developments in the Taiwan Strait.

Praise / Awards

  • ". . . based on a meticulous mining of the limited sources available to the author in the early 1970s and Chinese diplomatic and military activities toward India in the lead-up to the 1962 war. . . ."

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 336pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 2001
  • Available
  • 978-0-89264-149-9

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  • $26.00 U.S.