Chinese decision-making in response to

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Poliheuristic Decision-Making in Crisis
81 5-3-1-1 186
Sino-Vietnam War, 1978-1979: A Poliheuristic Model for Chinese Decision-Making viii

APEC Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
CCP Chinese Communist Party
CMC Central Military Commission
COMECON Council for Mutual Economic Assistance
CPC Communist Party of China
DPRK Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)
FALSG Foreign Affairs Leading Small Group
FPA Foreign Policy Analysis
Guomindang or Nationalist Party
KMT Kuomintang or Nationalist Party
ICB International Crisis Behavior
LEX Lexicographic MFA Ministry of Foreign Affairs
MOFTEC Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation
NPC National People's Congress PC Protracted Conflict PH
Poliheuristic Theory
PLA Peoples Liberation Army PRC Peoples Republic of China
PSC Politburo Standing Committee
ROK Republic of Korea (South Korea)
SCO Shanghai Cooperation Organization SO Superpower Opponent UN United Nations US United States USSR Union of Soviet Socialist Republics WTO World Trade Organization ix

Enyu Zhang Dr. Patrick James and Dr. A. Cooper Drury, Dissertation Co-Supervisors
China is seen widely as a distinctive power when dealing with international relations in general and foreign policy crises in particular. Given the concerns about whether the rise of China will be peaceful or belligerent, this dissertation aims to illuminate how Chinese decision-makers make key decisions in foreign policy crises and what lead to such decisions in a systematic and theoretically driven way. To achieve this goal, this dissertation tests the Poliheuristic Theory (PH, developed by Alex Mintz (1993, a, which synthesizes the previously isolated psychological and rational theories of foreign policy decision-making. The evidence from the structured, focused comparative analysis of the processes and outcomes of Chinese decision-making in foreign policy crises, spanning from 1949 to 1996, clearly supports the core of PH in such a least-likely context. Ina state as distinctive as China, crisis decision-making in the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is not significantly deviant from that in many other states Chinese decision- makers also make policies against domestic politics. In nondemocratic systems, foreign policy decision-makers do not necessarily seek for reelection however, they tend to seek for legitimacy and public support. Chinese decision-makers put primacy on political x

survivability at the onset of crisis decision-making. Their political survivability is closely associated with intra-CCP factional struggles, public legitimacy, and individual personalities. Following the initial elimination of politically unacceptable options, Chinese decision-makers do appear to switch to the compensatory rule of utility- maximizing to optimize the final choice with a comprehensive evaluation of the remaining options across all policy dimensions concerning national security.

All decision is a matter of compromise.
– Herbert A. Simon (1996) During some confrontation of the future the destiny of mankind may depend upon the responses of a handful of leaders to the ambiguities, stresses, and dilemmas of an acute international crisis.
– Nomikos and North (1976) xii

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