The Cold War International History Project is pleased to announce the publication of Working Paper No. 48, "1962: The Eve of the Left Turn in China's Foreign Policy", by Niu Jun, Professor at the School of International Studies, Peking University.

Drawing on newly available sources within China, Niu Jun attempts to establish the precise relation between domestic and international factors that led to the sharp turn leftward in PRC foreign policy in the early 1960s. After examining the impact of the turbulence in Chinese foreign policy in the late 1950s, he discusses the reasons for the adjustment in foreign policy embarked on in 1960 and the characteristics and nature of the changes in Chinese foreign policy in 1962. He argues that the left turn did not result primarily from difficulties in the international environment, but rather from the interaction between domestic politics and the general guidelines the leadership adopted for foreign policy. In particular, it was the struggle over how to assess the disastrous Great Leap Forward that led most decisively to the change of course in foreign policy.

To download the Working paper, follow the link above or go to the CWIHP home page ( and click on the Publications link on the website.

This publication is made possible by a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.