How the Past Shapes the Present: Five Ways in Which History Affects China’s Contemporary Foreign Relations SPRING-SUMMER 2009 By Harry Harding How the Past Shapes the Present: Five Ways in Which History Affects China’s Contemporary Foreign Relations Journal of American-East Asian Relations Harry Harding Harry Harding is a specialist on Asia and U.S.-Asian relations. Read full bio Related Content Harry Harding A View from the United States Research Since early June, Hong Kong has been experiencing one of the most serious political crises in its history, arguably the worst since the Maoist-inspired demonstrations against British colonial rule in 1967. The city has been wracked by near-continuous mass protests, some peaceful, some violent. Has U.S. China Policy Failed? Research The United States is immersed in its most intense China policy debate in decades, which will almost certainly get more heated and public in 2016. For a variety of reasons, reviewed here, dissatisfaction with China’s domestic and international evolution has become widespread as has pessimism about the future of U.S.–China relations, leading to a growing debate over three broad ways to revise U.S. policy.