China's self-proclaimed independent foreign policy 1 that had been developed since 1982 continued to serve China well throughout most of 1985. It facilitated the expansion of more variegated sets of relationships with all parts of the world and it enabled China, for example, to intensify its participation in the (Western) international economic system while simultaneously strengthening its economic ties with the Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe. The independent foreign policy may be seen as designed to bring about a more peaceful international environment in which China can concentrate its efforts on domestic modernization. However, because of its relative weakness China's capacity to manoeuvre independently between the two superpowers is dependent upon the character of their bilateral relations and upon their respective policies towards China. Thus China's leaders were re-evaluating aspects of their foreign policy, firstly because of the possibility that in the wake of the November summit meeting the two superpowers may move away from confrontation towards a degree of cooperation in arms control at least; and secondly, because of their failure to convince the Soviet Union that China was truly independent of the United States.