Since the onset of the Deng Xiaoping era in China, knowledge of the policymaking process in the People's Republic of China (PRC) has grown dramatically. Partial access to the archives of the Mao period (and to the archives of the former Soviet Union) has added substantially to our understanding of critical junctures in the making of Chinese foreign policy, such as China's participation in the Korean War and the forging of the Sino-Soviet alliance. 1 Interviews with top leaders and emigre accounts have greatly increased the depth and sophistication of knowledge about the policy process generally and in the realm of China's relations with the external environment specifically. 2