The China Collection

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This collection of over seventy National Intelligence Estimates on China is the most extensive single selection of intelligence analyses the United States Government ever has released. This recently declassified collection represents the most authoritative intelligence assessments of the United States Government and thus constitutes a unique historical record of a momentous era in China's modern history.

The collection spans the pivotal period from the Chinese civil war and the consolidation of the Communist regime through the upheavals of the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. It chronicles the struggles within the top leadership, the buildup of the Chinese military, and the evolution of the Sino-Soviet split. With the benefit of hindsight, we now can study the assessments of these developments with a degree of historical perspective, while still feeling the excitement of reading "history as it happens."

In addition to their historical significance, these documents are important for today's world as well, as Robert Suettinger, a former National Intelligence Officer for East Asia and author of a noted history of US-China relations, points out in his introduction to the collection. The declassified Estimates are foundation stones for our ongoing efforts to understand the evolution of the People's Republic of China and its politics, economics, and foreign policy.

The book was produced and published by the National Intelligence Council (NIC). The National Intelligence Council is a center of strategic thinking within the United States Government, reporting to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and providing coordinated analyses of foreign policy issues for the President and senior policymakers. Its work ranges from brief analyses of current issues to "over the horizon" Estimates of broader trends at work in the world. Although most of its work is for internal government use, the NIC also produces unclassified reports and collaborates with a wide range of independent scholars, experts, and organizations around the world.