National security decisionmaking under stress or crisis management is something with which I have had some firsthand experience over the course of my career in government service. Most relevant to the topic of this edited volume is my tour of duty as U.S. Ambassador in Beijing which began in May 1989-a month before Tiananmen of June 3 and 4. In my position as chief U.S. diplomat in China, I was an actor and an observer-along with many dedicated and resourceful U.S. Embassy personnel-to the events that constituted a case study of Chinese communist crisis management. My colleagues and I were witnesses to what, in my judgment, constituted one of the gravest crises to the communists' control of China since 1949. We engaged the Chinese leadership during this time of tension and precipitous action.
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