A comparative study of anti-colonial foreign policy : The cases of Goa and Hong Kong



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The study of foreign policy is of importance to scholars and decision-makers alike. An understanding of the relevant factors involved in the policy process is necessary if one is to attempt to make predictions about the behavior of states. Ideology as a determinant of foreign policy has been assigned an important role in the newly emerging nations, or at least in the statements of the leaders of such nations. Often, however, there is considerable difference between the rhetoric of elites and the actions of their governments. A common ingredient in the ideology of emerging nations is anti-colonialism. Governments which ordinarily have little in common are able to unite in agreement that the practice of colonialism is anachronistic and must be brought to an end. The governments of India and China, the two largest and most influential powers on the Asian mainland, agree on the issue of anti-colonialism. The Portuguese colony of Goa and the British colony of Hong Kong represented examples of continued colonialism which India and China had to deal with. According to the ideological principles expressed by the two countries' leaders, one would have expected the Chinese to force the British out of Hong Kong and the Indians to pursue a policy of peaceful negotiation with regard to Goa. Events have proved these expectations to be erroneous, and it is the purpose of this study to examine the factors which caused "pacifist" India to take Goa by force and "belligerent" China to refrain from taking similar action against Hong Kong. In making a study of this kind, one can hope to arrive at some tentative conclusions about predicting the future behavior of these two nations in foreign policy matters.



Goa, Hong Kong, Anti-colonial, Foreign policy