For purposes of analysis, I have assumed that no extreme political convulsions within China will occur. The major external issue for China in the 1980s will concern the character of Peking's relations with both the global system and the Asian regional system. There will be two principal tests in the coming decade. First, will China's international beliefs and practices prove compatible with the policies of states whose assistance and cooperation China now solicits? Second, will China's adversarial relations remain predictable, or might the political military pressure directed against China shift markedly? In Maoist terms, will the contradictions between China and the outside world prove antagonistic or nonantagonistic? The prospects for stability in China's foreign policy will depend on three principal factors: (1) the directions of the international system as a whole, (2) its manifestation in China's areas of more immediate interest in East Asia, and (3) China's capacity to resist or deflect pressures for change in its internal and external policy objectives.