Study of the relations of states with each other and with international organizations and certain subnational entities (e.g., bureaucracies and political parties). It is related to a number of other academic disciplines, including political science, geography, history, economics, law, sociology, psychology, and philosophy. The field emerged at the beginning of the 20th century largely in the West and particularly in the U.S. as that country grew in power and influence. The study of international relations has always been heavily influenced by normative considerations, such as the goal of reducing armed conflict and increasing international cooperation. At the beginning of the 21st century, research focused on issues such as terrorism, religious and ethnic conflict, the emergence of substate and nonstate entities, the spread of weapons of mass destruction and efforts to counter nuclear proliferation, and the development of international institutions.
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From 1975 to 1989, Angola was aligned with the Eastern bloc, in particular the Soviet Union, Libya, and Cuba. Since then, it has focused on improving relationships with Western countries, cultivating links with other Portuguese-speaking countries, and asserting its own national interests in Central Africa through military and diplomatic intervention. In 1993, it established formal diplomatic relations with the United States. It has entered the Southern African Development Community as a vehicle for improving ties with its largely Anglophone neighbors to the south. Zimbabwe and Namibia joined Angola in its military intervention in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where Angolan troops remain in support of the Joseph Kabila government. It also has intervened in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) to support the existing government in that country.
Since 1998, Angola has successfully worked with the UN Security Council to impose and carry out sanctions on UNITA. More recently, it has extended those efforts to controls on conflict diamonds, the primary source of revenue for UNITA. At the same time, Angola has promoted the revival of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) as a forum for cultural exchange and expanding ties with Portugal (its former ruler) and Brazil (which shares many cultural affinities with Angola) in particular.
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao visited Angola in June 2006, offering a US$9 billion loan for infrastructure improvements in return for petroleum. The PRC has invested heavily in Angola since the end of the civil war in 2002. João Manuel Bernardo, the current ambassador of Angola to China, visited the PRC in November 2007.