China continued to insist in 1987 that it pursued an "independent foreign policy"—a policy that reflects independence from the political struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union. Chinese perceptions of US-Soviet strategic competition and of the importance of arms-control negotiations changed very little during 1987. US-China relations began the year on a quiet note with Secretary of State George Shultz's visit to Beijing. The most important development in Sino-Soviet relations was the initiation of border negotiations after a nine-year interruption. Perhaps the most significant event in People's Republic of China foreign policy in 1987 was the expansion of China's political presence into a new region as it began to play a more active role in the Persian Gulf conflict. In 1987 relations between China and the Republic of Korea experienced neither setbacks nor dramatic improvement.