protection of its growing array of economic, political and security interests as inseparably linked to reform of the international order, one of the most pressing tasks confronting its leaders is the accumulation of the political capital needed to push through the systemic and structural reforms that Beijing desires. ∂ Chinese le aders have settled on a variety of means to bolster the nation’s international authority. They have indicated a willingness to increase the nation’s contributions on tough global problems , such as climate change and dispute mediation in Africa. China is also cultivating political support among developing countries and neighbors in Asia. But Chinese leaders have also promoted policies to position the country as a more moral and appealing alternative to the
West, which Chinese media denigrate as corrupt, hypocritical and inept (Washington Post, March 2). Applied to foreign policy, this has meant a highly moralistic policy in which Chinese officials attempt to balance considerations of generosity, justice and fairness with economic considerations (Xinhua, October 24, 2014; Xinhua, November 30, 2014).∂ Implications: China Joins the Great Power Game∂ Development has long served as the primary focus of Chinese strategy and policy. Indeed, every major Central Committee gathering since 1997 has upheld the 15th Party Congress’ directive that “development remains the central task.” What is new in the Xi administration’s policy focus is the recognition that changes to the structure of the international economic and political order are now required to sustain development. ∂ This carries important consequences for Chinese policy making. As China has grown powerful, its economic interests are gaining in strategic importance . While acknowledging that sovereignty and the political system are “more fundamental and more important” to the nation’s survival, one Chinese scholar argued that their place in the order of national strategic priorities should be pushed back due to a lack of pressing external threats. The greater danger , he observed, now stems from “political and social unrest generated by an economic recession” (Modern International Relations, January 2013).∂ This danger may have always been China’s most pressing, but with its economy more deeply integrated with the global economy than ever before, preventing recession increasingly requires China to exert greater influence on the international order and in countries in which its economic interests are substantial. Chinese leaders appear to recognize this imperative and are developing policies accordingly. The complexity of the situation is such, however, that the country most capable of facilitating China’s efforts in this regard is also a country that stands to lose considerably from such expansion—the United States.
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- Fall '16
- Judy king
- Mao Zedong, People's Republic of China, Hu Jintao, Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping, President Xi Jinping