China as a great power in the region

23 Feb

There is a growing debate inside the People’s Republic of China about the country’s direction and strategic goals. Beijing’s official rhetoric about “building a harmonious world” is increasingly being challenged by growing populist ideas within China, such as Zhao Tingyang’s Tianxia System, and Liu Mingfu’s The China Dream, which see international politics as a self-help zero-sum game, a grand bipolar civilisational Struggle.

 

This is more evident in China’s regional behaviour in East Asia, where China’s international behavior has become increasingly assertive, especially after the 2008 global financial crisis, for example: Washington’s decision to sell arms to Taiwan, U.S.-South Korean military exercises in the Yellow Sea, Japan’s detention of a Chinese sailor found in disputed waters, and more recently Japan’s buying of the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands.

 

Beijing’s transition to its “fifth generation” leadership recently is likely to be accompanied by the emergence of populist voices in response to its domestic hyper-nationalist backlash and to secure its legitimacy.

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One Response to “China as a great power in the region”

  1. gcb1g12 February 28, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    China’s foreign policy is seemingly in favour of the Realist theory of international relations, aiming at the purpose of solely benefiting China and increasing her power in the region.

    Although China’s domestic future is in question amid pleas for liberal reform; China’s foreign policy seems to be in no questions as to its future aims and goals.

    China’s feud with Japan over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands appears to have no end in sight, especially with China’s new acquisition of a stealth frigate.

    This is not the only evidence of China’s military build-up, China’s first ever air craft carrier was launched in 2011 with plans for more underway. Furthermore China’s recent adventure into their space program has resulted with military benefits, construction of anti-ship ballistic missiles which cover Japan, India and Indonesia are other examples of China’s military expansion. In addition, land forces have been increasing their arms, possibly as a response to Taiwan of India, with new amphibious vehicles and new MBTs (Main Battle Tanks).

    Therefore, it is clear to see that the recent military build-up shows that Chinese future foreign policy is only going to enforce their Realist pursuit of greater Chinese power in the region, through possible military presences.

    Sources:

    China’s new Stealth Frigate – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-21590331
    China’s recent military arms build-up – http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2011/08/chinas-military-development-yang
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16588557

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