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About this book

This comprehensive text examines Chinese foreign policy with a focus on the recent dramatic changes in China's place and role in the world. Covering both the economic and security dimensions of China's foreign policymaking as well as its key bilateral relationships, it offers students a clear and systematic introduction to the key challenges and prospects posed by China's rise. Using a wealth of sources, the book explores how the Chinese perceive their country's growing role and considers whether Chinese foreign policy is still conducted, as it has been traditionally, in line with what the Chinese regard as being core values and national interests, particularly a territorial and sovereign integrity, political independence and modernization, as well as a great power status.

Written by an expert in Chinese politics and foreign policy, this accessible book offers a unique analysis of contemporary China, and is suited to students interested in the development of China's foreign policy and its evolving place in the world order.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: China’s Changing Role in World Affairs

Abstract
With its rapidly growing economic, political, and military power, China is playing an increasingly important role in world affairs. An examination of Chinese strategic thinking will help to explain how Chinese leaders perceive their country’s changing role in the world. It is interesting to conduct a critical overview of Chinese diplomatic thought from Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping. This theoretical analysis should be conducted in conjunction with a historical review of China’s foreign relations, charting the various stages of China’s diplomatic history. Such theoretical and historical analysis will provide lessons learned from the past as well as potential clues to Chinese foreign policy in the future. Chinese core national interests include sovereignty and territorial integrity, modernization and prosperity, and political independence and great power status. The evolving national interests will be analyzed in the context of China’s rising power.
Guoli Liu

2. The Processes and Mechanisms of Foreign Policy Making

Abstract
This chapter examines the structure and processes of Chinese foreign policy making. Foreign policy is often considered the privilege of the top leaders. Although it is still impossible to uncover all the delicate inner workings of Chinese foreign policy, it is necessary to examine both formal and informal dimensions of Chinese foreign policy making and implementation supported by available evidence. Specifically, this chapter highlights the decisive role of the CCP leadership core and its leading group on foreign affairs, the State Council, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We also consider the growing role of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and other key governmental and non-governmental organizations in foreign policy making and policy implementation.
Guoli Liu

3. National Security and Defense Policy

Abstract
There are inseparable connections between foreign relations and defense policy. This chapter studies the evolution of Chinese defense strategy, modernization efforts in national defense, and the changing civil–military relations in China. Mao Zedong had a famous slogan that “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun,” and the military has played a critical role in the formation and evolution of Chinese politics and diplomacy. Regarding the relationship between the Party and the military, a longstanding principle has been “the party commands the gun.” In fact, the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Military Commission (CMC) and the PRC’s Central Military Commission consist of the same members. In the post-Deng Xiaoping era, the military has become increasingly professionalized and less engaged in civil life. Nevertheless, the CMC continues to play a critical role in deciding and implementing China’s defense policy. This chapter also discusses Chinese strategic culture and China’s participation in UN peacekeeping. We are going to examine the new security concept and its role in Chinese foreign policy.
Guoli Liu

4. Economic Priority and Foreign Policy

Abstract
The Chinese dream includes three dimensions: money, might, and ideas. The objective of the Chinese leaders is to modernize China in order to boost its economic, military, and intellectual might (Lampton, 2008). Since 1978, the primary focus of the Chinese leadership has been on developing economic power. Beijing’s priority is sustainable economic growth, because growth is fundamental to the regime’s legitimacy. This strong focus on economic development has had a profound impact on Chinese foreign policy. Mao Zedong recognized the importance of economic power but consistently emphasized “politics in command.” Deng Xiaoping was the first PRC leader who truly set economic development as the top priority (Wu, 2005). Under Deng’s leadership, economic reform and opening policy became the driving forces of China’s domestic and foreign policy. As the former Vice Premier and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen indicates, the main objective of China’s foreign policy since the early 1980s has been to create a peaceful environment in order to serve China’s economic modernization (Qian, 2006).
Guoli Liu

5. China and the United States

Abstract
Relations with the United States occupy an important place in China’s foreign policy. Leaders in both Beijing and Washington have emphasized the relationship between the two countries as the most important bilateral relationship this century. President Xi Jinping and President Obama have put priority on developing China–US relations (Xi, 2015, and Goldberg, 2016). The Cold War once separated China and the United States. It was the mutual agreement on the common threat from the former Soviet Union that brought Beijing and Washington together in the early 1970s. After the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, geo-economics became more prominent than geopolitics in US–China relations. With increasingly broad and active economic interactions between the two countries, it seems that US–China cooperation is growing, but frictions and misperceptions are rising as well. The Taiwan issue has been a critical issue in relations between Beijing and Washington. This issue is becoming increasingly interesting due not only to changing perceptions in the two capitals but also rapid development inside Taiwan, including power transition from the pro-status quo Nationalist Party to the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party in 2016. It is reasonable to argue that Sino-American relations have evolved from a “fragile relationship” (Harding, 1992) to a truly interdependent “complex relationship” (Shambaugh, 2013b) or “codependency” (Roach, 2014).
Guoli Liu

6. China and its Asian Neighbors

Abstract
Chinese foreign policy has a strong focus on building close relations with its Asian neighbors. China has an important but often troubled relationship with Japan. It has been forming a new dynamic relationship with ASEAN. The Korean Peninsula is filled with both tension and promise for China. India and China are two large developing countries with a lot of common interests and potential conflicts. With the longest land borderline in the world between them, relations between China and Russia have great strategic and economic implications today, just as they did in days past. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) initiated by China, Russia, and several Central Asian states, has become an influential organization. The main objective of the SCO is to fight against terrorism and separatism, and enhance common regional security. How China deals with its neighbors will to a large extent affect the successes or failures of Chinese foreign policy. Most of China’s neighbors tend to have mixed feelings about the rise of China (Sutter, 2005). While some see China’s rise as inevitable and potentially beneficial to them, other neighbors have serious concerns about China’s intentions and potential conflicts of national interests. A few countries, including Japan and Vietnam, still have territorial disputes with China (Yahuda, 2011).
Guoli Liu

7. China’s Growing Global Reach

Abstract
As “the largest developing nation” in the world, China has growing ties with other developing nations in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. Recently, China has been acting more like a “major country” or great power. As China’s reform deepens, its opening has become comprehensive and multidimensional. With its rapid economic growth, China wants to expand its markets and secure reliable supplies of resources in support of its economic development. Resource diplomacy, therefore, has become a prominent feature of its contemporary foreign policy.
Guoli Liu

8. China and International Organizations

Abstract
China was a founding member of the United Nations in 1945. Since the People’s Republic of China entered the United Nations in 1971, its participation in international organizations has expanded both in scope and in depth. As one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, China has a strong influence in the United Nations. Traditionally, China often played a passive role in major international organizations. The rise of China since the 1980s has changed this situation. China today is one of the most active players in key international organizations, including the UN, the WTO, the World Bank, and the IMF (Chan, Lee, and Chan, 2011). This chapter examines China’s growing participation in major international organizations. It is clear that China has growing stakes in the contemporary international system. Realist scholars expect a rising power like China to change the current system to serve its interests. Some scholars argue, however, that China is interested in preserving the fundamental features of the contemporary international system. Part of the reason is that China has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of globalization. On the other hand, globalization has a dark side. This chapter also addresses how China confronts the risks of globalization, such as the Asian Financial Crisis and SARS, in the context of China’s interaction with the IMF and the World Health Organization.
Guoli Liu

9. Conclusion: Challenges and Prospects

Abstract
This concluding chapter highlights the connections between Chinese domestic politics and foreign policy, and examines new challenges and prospects. Chinese leaders have articulated a grand strategy of peaceful development. However, the international system is full of tensions and instability (Ye, 2009). Chinese society is undergoing rapid modernization and the economy is going through structural transition. The country is facing growing disparities between urban and rural areas, between coastal and inland provinces, and between the rich and poor. Some critics suggest that China’s transition is trapped in unbalanced economic growth without adequate corresponding political reform. The reformers argue, however, that now is the time to conduct comprehensively deepening reform (World Bank, 2012). In contrast with the previous sharp focus on GDP growth, the new comprehensive reform aims at simultaneously advancing political, economic, social, cultural, and ecological development. The new focus will be on the quality rather than speed of growth.
Guoli Liu
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