China's International Behavior

China's International Behavior: Activism, Opportunism, and Diversification

Evan S. Medeiros
Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 278
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  • Book Info
    China's International Behavior
    Book Description:

    China is now a global actor of significant and growing importance. It is involved in regions and on issues that were once only peripheral to its interests, and it is effectively using tools previously unavailable. China's international behavior is clearly altering the dynamics of the current international system, but it is not transforming its structure.China's global activism is continually changing and has so many dimensions that it immediately raises questions about China's current and future intentions. This study provides a conceptual and empirical framework to assess these important trends. It examines how China views its security environment, how it defines its international objectives, how it is pursuing them, and the consequences for U.S. economic and security interests.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4896-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-vi)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Figures
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xv-xxiv)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxv-xxvi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxvii-xxx)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    China’s economic and diplomatic interests now span the globe, having gradually moved beyond the Asia-Pacific region in the last decade. China is active on issues and in regions that were previously only peripheral to Beijing’s calculations, notably, Latin America and the Middle East. Its diplomacy is affecting the conduct of international relations at virtually all levels of the global system, and its decisions are influencing international perceptions, relationships, institutions, and processes. China has become central to managing, if not resolving, many of the traditional and nontraditional security issues facing the international community.¹ Within Asia, China’s strategic periphery, it has become...

  10. CHAPTER TWO China’s Foreign Policy Outlook
    (pp. 7-18)

    China’s international behavior is influenced by three historically determined “lenses” of perception that color and shade how Chinese policymakers view China’s external environment, think about China’s role in international affairs, and implement policy actions. These lenses reflect Chinese biases and prejudices about the international system and China’s place in it. These lenses are all broad notions related to China’s national-role concept and are not commonly articulated by officials, nor do they appear in government documents. Rather, these ideas pervade Chinese research, analysis, and policymaking about Chinese foreign relations and foreign policy.¹

    First, there is a pervasive belief in China that...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Current Perceptions of the International Security Environment
    (pp. 19-44)

    Chinese assessments of their external security environment are the empirical basis on which China’s top policymakers determine China’s foreign policy. These assessments play an integral role in debates about which objectives and policies to pursue, and as these perceptions change so can China’s behavior.¹ Chinese policymakers and analysts highlight several dimensions of their current security environment. Six predominant perceptions are examined in this chapter.²

    But, first, two overarching beliefs shade China’s view of its current security environment. One is a widely held belief that China’s future is inextricably (and increasingly) linked to the international community. Chinese leaders understand that China’s...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR China’s Foreign Policy Objectives
    (pp. 45-60)

    The lenses through which China looks at the world, its long-term diplomatic priorities, and its perceptions of its current security environment collectively manifest themselves in five foreign policyobjectives. They are fostering economic development, reassurance, countering constraints, diversifying access to natural resources, and reducing Taiwan’s international space. These five differ from China’s long-term diplomatic priorities because they are more specific and reflect current perceptions; thus, they could more easily change in response to internal or external stimuli.

    These objectives constitute the core of China’s current international behavior. In most cases, they reflect China’s responses to its security environment and its...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE China’s Expanding Diplomatic Toolkit
    (pp. 61-92)

    One of the most notable features of China’s international behavior in the past decade has been the number of newly utilized and enhanced tools of statecraft that it has put into operation in pursuit of its objectives. This monograph identifies five categories of tools: economic diplomacy, leadership diplomacy, multilateral diplomacy, strategic partnerships, and military diplomacy. In many instances, the application of these tools is overlapping and mutually supportive; the distinctions among these five types of statecraft are drawn for ease of analysis.

    Economic diplomacy (jingji waijiao经济外交) has become a central theme in China’s foreign policy under Hu Jintao....

  14. CHAPTER SIX China’s Foreign Policy Actions
    (pp. 93-192)

    China has developed and deployed numerous effective policies to shape its external environment in pursuit of its top international objectives, as defined in Chapter Four. This is evident in the activism and the diversity of its statecraft: China has systematically expanded the scope and improved the quality of its bilateral relationships; it has demonstrated a pronounced embrace of multilateral organizations, in numerous regions and on several functional issues; its economic diplomacy is robust and multifaceted; and Beijing has better incorporated military diplomacy into its foreign policy quiver. This chapter examines the content and character of these policy actions as they...

  15. CHAPTER SEVEN Challenges Facing Chinese Diplomacy
    (pp. 193-200)

    Beijing confronts several challenges to achieving its five foreign policy objectives. Some of them stem from domestic circumstances that constrain effective statecraft, and others stem from external reactions to China’s growing capabilities. China’s ability to manage these challenges will serve as an important indicator of its diplomatic power and influence.

    In examining the evolution of China’s international behavior, one consideration is central: China is experiencing far-reaching changes in its economic, social, and—to a limited degree—political affairs. The resulting shifts in the structure and functioning of the Chinese economy, society, and polity are affecting the substance of its foreign...

  16. CHAPTER EIGHT Conclusions
    (pp. 201-224)

    China’s domestic dynamism now clearly extends to its international behavior. China is involved in places and on topics previously marginal to its interests, and it is effectively using tools previously out of its reach. China is a truly globalactor, with interests and influence far beyond Asia. It is both shaping and being shaped by nations, institutions, and processes all over the world. China is not yet a globalpowerbut it will eventually get there, depending on one’s standard of measurement. And by the time China gets there, the concept of being a “global power” will likely have a...

  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 225-248)