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Power and Responsibility in Chinese Foreign Policy

Power and Responsibility in Chinese Foreign Policy

Yongjin Zhang
Greg Austin
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: ANU Press
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  • Book Info
    Power and Responsibility in Chinese Foreign Policy
    Book Description:

    The People’s Republic of China is now over fifty years old. Long considered an outsider, or a club of one, in international relations, China has recently become more active in international institutions. Is China becoming a responsible power in global and regional international relations? How accurate is the traditional perception of China? What factors may be motivating the changes in China’s approach to international institutions and its perceptions of its own role in the world? There is no certainty that China is becoming a more responsible power, recent developments may be just another manifestation of realpolitik. Power and Responsibility in Chinese Foreign Policy provides a vital insight into these issues, analysing the critical issues in China’s international relations– China’s regional and global diplomatic and security problems, the changing role of the People’s Liberation Army, human rights, religious and democratic movements, and the concept of responsibility. Power and Responsibility in Chinese Foreign Policy is an insightful and vital introduction to all sides of the current debate over China’s international relations.

    eISBN: 978-1-925021-42-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. Abbreviations
    (pp. vi-viii)
  4. Contributors
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Yongjin Zhang and Greg Austin
  6. 1 China and the responsibility of power
    (pp. 1-20)
    Yongjin Zhang and Greg Austin

    Why does China behave as it does in its foreign policy? How and why does China behave differently from other Great Powers in international society? How does China’s understanding of the responsibility associated with its rising power explain its international behaviour? In what sense can we argue that China has become more (or less) responsible in international relations? In China’s search for its Great Power status, how do domestic politics and historical experience matter in its understanding of the responsibility of power? Does China think it is well served by a responsible approach to the rights and duties bestowed on...

  7. 2 Chinese power and the idea of a responsible state
    (pp. 21-47)
    Rosemary Foot

    The interrelated themes of ‘power and responsibility’ are useful tools for understanding Chinese foreign policy during a troubled yet remarkable span of half a century of Communist Party rule. Evaluations of the behaviour of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) over these five decades have often related directly to concerns about the use the PRC has made of its material and ideological resources. Has Beijing worked to support the dominant norms of the international order, or has it striven to overturn them? Has it ever deserved to be termed a ‘responsible power’, as the dominant states in the system have...

  8. 3 Power and responsibility in China’s international relations
    (pp. 48-68)
    Gerald Chan

    This chapter focuses on two aspects of China’s international relations—power and responsibility. As the concept of power in international politics is well known, the chapter will pay more attention to the concept of responsibility.

    Is China a responsible state in international society? This question is becoming increasingly interesting as China grows strong and comes to play a greater role in world affairs. To answer the question, one has to consider the following subsidiary questions.

    What is meant by responsibility?

    How can the responsibility of a state be assessed?

    What is China’s responsibility?

    To whom is China responsible?

    What international...

  9. 4 China’s power: searching for stable domestic foundations
    (pp. 69-104)
    Greg Austin

    China is fighting to contain the dynamism of its society as numerous forces compete for the spoils of power and wealth in a rapidly evolving political, legal and social milieu. This struggle was unleashed by the Chinese government itself when it decided to move away from doctrinaire policies of a command economy and total control of ideology, a process which began very slowly and cautiously in 1978, but one which has been gathering pace and momentum ever since. So, at the same time as managing the liberalisation of the economy and society, the government of China is struggling to institutionalise...

  10. 5 The PLA, the CCP and the formulation of Chinese defence and foreign policy
    (pp. 105-131)
    You Ji

    In 1997, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) celebrated its 70th birthday. Without the PLA, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), which just marked its fiftieth anniversary, would not exist. Looking back, a lot of changes have taken place in both the PLA and the PRC. How can we summarise these changes in the PLA and its relations with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and its child, the PRC? This chapter describes this evolutionary process in the following characterisation: from protecting revolution to serving national interests. In a way, this 50-year process of evolution has seen a profound transition in the...

  11. 6 China’s participation in international organisations
    (pp. 132-166)
    Ann Kent

    China’s growing participation in international organisations provides a source and mark of its expanding power, and a measure of its increased global commitments and responsibilities.¹ Its effective entry into the global community occurred thirty years ago when, on 26 October 1971, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758 to transfer the seat of China in the United Nations from the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China (PRC).² following as it did a sustained period of Chinese isolationism and revolutionary paranoia, this development was universally hailed with relief, tinged with some lingering anxiety. Any initial...

  12. 7 China’s diplomacy in North and Northeast Asia: norms and practice
    (pp. 167-195)
    Stuart Harris

    Over the last decade or so, western discussion about the major powers in Northeast Asia has tended to take two different approaches. Drawing on lessons from the history of the rise of Germany and Japan (but seemingly not of the United States), the first argues that the dramatic transformations of economics and power among the major states in the area, notably the rise of China (and the decline of the USSR), pose enhanced risks of conflict. This, realists argue, leads to power balancing by the major powers (building up militaries, leading to arms races in competitive attempts to dominate militarily...

  13. 8 Power responsibility and sovereignty: China’s policy towards Taiwan’s bid for a UN seat
    (pp. 196-218)
    Baogang He

    China’s power in international relations has been growing in the last two decades, particularly following the handover of Hong Kong in 1997 and of Macau in 1999. Beijing’s current political agenda is to unify Taiwan with China. A realist would argue that a Great Power like China can set its agenda for dialogue, that the idea of political equality is irrelevant in settling the Taiwan question, and that the United States will also cease its support of Taiwan if China becomes more powerful in the next two decades. A realist would also be pleased to note that all major political...

  14. 9 China and arms control: a learning process
    (pp. 219-249)
    Gary Klintworth

    Any discussion of China’s approach to arms control policy, in terms of whether or not it has acted responsibly, needs to be placed in context. And the proper context is Sino-US relations and US attitudes towards China as a great power. It is only the United States that has vigorously scrutinised China’s arms control behaviour. It is only the United States that has accused China of not complying with its arms control commitments and it is only the United States that has the capacity to make life difficult for China on arms control issues. Looking at the material on China...

  15. 10 China’s security problematique: critical reflections
    (pp. 250-271)
    Yongjin Zhang

    The image of the People’s Republic of China as an irresponsible power has been largely, though not exclusively, constructed by examinations and interpretations of what is purported to be China’s security behaviour in regional and global international relations. The ‘domino theory’ associated closely with the threat from Red China in the 1950s and the 1960s and the ‘China threat’ debates in the last decade are just two primary examples. Issues and incidents such as China’s participation in the Korean War, its support of Communist insurgents in Southeast Asia and involvement in the Vietnam War, its border wars with India, the...

  16. References
    (pp. 272-293)
  17. Index
    (pp. 294-308)