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China's regional relations: Evolving foreign policy dynamics

Beeson, M. and Li, F. (2014) China's regional relations: Evolving foreign policy dynamics. Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., Boulder, Colorado.


The world seems to have become obsessed with China. It’s not hard to see why. Whether it is the unprecedented speed and scale of its economic development, the possible threat posed by its military and territorial ambitions, or the more diffuse influence of its culture and people, China is continuously in the headlines and seems to have changed not only the world around us but the way we understand it. Coming to terms with the “rise of China” is not just something that preoccupies the world’s media, though. On the contrary, policymakers and analysts everywhere are having to rethink the way they understand the evolution of the international system and China’s place within it. Will China be a “responsible stakeholder,” as former deputy secretary of state and World Bank president Robert Zoellick famously demanded, or will its growing economic, political, and military power present a fundamental challenge to the existing order? More pertinent for prominent US policymakers such as Zoellick, will China threaten the hitherto dominant position of the United States itself?

Only a decade ago such a question might have seemed preposterous. As we shall see, for some observers—especially in the United States—it still does. But a growing number of people think that the rise of China really does have the potential to change the existing distribution of power and influence in the international system in ways that will have consequences for China itself, for the United States as the world’s existing “hegemonic” or dominant power, and especially for China’s neighbors, who have been the first to feel the real impact of China’s growing power and presence. This last group of states and peoples is the primary focus of this book.

Item Type: Book
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Management and Governance
Publisher: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc.
Copyright: The Authors
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