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The tianxia system: World order in a Chinese utopia

Zhang, F. (2009) The tianxia system: World order in a Chinese utopia. Global Asia, 4 (4). pp. 108-112.


As China rapidly moves to center stage in world politics, the question of this emerging superpower’s international purpose and foreign policy is becoming more important than ever. What is China’s international mission, and how might it realize its agenda? Does it even have a blueprint for action? The Chinese government’s official line is often very vague on these questions. However, while China’s international strategy is currently undergoing major transformations,1 at the unofficial level China’s intellectual elite have been advancing a diverse set of arguments about China’s future international role. Because the intellectual power of these emerging views will, to varying degrees, influence policy choices in the future, it is essential for observers of Chinese foreign policy to pay serious attention to the lively intellectual debates taking place inside China. In this spirit, I here review the influential works of Zhao Tingyang, a distinguished academic at the Institute of Philosophy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: East Asia Foundation
Notes: Book review
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