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Table of Contents
Foreword by Miguel A. Velloso
Conceptual Frameworks
1.1 Background to Chinese Foreign Policy
1.2 The Theory of International Relations in China
1.3 The Value in Analysing the Chinese Strategic Concept
The Historical Dimension of the Chinese Strategic Concept
2.1 The Chinese World Vision
2.2 The Strategic Culture
2.3 Lessons From the Past in Analysing The Present
2.4 China's "New Security Concept"
The Perceptual Dimension of the Chinese Strategic Concept
3.1 Chinese Self-perception
3.2 The Concept of "National Interest"
3.3 The International System According to China
3.4 Strategic Concerns
The Doctrine behind China's Strategic Concept
4.1 Nationalism and Realism in the 1990s.
4.2 The Guiding Principles of Strategic Thought
4.3 Strategic Planning and Security Conduct
4.4 Impact of the New Chinese Strategic Concept on the International System
Mid-term Vision of the People's Republic of China (external framework)
5.1 The "Cooperative" Alternative
5.2 The "Rupturist" Alternative
5.3 The "Chaos" Alternative
Primary and Secondary Chinese-language Sources
Non-Chinese Primary and Secondary Sources
Sample Pages Preview

The Perceptual Dimension of the Chinese Strategic Concept 3.1 Chinese Self-perception Questions about how China sees itself after more than thirty years of progress in its economy, public administration, civil society, science and technology, diplomacy, etc., and the country's role in the post-Cold War international system, can largely be answered by studying the perceptions held by Chinese decision-makers and analysts. This allows us to complement our examination of the Chinese leadership's strategic objectives. In Western International Relations theory literature, the mainstream tends to follow Robert Gilpin's classification, asserting that States in the international system (and their relationships with each other), can be identified according to whether these are powers keen on maintaining the status quo, or alternatively, powers seeking to alter the status quo, depending mainly on their "capabilities" [Gilpin, 1981]. Insufficient attention is paid to the "intentions" of each type of power, due to the relative intangibility of information of this nature. In this regard, understanding the perceptual dimension of a State's Strategic Concept is a fundamental tool. This assertion is based on the idea that although Realism suggests that the relative power position of a State determines its choices and actions in international relations, this is not always the case. Where an actor whose power is on the rise, it may redefine objectives, adopt new policies, and even take a defiant attitude towards the predominant actor or actors. History provides us with a series of examples spanning the emergence of Great Britain, the US, Germany, Japan and the USSR. In these cases, through their growing power they sought to change the international order, although not always with war and bloodshed. The explanation of these differences was determined by the different"intentions" of the powers challenging the prevailing status quo, as well as by the different reactions of the conservative powers. One element that defines any intention of a State is their image (or perceptions) about themselves and others, according to what they seek to achieve and how each actor perceives both its own situation and that of its rivals. The Chinese seem to embrace this approach: the Chinese newspaper, People's Daily, said on one occasion: "For a country to be a threat to world peace or other countries, does not depend on its size, strength, or growth rate, but on the aspirations contained in its foreign policy "["JinfangLengzhang ...", 1996]. These "aspirations", understood to be "intentions", shaped by the perceptual dimension (i.e. the image of the self and the other), are not easily accessible to the researcher of China's foreign policy. Although it is not easy to find evidence on perceptions of the leadership and their advisers, given that would allow intentions to be revealed, disquisitions on the situation in China are useful for the purposes of this paper, so they will be dealt with in this section. While Chapter II analysed the Chinese worldview, leading us to explore the ways in which historical development shaped the ideas of advisers and decision makers regarding (1) the centrality of China in the ancient world order, (2) the need to preserve cultural essence, (3) the lingering harm done by the century of national humiliation, and (4) the feeling of national pride, Chapter III will seek to analysehow China perceives its current situation. As a result of the speed and extent of the changes that the PRC has gone through over the last thirty years, during which time they have risen in potential while at the same time experiencing great uncertainty, one can start by asserting that the China's image of itself shows contradictions or, at least, some incongruences. A feeling of self-confidence coming from their progresses juxtaposed with the strategic concern about the future of the international system. Those who consider the direction of Chinese foreign policy after the end of the Cold War as positive, refer to it as "dynamic and entrepreneurial" [Garver, 1993; He Xin, 1996; Kim, 1994; Liu Jinghua, 1994; Niu Junfeng 1998; Wang Huning, 1995; and Yan Xuetong, 1997], while those who are less positive refer to it as random and impetuous [Bernstein and Munro, 1997; Bodansky, 1997; Christensen, 1996; Dickson, 1997; Dobson and Fravel, 1997; Finkelstein, 2003; Godwin, 1997; Roy, 1994; Swaine, 1998 and 2000; and Wolf, 1995]. The irony of this situation is rooted in that, in line with China's continuing to develop its economic, political, diplomatic, military and technical-scientific capabilities, it will have a greater role to play in the international arena, so the response to the above interpretations will be increasingly in their hands (and may even work in their favour). The progress achieved has enhanced national pride, which leads the leadership to think that the "rejuvenation of Chinese civilization" ("Zhonghuawenminghuifuqingchun") is close at hand. Its dawning would be marked by the following: ·Until the mid-2000s, the growth of the Chinese economy was undeniable, recognised by both international financial institutions (the IMF and the World Bank) and the Chinese government. They all agreed that China's GDP grew at an average annual rate of 9.9% between 1980 and 2008 (reaching a peak of 14.2% in 1992, while the average world economic growth recorded that year was 3.8%). If we adjust for inflation, we find that in the fifteen years following the introduction of Deng Xiaoping's reform and economic liberalisation policy, China's GDP quadrupled, putting the Chinese economy in seventh place worldwide at the beginning of the 21st century [RenminRibao, 1998, p. 1]. Furthermore, in early 2010 the Chinese GDP was close to becoming the second largestin the world. This encouraging economic environment of the last twenty years has led to China becoming a recipient of a significant amount of foreign direct investment (FDI), a fact which enabled the country to strengthen its export sector. Since 1992, China moved from second to first place in FDI receipts, surpassing the US (with a total in 2007 of 82 billion USD). See Figures 4 and 5...


China in 2010
In early 2010 Mainland China and Taiwan began another round of talks to move toward the signing of a "framework agreement for economic cooperation", a euphemism for a free trade agreement between the two political entities that make up the Chinese nation. This was an historic step, because it marked a milestone in the future of the two States separated by the victory of Mao Zedong and his Communist forces back in 1949.
This rapprochement began when the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) led by Ma Yingjiu returned to power in 2008, waving the flag of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Ma's plan for relations with Mainland China was based on three points: "no independence", "no reunification" and "no use of force". As the first point had been fully satisfied under the principles adopted by the Beijing authorities under the "Taiwan issue", the People's Republic of China (PRC) changed its policy of "peaceful reunification" and embraced the idea of "peaceful development".
Despite these steps forward, there was one factor, external to this bilateral relationship, which could adversely affect the outlined process: the relationship between China and the US. At the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010, both powers clashed over a range of issues such as emissions of carbon dioxide, anti-dumping tariffs, the undervaluation of the Yuan, internet censorship, the Dalai Lama's visit, and arms sales to Taiwan.
According to Chinese international relations advisors, the roots of the current strategic struggle between the US (the leading player in the international system) and China (a player with growing power), are to be found in the fact that in the decade leading to 2010, we witnessed both a decline of US power at the same time as the growth of China's power. This first view is backed up by the fact that the US: (a) is entrenched in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, (b) has not been able to emerge unscathed from the economic crisis that has been affecting economies since 2008, and (c) that in the latter part of George W. Bush's administration and the early period of the Obama administration, the government was weak and struggled to set a course for both domestic and foreign policy. In terms of explaining the rise in power of China, we can mention: (a) rapid exit from the crisis and recovery of GDP growth (8.7% in 2009); (b) they have achieved international recognition (for, amongst other fora–their presence in the G2 and G20, to which we can add their growing participation in peace keeping forces); and (c) the consolidation of power of the Communist Party of China (vis-à-vis the relatively successful handling of rebellions in Tibet and Xinjiang, the talks with Taiwan and the social protests which resulted from the global economic crisis).
Faced with this increasingly powerful People's Republic of China, which appears to be ready to take on a greater international profile, involving challenging the US on some issues, this book aims to provide some answers about the direction China's foreign policy is taking.

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