China’s Foreign Policy Debates

This September 2010 Chaillot Paper report by the European Union’s Institute for Security Studies in Paris looks at “China’s Foreign Policy Debates”. It makes four conclusions:

First, “there is no unitary understanding of foreign policy in China. Opinions differ with regard to various aspects of China’s foreign policy, and these have been publicly voiced in various print and Internet media.”

Second, of the ideological tendencies of Chinese scholars – Marxism, realism, liberalism and social constructivism – “liberalism, in general, dominates foreign policy debates in China.

Third, “the general tendency of the world situation as it is currently evolving is interpreted by most Chinese scholars as overwhelmingly dominated by peace and cooperation, even though there is a varied spectrum of opinion in this regard. China’s identity in international society is believed to have fundamentally changed from that of a revolutionary outsider and a detached state to that of a responsible member of international society.”

Finally, “a growing number of actors and factors are having an impact on China’s foreign policy process. Domestic debates on China’s foreign policy are driven by both internal and external forces. One strong factor is external pressure. China’s adoption of the opening-up policy over the past three decades has meant that Chin has become both deeply involved in and tremendously influenced by international society.”

You can read and download the report here.


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