Key Elements of China’s Foreign Strategy


in The International Politics of EU-China Relations

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264089
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734809 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Occasional Papers

Key Elements of China’s Foreign Strategy

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This chapter seeks to overcome the problem of strategic misunderstanding of China by setting out some of the cultural traditions and strategic concepts that underpin its behaviour. It does not deny that China has a long tradition of realpolitik but locates this internally in the desire for a ‘reliable defensive capability’; externally, China's strategy is geared towards institutional integration with international society. The discussion holds that China faces problems with regards to a world order centred on the United States (USA). Unipolar order means accepting US hegemony, but promoting multipolarity could mean confronting the USA and an end to China's peaceful rise. As a result, China should move away from a polarity perspective and concentrate on fulfilment of national interests by ‘joining and adapting’.

Keywords: unipolarity; China; institutional integration; foreign strategy; multipolarity; USA

Chapter.  6505 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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