This chapter examines the regional strategy of China and the various sources of China’s influence on Asia and in extension, other parts of the world (Shambaugh and Michael 127). Additionally, the chapter considers the manner in which China might employ its growing power to influence the dynamics of future international relations dynamics. However, the assessment of different perspectives of other Asian powers and other global powers regarding a more powerful and influential China has taken center stage in the chapter.
The chapter strives to evaluate the competing yet different theoretical views on the international conduct of China, the implications of China’s international behavior and other potential developments that might change the regional policy of China (Shambaugh and Michael 128). The author, Philip Saunders argues that China has succeeded in maintaining a stable regional environment and convincing its neighboring countries, majorly Asian countries in viewing China as an opportunity rather than a threat through its reassurance strategy (Shambaugh and Michael 129). However, the author still ponders about the future of China specifically regarding the ability of China to remain stronger while less constrained considering certain parameters.
The author of this chapter is a renowned researcher at the Institute for National Strategic Studies-National Defense University in the United States of America. He is an authority in security studies, diplomacy, international security, modern China, defense, strategic plan, and meteorology. He has written over 31 books on the various areas of his expertise. Hence, the author has the moral and academic authority to write issues relating to China’s role in Asia and analysis of its aspects on international relations.
The title of the chapter suggests the author’s main idea that China is currently growing into a powerful and influential state through its regional policy and reassurance strategy on the Asian states (Shambaugh and Michael 130). Regional strategy, economic, diplomatic and military assurance measures of China has seen the shift from the anti-China sentiments. The author has cited findings of the recent studies in making the conclusion that all Asian states except Japan view China as an opportunity rather than a threat to their in-house businesses (Shambaugh and Michael 131). Even though sometimes opinion polls may give a true reflection of the actual feelings and perceptions on the ground, at some point studies may also miss the points due to certain inherent biases. However, most of the findings from various studies have affirmed their ultimate predictions hence this aspect would give the author a positive node.
The chapter intends to convince the elite Chinese who for a long time have had the perception that the US is containing China’s military and economic potential. For instance, the regional strategy of China has some aspects of its global grand strategy of maintaining a favorable political environment and ensuring the continued rule of the Chinese Communist Party laced with an appeal to nationalist concerns (Shambaugh and Michael 127). Similarly, China has focused on maintaining a stable international surrounding in supports of economic modernization. By linking China’s regional strategy with its global strategy, the chapter reveals the complex network of China’s political, economic and diplomatic operations. The international behavior of China aims at building positive relationships with current and potential world powers in its strategy of creating a multipolar world to challenge the US from containing its economic and military potential (Shambaugh and Michael 129).
The chapter gives a non-biased approach to the insights of China and US relations. For instance, China’s actions aim at ensuring that the US does not contain its economic and military potential by ensuring that it avoids confrontation with the US (Shambaugh and Michael 142). On the other hand, US military actions such as enhancing its military presence at the pacific are also seen as a move to counteract China’s plans. The good relation that China has with its neighbors is also castigated to be at the discretion of the US due to unresolved territorial borders of China in parts of Asia.
The chapter exposes the massive trade items that China exports to Asia, utilizing statistical records that have shown that Asia consumes almost 45% of China’s exports (Shambaugh and Michael 133). In addition, it reveals bilateral and multilateral military practices of China in Asia and other parts of the world concerning UN peacekeeping missions and China’s increased transparency on its military concerns.
In fact, China will soon achieve the soft power following the steps that the government has taken by supporting the establishment of Confucius Institutes in foreign countries and exchange programs for Chinese students and their foreign counterparts. This is actually a strategy by the government to exert its “soft powers” on Asia and other foreign countries (Shambaugh and Michael 147). The authors successfully convince the readers by arguing his points based on practical examples, the activities we see around or read in the print media.
The chapter is therefore relevant to students pursuing international studies as it helps in understanding the underlying issues concerning international relations. The chapter has enhanced my understanding of relationship between China and the US. From the chapter, a student can make predictions on the prospect of China and the likely events that are likely to precede China’s future.
Shambaugh, David L, and Michael B. Yahuda. International Relations of Asia. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008. Pri