China New Superpower Essay

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All theories have a perspective (Cox, 128, 1981), and usually predisposed to certain conclusions.

“China’s foreign policy making remains largely at the domain of top elites and policy bureaucrats; specialists/scholars…” (Bin Yu, 252, 1994) Therefore, it is crucial to be able to fully grasp all of the current theories explaining the rise of China to better understand the reality on the ground and to potentially be able to discover alternative explanations to past, present and future events.

This paper focuses on understanding China as a “player at the table” (Hutton, 95, 2007) especially in terms of its relationship with the US, its overall position as an influential rising power, both economically and politically within multilateral institutions and its overall position as rising global actor in the fulcrum of power relations.

Today it is argued that the nation state is too small to effectively deal with global issues while it remains too large and far removed to deal with every local issue, in fact certain international political economy scholars have suggested that the “the state exists in the ‘missing middle’ of the emerging global/local geometry of human society”(Wei, 2008).

These approaches were later followed by institutional and perceptual schools (Bin Yu, 236, 1994).

China New Superpower Essay

For instance, John Ikkenberry has suggested that China’s rising influence may be used for its own benefit in a zero-sum game, creating a great security threat, or on the other hand that a massive hegemonic transition is not inevitable.By attempting to grasp the complex local history of China we may begin to better understand how China’s path to modernization has led it to where it is today to then consider the type of challenges China may face and perhaps even pose to the international community, if any.Rising China is reminiscent of pre-World War I imperial Germany, in the sense that it too had been humiliated by great powers in its quest to find its place in the world.Instead the current Western order is so deeply and historically rooted that it has become easier to join the Western system rather than overturn it (Ikenberry, 2008).“Theory is always for someone and for some purpose.That is why recently international political theory has undergone quite a bit of pressure to re-evaluate its approach, which usually assumes that the international system is dominated by the relations between states, and to acknowledge that multilateral institutions and non-government actors have an ever increasing role in naturalizing new and existing levels of power, essentially reshuffling hierarchy to create a new organization of international power (Hoffman, 185, 1975).Currently, multilateral institutions have a significant amount of power and influence over global policy.A rising power may be defined as “the emergence of a new, major power that potentially can play a prominent role in the international system.This status is achieved through increased military, economic, political, or other factors relating to the domestic environment in comparison to other states” (Leonard, 2002).By strengthening the Sino-American relationship China will potentially be able to secure an influential position within the G20 and other multilateral institutions.Finally, this essay suggests that China’s power in the international financial system is growing, however it shouldn’t be overestimated; rather China needs to look at our current moment in history as an opportunity to rebuild a national consensus on the future path of Chinese domestic and international foreign policies, while the US must see its China policy as a means to an end, not an end in itself (Economy, 152, 2010).


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