Geo-economic expansion of China


People’s Republic of China under the leadership of Mao Zedong assumed independence on 1st October, 1949. Mao exercised an implicitly strong control over the military, political and economic institutions of China. The strong centralized control of Mao led him to control foreign policy of China without any constraint and political opposition. He ruled under socialism-cum-communism. He practiced a strong control even in China’s near abroad. After Mao’s death Deng Xiaoping assumed power. He was considered half Mao and had similar control over the foreign policy as Mao used to have. Deng moved away from traditional policy of preparing for war in 1985 and decided to diversify Chinese foreign policy by playing a part in international relations. In this way, he declared that China’s economic disparities would be transformed into economic opportunities. He then modified Chinese development system based on yearly plans of twenty, thirty or hundred year’s goals. China during the time of Deng started moving away from protectionist policies. Deng adopted a policy of coaching tigers with approach of “lie low, build up strength and don’t take leadership”. This policy in 2005 was replaced by the policy of China’s peaceful rise, which was again reshaped as Chinas peaceful development.
President Xi Jin Ping came to power in 2012. With president Xi assuming power, China began to contest on global level. He articulated the policy of rejuvenation of Chinese nation and desired to establish relations of China based on economic lines that would aid social, cultural and political enhancements. Such determined moves ultimately are adopted by powerful states seeking global hegemony in world politics. In references to Xi’s vision, he understands history, analyzes it, educates his people and shapes a discourse according to which he identifies states goals and objectives and outlines a policy which fills the gaps from history. Keeping the historical importance in mind, he revived ancient silk route through BRI which is a major step to get China to overcome its strategic dilemma in Indian Ocean. He has very intelligently used the economic relations with countries to get a spillover effect on political and strategic goals. He has prioritized China’s core and national interest and has shown decisiveness on issues of strategic interests. Furthermore, working smartly for politics he placed relations with other states on a manageable path by publicizing policies like common destiny, win-win cooperation and mutual respect. Moreover, in military terms he has been working for establishing China’s military influences to secure strategic goals. China has been quiet successful in its peaceful rise. It has been able to spread its political influence across the world and has peacefully taken Hong Kong back from Britain. Apart from this, the way it has taken out millions of his people out of poverty is remarkable.
In the contemporary scenario the china is active in South China Sea region. South China Sea is historically claimed by China, leading to a conflict of nine dash line in the region of South China Sea claimed by China. Regarding this international court of justice ruled against China and Chinese refuses to abide by. As China is very assertive to its territorial claims it refuses to step back when it comes to its strategic interests. These territorial claims by China are criticized widely and are perceived as a threat by the neighboring states. In this regard China’s peaceful rise is at times questioned. Hence peaceful rise for China won’t be that easy as it would have to face number of opposing states trying to balance China by allying themselves with United States.
According to the realist point of view; states never trust other states when it comes to international politics. States are the main driver of international environment and so are induced in a power struggle that indulges states into politics of maintaining one’s capabilities. And capability of a state is a defining factor of FP objectives of states. Considering china’s rise with realist point of view, we know that china’s capabilities are increasing with the passage of time; today, china is second largest economy, it’s increasing its military and political presences across the globe. And so we can, relying on the very first argument we made that states do not trust each other in international relations and can easily conclude that China has no intension of lying low, it wants to share power in international politics and so states while deterring china’s growth and increasing influence fall into an unwanted competition. Moreover, China has territorial disputes with other countries e.g. Philippines, India and Japan and these states cannot take China’s growth in positive sense; they consider China as their rival whose increasing powers would threaten the strategic interests of other states. Hence, China’s peaceful growth is not possible; its rise would definitely drive other states to competition. For example China’s regional rival in Asia is India and India is an ally of United States. Hence growing Chinese capabilities are threat not only to Indian interests but also the interests of United States for e.g. recent Laddakh issues are the immediate example of what China’s rise could be and how it’s growing capabilities and power is a threat to its regional and global contenders.

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