China plays an important role in many fields of International Relations studies. China’s political and economic importance has also sparked interest among political analysts and academics. This paper investigates some of the questions raised by academics and political observers, as well as how other countries have responded to China’s growing importance in international relations. Global reactions and fears have been sparked by China’s political environment, population, and economic impact. In the twenty-first century, China emerged as the world’s most stable economy, sparking a global debate about its ability and status among world powers. United by a rich history, the Chinese leaders strive to find China its rightful place in the world.
Critical analysis of the powerful territorial and global rise of China must take into considerations international relations theories. The arrival of Western powers in Eastern Asia threatened the position of China as a regional and global power. The invasion of East Asia by western powers has also created the notion that China is a threat to peace in the region. However, such opinions are baseless given that Chinas rise has been peaceful. International scholars view this as a ploy by the US/Western powers to retain the hegemonic position. This concept finds its bearing among
Some of the mainstream international relations theories have been criticized for being outdated and providing misleading frameworks in the modern world. Poststructuralist theorists argue that modern International Relations is highly dynamic where mainstream theories cannot cope. One such scenario is Chinas position as a rising global power and the views of the US/West. The mainstream international relations theorizing has its foundation on European and American geopolitical interests. In a bid to provide insights into modern international politics, the critics of the Eurocentric International Relations theory appreciate the rise of global actors such as China and have their works under Non-West IRT.’
Classical realists argue that the clash between the West/US with China is an expected outcome in pursuit of their hegemonic goals. The argument here is that hegemonic powers must clash in their bid to win over their rivals. Offensive realists, on the other hand, describe the challenge of great power politics as being chaotic, insecure and in constant flux, while defensive realists focus on coalition and cooperation as a major strategy for regional or global hegemony. Following these theoretical perspectives, various points of view have been advanced. The US will ally with East Asia states to contain Chinas rise as a regional hegemony.
Unlike the western powers, Chinas emergence as a great world power has been peaceful. The greatest focus among the Chinese leaders has been to ensure peace for its people and national prosperity. Peace in China is founded on inherent philosophical traditions. Despite being one of the most powerful nations on earth, China never colonized or started a major war. It is also not involved in any international aggressions compared to the West/US. However, despite Chinas peaceful rise as a great world power, it is expected to play to some rules and dynamics of the great power politics. While maintaining its peaceful and philosophical traditions, China must leverage on the shared Asian values to create stronger allies within Asia.
Power conflicts have been experienced in the region which poses a threat to Chinas position. The conflict between China and Japan over uninhabited islands of Diaoyu (Chinese) and Senkaku (Japanese). The transfer of the administrative right over the Island to Japan by the US has been perceived as a protection of its political interest. Some pundits argue that the US would not favor Chinese administration over the islands since China is a competing power.
Ling, L. H. M. 2013. “Worlds Beyond Westphalia: Daoist Dialectics And The China Threat”. Review of International Studies 39 (03): 549-568. DOI: 10.1017/s026021051200054x.
Schneider, Florian. 2014. “Reconceptualising World Order: Chinese Political Thought and Its Challenge to International Relations Theory”. Review of International Studies 40 (04): 683-703. DOI: 10.1017/s0260210513000508.
Zhao, Suisheng. 2015. “Rethinking the Chinese World Order: The Imperial Cycle And The Rise Of China”. Journal of Contemporary China 24 (96): 961-982. DOI:10.1080/10670564.2015.1030913.