The Rise of China: Conflict or Co-operation

analytical Essay
1626 words
1626 words

The rise of China as a global economic and political player is a significant development in world politics and is one that has been unprecedented in history. China's global impact is increasingly felt on every continent, in most international institutions, and on many global issues. (1) (Shambaugh 2013) This is starting to create a power transition from the West to the East as the United States starts to decline, shifting the world landscape from a unipolar world towards a bipolar world. Historically, the emergence of new poles of power in the international system have been geopolitically destabilizing such as the rise of Russia, Germany, and the United States (2) (Layne 2008) Power sharing between superpowers has lead to conflict, fuelled by suspicion and mistrust. What will make China the exception as there demand for resources and expansion grows? Although China claims a “peaceful rise” to power, their actions in the international and regional and local systems have created conditions for conflict that has potential to be devastating to the world order.

Liberal theories have tried to emphasize that because our current international system is defined by political and economic openness, which has lead to increasing interconnectedness, China can rise to power peacefully. They argue that globalization has effectively made everyone dependent upon each other. Using this logic, China buying increasingly large amount of United States debt creates a safety net between the two, de-escalating potential future conflict due to reliance on each other. This however has not held true historically. In the 20th century tension and conflict were extremely high between Britain and United States due to the new emergence of a great power, even th...

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...its own currency and rid itself of the dollar, creating a dominant multi-reserve system. Daniel McDowelly and Steven Liao show strong evidence to support the trade interdependence hypothesis ‘‘the probability that a country will negotiate a BSA with the PBC increases as both countries become increasingly dependent on the other in the area of international trade.’’ (9) (Mcdowelly et al. 2012) This has vast implications because china is a heavy importer of oil and a heavy exporter of goods. BRICS has also recently began moving away from the U.S. dollar when doing transactions. At the latest BRICS Summit in South Africa in March 2013, the group decided to establish a BRICS development bank as a possible parallel structure to the World Bank. (13) China has began direct currency trading with many countries recently, as they move to cut the the 'middle man' U.S. dollar.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that china's future role will be as a co-operative bilateral and multi-lateral actor in the international arena, building their legitimacy.
  • Explains china's support for authoritarian regimes has had devastating effects fuelling conflict in darfur. china has been consistently resisting the status quo.
  • Argues that china's rise as a global economic and political player is significant in world politics and has been unprecedented in history.
  • Argues that the brics alliance builds a cumulative and committed group of state sovereignty defenders, who are concerned with maintaining and reaffirming their independence as states.
  • Opines that china's participation in the international system has been about serving their own interests over international communities, and as a way to contest the west without creating deep conflict.
  • Argues that china is trying to undermine the current international system as they see a declining us.
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