‘Today’s China Is Both a “Status-Quo Power” and a “Revisionist Power”’

Topics: International relations, United States, People's Republic of China Pages: 8 (2431 words) Published: January 29, 2013
‘Today’s China is both a “status-quo power” and a “revisionist power”’

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has become more integrated and willing to cooperate within the global political and economic systems than ever in its history. However, there is growing apprehension in the Asia-Pacific region and the U.S. in regards to the consequences of rising in economic and military power in China. Descriptions about Chinese diplomacy in the policy and scholarly are less positive lately concerning China’s obedience to regional and international rules. There was little debate in the U.S. and elsewhere in regards to whether China was or was not part “the international community.” Scholars and experts in the early 1990s have contended progressively that China has not shown adequately that it will play by the so-called international rules.

Recently many of the policy debates in the U.S. have been about whether it is even conceivable to mingle a dictatorial, nationalistic, and discontented China inside this supposed international community. Analysts claim that China is becoming more and more part of the international community mostly in the area of economic rules. For example, free trade and domestic marketisation. Sceptics either think that this is not the case because of the nature of the government. For instance, China is still Red China to some; others say that China is playing with fascism, or that it might not perhaps occur since China as a rising power by meaning is discontented with the United States controlled global command. A rational conclusion is that both groups see the matter of China’s rising power as the main basis of unpredictability in Sino-U.S. relationship and in the Asia-Pacific region.

In the U.S., in the past decade numerous scholars, experts and politicians have branded China as a state working outside of, or only partially inside, the so-called international community on a sphere of international rules. The then Defence Secretary William Perry said in 1995, engagement was a strategy to get China to act like a “responsible world power.” When outlining national security policy In March 1997 Samuel Berger the then National Security Advisor to Bill Clinton described the Sino-U.S. engagement as intended to draw China “in the direction of the international community.” Madeleine Albright former Secretary of State once said: “if China is to become a constructive participant in the international arena now and the future will depend on how the U.S. interacts with china”. She went on to say that the U.S. looks for a China that holds commonly recognized human rights and global rules in order to build a secure international order. Just before Condoleezza Rice became the National Security Adviser she said that China is not a ‘status quo’ power.

The common subjects in all these descriptions are clear that so far China is not or is only beginning to turn into a positive member in the international community; China does not yet entirely support global rules of conduct. Furthermore, a rising discontented China poses a deep challenge to the international order established and favoured by the U.S. There are two yet more fundamental, implied suppositions that support these descriptions of China and the international community. Firstly there is an existing international community that is adequately well defined such that it is clear who is and who is not part of it. The Second supposition is that this community contribute to common rules and values on human rights, non-proliferation, trade and etc. What does it mean to be a status quo or a revisionist power in global relations in the early 21st century? Regardless of the important position of the terms in international relations theorising and in discussion in the policy world, explanations of status quo and revisionist are not only unclear but also under-theorized. Mr Hans Morgenthau said, “The the status quo policy aims at the protection of the distribution of power...
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