Evaluate the extent to which a specific Asia-pacific state has been successful in achieving its national interests. China is firmly positioned as a superpower in both the Asia-Pacific region, and the global political arena. Some issues, however, have prevented China from fulfilling its national interests including territorial integrity, economic prosperity, a harmonious society, and a peaceful rise to power. Territorial Integrity:
The PRC’s desire for territorial integrity means that China must remain ‘whole’ at all costs. As a state with a population of over 1.3 billion, China will undoubtedly encounter social problems particularly when 100 million of its population are not ‘ethnic Chinese’. The state’s ‘One China’ policy does not have room for secessionists. This has been demonstrated through the suppression of the continuing protest by the Uighars. The 2009 Riots in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, which contains a majority Uighar population, proved that there will continue to be deep-seeded social issues if the Chinese government wishes to maintain their forceful policy in keeping these people in PRC. Taiwan continues to be a contentious issue for the Chinese government. Despite Taiwan having recognised sovereignty by 23 states, the PRC refuses to grant such recognition in the interests of the One China policy. The PRC remains vigilant in disallowing Taiwan’s secession from the mainland. The island receives special treatment by US through aid, billions in defence funding, and the promise of military actions as dictated by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act. The PRC’s response to this has been the tactic of ‘anti-access/area denial’. If Taiwan were to attempt formal secession, it would incur a pre-emptive strike which would slow down US tactical movements. The PRC enacted the 2005 Anti-secessionist Act which legally requires an invasion of Taiwan if it ever attempted to secede. As well as these tactics, the PRC has used ‘soft power’ in order discourage Taiwanese interdependence. The ‘Three Direct Links’ policy was devised in order to create interconnectedness between the two states with regard to communication, transport, and economic ties. Over $100 Billion is transferred annually across the strait and both China and Taiwan are now members of the WTO. Although Taiwan has US and Japanese backing in the region, the PRC has established a symbiotic relationship so that it would be potentially economically catastrophic for Taiwan if it attempted to secede, making it a less viable option. The PRC’s refusal to negotiate with separatist groups is out fear. If one of these regions were to secede then it might encourage others to do the same. This threatens the power of the government, lessens potential workforce and investment opportunities, and could portray the communist leaders as weak in the eyes of the international community. Economic Prosperity
In 1976, then leader Deng Xiaoping suggested the idea of opening the Chinese economy up to market forces in order to accomplish economic prosperity. Since then the quasi-capitalist economy has had annual growth rate of around 8% in attempt to accomplish Economic Prosperity. Progression towards a form of capitalism has included joining the WTO in 2002, passing legislation to facilitate FDI, and allowing ownership of private property in 2004. However, China cannot escape its communist past, nor quell claims of totalitarian control over the economy. The Chinese have been accused of artificially affecting the Yuan and refusing to float the currency on the market. This allows China to decrease the price of its exports giving it advantage over other regional exporters like US. The lack of workers’ rights means that China is incredibly lucrative in its manufacturing and construction sectors. All banks are government owned and are thus some of world’s biggest. There is, however, a rising unemployment problem on the mainland. There is a need for 24 million new jobs to be...
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