Drivers of China Foreign Policy Since 1978 and Its Global Consequences

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Drivers for China’s foreign policy since 1978 and its global consequences

China has become a key player in the international field. With its growing economy that has the potential to soon be the biggest in the world and its large number of inhabitants, every of its movement has gained high importance around the globe. Evaluating China’s foreign policy helps to understand its attitude and intentions towards the other nations and the goals that are wished to be achieved inside ‘the territory of the People's Republic of China’I.. To analyse the drivers and causes behind its foreign policy is an important issue to understand the internal and global consequences of China’s foreign policy. To have a better view on the situation of the last decades it is useful to know historical background. A new era started in China from the late-1970s. In 1978 the third constitution was introduced. The ex-Maoist leaders were arrested and later taken to trial and imprisonment, and a new political leadership came into being: Deng Xiaoping became the new leader. The period of Cultural Revolution was over and the Chinese started a new policy: opening up to the world. II. This is what finally resulted in a historically important, radical shift towards a different foreign and economic policy, to build up a ‘new’ and modern developing China after many decades of being unsuccessful. The most important about China’s foreign policy is to know that it is intended to help its endeavours of economic development and independency. The global activism underlines the country’s ambitions in the international environment. But it is also important to see that the external policy is developed alongside with the internal economic policies and political aims. External diplomacy is subordinate to internal development and stability needs so it is not possible this two without each other.iii. There are four main fields, factors that give channel for developing international relations. As China is to create and maintain a strong, independent, powerful and united Country, one of the drivers for foreign policy is to secure the inputs. Especially the raw material, energy commodity needs for the dynamically developing economy. China was a weak and poor country in the beginning of the examined period. In the new era these aims became reality, the economical strength is well visible. Since the borders are open, multinational companies started to invest in China, and an ‘internationalization’ process began in contrary to the previously isolated state. It is inevitable to have a strong foreign presence in order to get financial investments, knowledge and technology transfer for a (previously) underdeveloped country as China, if the high-speed economic development success as seen in the last decades is desired. China accepts and adopts more and more international expectations: standards, economic and trade policies and human rights inside its borders. This policy shows kind of dependency on external entities. For helping the domestic economy throughout going global, China pursues its own commercial and economic interests. Another main driver is the self-protection against hostile foreign activity, and in today’s uni-polar world, the possible United States containment strategy is considered as a primary challenge by Beijing. To some extent Japan and other neighbours are also considered under this policy. Another key issue is the expansion of Chinese political influence throughout the world. This is relevant in the case of Latin-American Countries and African Countries. It helps to reach goals in the international context. The goals summarized above are often connected with one another and it is sometimes difficult to say one action of policy is due to these or those drivers. In the following I give description in details. The strategic drivers are the threats and opportunities in the international field. The balance of power has changed a lot in recent decades. Before and...
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