China as a Dominating State

Topics: United States, European Union, International relations Pages: 12 (2154 words) Published: June 8, 2013
The rise of China has inevitably been profound. Its development as an important figure in

the international system has attracted attention from all corners of the world and has

even been considered to end the United States of America predominance era. However,

with its style of governing and geographical position in Asia, its dissatisfaction with the

current international system may cause tension with the West and even alter the current

international order. The essay will explore if China’s rise to global importance will end the

United States Unipolar era and if it will pursue to become part of the existing order or will

it abolish the system and use it to control and change the rules of the international

order around the world. It will also explore why and how China is fast changing

hegemony from the West to the East, how will it become a threat to the existing

international order and how will states react and be influenced by this hegemony and

whether China will remain status quo or become a revisionist state.

In recent years, China has become one of the most influential and powerful state in the

international system. In just 60 years, China’s GDP has risen dramatically, with GDP

growth of 6.7% per year since the beginning of 1950 and has increased to 8.3% per year

from 1978 onwards. With this accomplishment, China, in the contemporary world, has

the world’s second largest economy. It also has become one of the world’s largest

trading nations and has acquired large holdings of foreign reserves. By opening trade

barriers to the outside world, China’s economy has grown and has enabled China to use

soft power such as globalising Chinese culture; this can be seen in Australia where China

has opened the Confucius Institute in which it promotes the Chinese language and

culture. Although its economic growth is astounding, it is still behind the more advanced

states. However with its vast population that still continues to grow, its economy is

expected to become the largest by the mid-21st Century. While its economy grows, so

does its political and military power. China has come out of its isolation and has open up

to the world, enabling China to deepen its relationships with other states. It has gained

diplomatic recognition from other states and has contributed in the international

system, for example, China is a permanent member on the United Nations Security

Council, it also offers foreign aid, which allows China to have some sort of influence over

other developing states. China’s military has been improved with its foundation coming

from its strong economy; it has enabled China to create technologically advanced

weapons and improve its military. “In 2008, China became the world’s second highest

military spender.” With these radical achievements, China could one day, become a

global leader like the United States. It is already a powerhouse and China would want to

shed the label as a ‘developing nation’ and into a more established ‘developed country.’

With this sort of success, it is no wonder why China is seen as a threat to the

International Order, most notably the United States. It has gained power that could

ultimately lead to hegemony and even a change to the international order, but China can

also continue its ‘peaceful rise’ and remain as ‘status quo’, however this topic is

debatable. First, as an authoritarian government, China could seek to change the

international order to suit its interest and other states in the system will begin to see
China as a security threat. This view is held by realists such as John Mearsheimer, who

suggests that it creates tension between states and can lead to distrust and

miscommunication which can cause conflict such as war....

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Kastner, L. Scott & Saunders, C. Phillip, ‘Is China a Status Quo or Revisionist State? Leadership Travel as an Empirical Indicator of Foreign Policy Priorities’, International Studies Quarterly, 56/1, (2012) 163-177

Nye Jr, Joseph S., ‘The Future of American Power,’ Foreign Affairs, 89/6 (2010) 36-49

Geeraerts, Gustaaf, ‘China, the EU, and the New Multipolarity,’ European Review, 19/1 (2011) 57-67

Ikenberry, G. John, ‘The Rise of China and the future of the West: Can the Liberal System Survive?’ Foreign Affairs, 87/1 (2008), 23-37.

Cox, Michael, ‘Power Shifts, Economic Change and the Decline of the West?’ International Relations, 26/4 (2012) 369-288

Vogt, Roland, Europe and China: Strategic Partners or Rivals? (Hong Kong, Hong Kong University Press, 2012),
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[ 5 ]
[ 8 ]. G. John Ikenberry, ‘The Rise of China and the future of the West: Can the Liberal System Survive?’ Foreign Affairs, 87/1 (2008), 23-37.
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[ 10 ]
[ 11 ]. Joseph S.Nye Jr, ‘The Future of American Power’ Foreign Affairs, 89/6 (2010) 36-49
[ 12 ]
[ 13 ]. Joseph S.Nye Jr, ‘The Future of American Power’ Foreign Affairs, 89/6 (2010) 36-49
[ 14 ]
[ 17 ]. Tao Xie and Benjamin Page, ‘Americans and the Rise of China as a World Power’, Journal of Contemporary China, 65/19 (2010), 479-501
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[ 21 ]. Gustaaf Geeraerts, ‘China, the EU, and the New Multipolarity’ European Review, 19/1 (2011) 57-67
[ 22 ]
[ 23 ]. Tao Xie and Benjamin Page, ‘Americans and the Rise of China as a World Power’, Journal of Contemporary China, 65/19 (2010), 479-501
[ 24 ]
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