China Turns to Multilateralism: Foreign Policy and Regional Security (Routledge Contemporary China)

China Turns to Multilateralism: Foreign Policy and Regional Security (Routledge Contemporary China)

Language: English

Pages: 318

ISBN: 0415666465

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

China’s recent rapid economic growth has drawn global attention to its foreign policy, which increasingly has had an impact on world politics. In contrast with China’s long-standing preference for bilateralism or unilateralism in foreign policy, recent decades have seen changes in the PRC’s attitude and in its declaratory and operational policies, with a trend toward the accepting and advocating of multilateralism in international affairs. Whilst China’s involvement has been primarily in the economic arena, for example, participation in the World Trade Organization and ASEAN Plus Three, it has more recently expanded into international security institutions, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

This book records, analyzes, and attempts to conceptualize, this phenomenal development in Chinese foreign policy and its impact on international relations, with the emphasis on China’s active participation in multilaterally-oriented regional security regimes. Written by an impressive team of international scholars, this book is the first collective effort in the field of China studies and international relations to look at China’s recent turn to multilateralism in foreign affairs. It will appeal to students and scholars of Chinese politics and foreign policy, security studies and international relations.

















aims to, “(a) strengthen information exchange, (b) strengthen personnel exchange and training and enhance capacity-building, (c) strengthen practical cooperation on non-traditional security issues, (d) strengthen joint research on non-traditional security issues, and, (e) explore other areas and modalities of cooperation.”65 In addition, the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea also mentions the suppression of piracy and armed robbery at sea. Multilateral

Malaccan Strait,” Alexander’s Oil & Gas Connections, vol. 9, Issue 15, 4 August 2004. Online. Available: (accessed 11 November 2004). Zhao Jianhua, “The Straits of Malacca and Challenges Ahead: China’s Perspective,” paper presented to the Conference on “Straits of Malacca: Building a Comprehensive Security Environment,” 11–13 October 2004, Kuala Lumpur (on file with the author). Zhao Jianhua, ibid., p. 4. See “Milky Way event.” Online. Available:

Through the concept of “peaceful rise,” the Chinese leadership aims to send the United States a strong message, that is, that China has no capability or willingness to challenge its hegemonic position. In other words, China is for now more than willing to accept the US-defined status quo, and work within the current international structure that the US helped shape and has dominated. However, instead of directly applying the concept to Sino-US relations, the Chinese leadership appears to have

meetings in 1997–98. China insisted on entering the organization before Taiwan could be admitted as a separate customs territory, and also sought permission to enter as a developing country, with more time to lower tariffs and trade barriers. In a series of intensive and protracted negotiations, China resolved its bilateral differences with its leading trade partners, including the United States, Japan, and the European Union, and finally succeeded in entering the organization on 31 December 2001

sports, tourism and media.”70 Building a normative international order Just like other major powers’ involvement in regional and global multilateralism, China’s participation in, and promotion of, SCO are underlined by some instrumental motives: either to manage border disputes in the narrow sense or offset US influence in Central Asia in the broad sense. The Western media and analysts tend to portray SCO as Beijing’s and Russia’s attempt to establish a condominium in Central Asia and a

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