The year 2014 will be known as the year when Chinese foreign policy underwent its most marked shift since the reform and opening policy of Deng Xiaoping from the late 1970s. Less than two years after President Xi Jinping took over the helm of state, the Chinese have become far more visible in Asia, the Pacific, and the rest of the world as they advance their interests.
- What are the main elements of Chinese foreign policy today?
- How does today’s Chinese foreign policy differ from yesterday’s?
- How does Chinese political influence match the country’s economic?
This development now goes hand in hand with a rising confidence in one’s own power and influence on a global level. The shift has appeared repeatedly in the last year. Until recently, China worked its way quietly and into its role as a great power. It was a role the previous government did its best to tone down through vocabulary and doctrines such as peaceful growth or peaceful development . Today, China feels comfortable with its status as a great power and seeks to expand its rights and responsibilities in line with the new role.
2: The elephant in the room
In November 2014, President Xi addressed the Australian Parliament, emphasizing that China was taking on the role of the elephant in space (the crowd). It then becomes natural that others will wonder what steps and actions it will take. They will also be concerned about how the “elephant” will relate to them, or whether it will take over their “place”. However, Xi emphasized that China wants to grow in cooperation with the international community. Yes, the country’s own history demonstrates that warring states, regardless of size, are doomed to fail. Despite the fact that China’s diplomatic and economic power is growing rapidly, the country was nevertheless to be perceived as an expanding power. This is especially true in the wake of Russian military activity in Ukraine, from which China has tried to distance itself diplomatically.
3: Controversy over islands
There are still disputes over sea borders in both the East and South China Seas (partly due to petroleum and fishing resources). When China in 2014 placed an oil rig in waters that the country is in conflict with Vietnam, this was alarming for surrounding countries. In early 2015, it became known that China had launched a series of measures to acquire disputed archipelagos in the South China Sea. The measures were to enable China to better defend the islands and further strengthen its demands.
According to PICKTRUE.COM, China and Japan also have regular diplomatic clashes over sea borders in the East China Sea, around the Senkaku / Diaoyu Islands. Look and often planes from both sides confront each other in this region. China announced its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) for the East China Sea in 2013. It has prompted both Japan and the United States to express concerns about China’s goals in the region.
From early 2015, however, there are more conciliatory diplomatic tones from China; China and Japan have also sought to improve the poisoned relations between them. At the same time, China is keeping a close eye on US security policy in Asia and what the United States has been referring to since 2011 as its ” Asia-first strategy ” (also known as a policy of redirecting attention and resources to Asia).
In 2015, however, the United States insists that Asia and the Pacific will continue to be a core area of US military strategy. But events under completely different skies have attracted attention in other directions. These include the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, as well as other conflicts in the Middle East, such as in Libya and Yemen.
4: Old and new about each other
Chinese military spending continues to grow and will reach $ 145 billion in 2015 (budget) (US spent $ 691 billion in 2013) – up nearly ten percent from 2014. At the same time, China – in a time of increased international power for the country – sought to promote a foreign policy that emphasizes cooperation and development.
In a speech to the party in 2014, President Xi outlined his thoughts on what should be China’s new global priorities. Something was old new, like the five principles of peaceful coexistence. They are thoughts from the Mao era when great emphasis was placed on independence in foreign policy and a desire for a multipolar world – as opposed to a world dominated by a single superpower (unipolar).
But Xi also aired views that were unthinkable in the past, including a desire for a new model for relations with the United States and to make China more visible internationally. Recently, there is an assumption that the country is on its way back to a strength similar to that which the country has had in periods earlier in history, including the 18th century. Such vocabulary is far removed from what was common vocabulary under Deng Xiaoping. Then it was about doing for China to hide its capabilities and “lie low in the water”.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has recently called on the country to seek a more important and active role in solving international problems and building peace. He also asked for one focus and two main focus areas. Specifically, this means trade routes to Asian and European neighboring countries.
Of the five permanent members of the Security Council, China has the most peacekeeping UN troops. Chinese troops are currently operating under UN flags in Congo, Lebanon, Mali and Sudan / South Sudan. China has sought to counter fears of the country’s growing military power by concentrating on the second military operations other than war.