Country China and Foreign Policy With Reference Essay

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China and Foreign Policy

With reference to any ONE country you have studied, how far does interdependence shape its foreign policy and in what ways

A Brief History of Chinese Foreign Affairs

China Reforms

Current Foreign Policy

Foreign Relations and Interdependency

China is an emerging force in the world, and it seems only to be natural, as the Chinese civilization is one of the ancient civilizations of the world. In fact theorists seem to question the reasons for its downfall, as it is the largest and has historically been the cultural and educational center for the world.

As far as its foreign policy is concerned, the Chinese government deals with it in a unique way, where the foreign affairs are the business of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which falls under the ambit of a department called the "Foreign Affairs Leading Small Group of the Communist Party of China." This ministry is sponsored by the government, but does not directly form part of it. These are think tanks that discuss foreign affairs and decide upon a foreign policy, and as the discussion group is not a formal part of government, these are more open and people present their views with less hesitation.

According to David Gosset (Gosset, 2011):

"The extraordinary Chinese ability to contextualize prepares the country's top decision-makers -- certainly at the level of the Foreign Affairs Leading Small Group of the Communist Party of China -- to have a holistic approach of world affairs (China). This should not be interpreted as a refusal to take a clear position on any singular question, but should be understood as the prudence to carefully consider how actions on one particular issue might affect the entire equilibrium of the system. While hard and soft power analyzes and targets the almost endless individual components of the global power game, subtle power apprehends synthetically their interactions." (Gosset, 2011)

This state of affairs reflects the traditional position that China has taken on its position in foreign affairs. Maybe it is reflective of their culture which is inclines towards being at peace with the environment and the world around them. That is the reason why, the country has not tried to impose its particular brand of ideology on other countries as USA and Soviet Union have been trying throughout history to promote Capitalism or communism respectively.

According to the Chinese Government's official website, the country is looking to foster peace and stability in the region, an environment of 'neighborliness' and to facilitate the development of an over-all well-off society.

A Brief History of Chinese Foreign Affairs

Ever since the People's Republic of China was established, the country has worked in the international arena to have itself considered as the sole representative of all of China, whereas the Republic of China, based in Taipei used to be the government that was recognized by the UN as the diplomatic government in China until the 1970's when the government in Beijing took over. As Beijing became more important as a player in the international arena, other world players have increasingly recognized the PRC as the representative government in China. The U.S.A. however recognizes both, and in its statement leaves what it means by China ambiguous deliberately due to its diplomatic ties and economic dependency on Taiwan as PRC and ROC make it incumbent for the countries that it establishes diplomatic ties with to not recognize the other

China has had a history of sour relations with the U.S.A., and has tried to maintain a foreign policy that is independent of the U.S.A. And the Soviet Union, assuming the diplomatic position of a non-aligned partner. (Chen, 1979) It has been in opposition of a single world power, with its goal to date being to promote multi-polarization. (China's Foreign Affairs and International Relations, 2012)

China Reforms

China in the 1970's and 1980's, after the death of Mao was in a quandary and there was no real successor to carry out his legacy. It was not until 1978 that economic reforms of capitalistic nature started in China, where the Communist Party of China initiated market reforms in order to boost the abysmal state of economic affairs to a developmental start.

The new leader, Deng Xiaoping encouraged entrepreneurs to start up their own businesses, looking to boost private enterprise in the country. Moreover this stage was characterized by the further opening up of the Chinese economy for foreign direct investment. This was the initial point, and at this stage most of the industry remained in the public sector. The second stage was when the government actively sought decentralization of power and privatization of companies that were under state control. This was done also in terms of contracting out some public sector company work or functions to private enterprise leading to more private participation over all in the economy. These firms were given incentives to produce as efficiently as possible, and to maximize output in order to earn more. These firms were also allowed to get loans and were also permitted, in certain areas of the economy to liaise with foreign partners to form Joint Ventures. This policy was a purposeful change in stance, and in essence has led to the transfer of foreign knowledge and skills to China, which today has become evident.

In consonance with the reforms of China, the government also created a global environment establishing diplomatic ties with other countries which could help China develop its economic potential. China at the time worked on its diplomatic ties with the West and looked to them for help and to establish capitalism in the country. Moreover, it sought Western assistance in trying to achieve its objectives, on the behest of trying to overcome Soviet expansion in the region.

Current Foreign Policy

The recent foreign policy of China, with respect to the findings by Micheal D. Swaine indicate that contrary to popular belief to do with China's oppressive regime, its policies are not expected to change much, neither will these policies be more pre-west or towards free markets as the policy is pragmatic as well as cautious and is expected to suit the economic climate of China. (Swaine, 1995)

However as China's might increases, there will be strain in Chinese regional ties as these policies are not aligned with the modernization that is being followed in the country. However U.S. pressure to adopt strategies and policies similar to its own will not be as high, because a stable environment in China is expected to benefit USA as well, as USA relies heavily on Chinese exports.

The relationship schedule with the U.S.A. has been swung high and low during the course of history, where China considered USA a hyper-power, and improved relations with Russia and Europe in order to keep the power of USA in check. However, as the 21st century begun, the country's position was reconsidered, after the U.S.A. showed its might and influence in its intervention in Kosovo and China re-geared its strategy for the U.S.A., and initiated policies that would make its place in a world with one superpower.

As far as other countries are concerned, starting from the Asian region, China has been trying to stabilize the region and pursue peace-making policies which will be to its own benefit. Moreover, the country has been seeking to uplift its profile as a global player through its seat on the UN and has made efforts to decrease the amount of tensions in the region.

During the late 1990s and early 21st century, Chinese foreign policy appeared to be focused on improving relations with Russia and Europe to counterbalance the United States. This strategy was based on the premise that the United States was a hyper power whose influence could be checked through alliances with other powers, such as Russia or the European Union. This assessment of United States power was reconsidered after the United States intervention in Kosovo, and as the 20th century drew to a close, the discussion among think tanks in China involved how to reorient Chinese foreign policy in a uni-polar world.

China has also worked for peace in its own region, where it initially was an ally of North Korea, but as South Korea grew as an economic power, China realized the advantage of allying with South Korea, and the need for peace between the two countries, and to this end initiated Six-party talks with South Korea, North Korea, USA, Japan and Russia.

The country is working for closer ties with India, Pakistan, Korea, and other ASEAN countries talking at forums to strengthen cooperation. Moreover the country, with its objective to promote multi-polarization in the world, has cooperated more with Russia and the two countries are strengthening ties in order to counterbalance the superiority of USA through this partnership.

As far as its relationship, with its age-old rival India is concerned, China and India have improved relations with each other. The two countries have had a history of distrust especially over China's support of Pakistan,…[continue]

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