Posted: July 7th, 2022

China’s Global Geopolitical Positioning

China’s Global Geopolitical Positioning

China’s Global Geopolitical Positioning
Xi Jinping’s speech can be conceptualized as a cautionary tale that aims warn aggressive external actos and define the new China and its newly global position. The message reinstate that China is slowly regaining its global position and will not lie down and be manipulated by other external powers that have for long try to defined China’s role in the world. He vows that China will never ben bullied and that no foreign forces, powers or coercion will take part in compelling China to act contrary to its self interest. He reinstates the importance of Chinese solidarity in the economic and military growth of China, and celebrates the CCP’s part in directing the country to prosperity. Chinese economic success has brought with it a great deal of power. From the international perspective, this has achieved a great deal of power shift, not only within Asian region but across the world. Declaring that China would never be bullied by any country, Xi implies and is significant in expressing the Chinese growth and development so far to near super power levels. China, in the late 20th century, and the course of the 21st century has undergone very immense economic transformation, and the results have been astounding in China’s favor, but increasingly contradictory of Mao’s future prediction that China will never seek become an economic super power in the future.
China’s growth has come with a variety of mixed messages and reaction from various economic systems, especially in the west that feel threatened or feel China is too unpredictable. There are also a variety of economic, territorial and policy disputes that dominate the relationship between China and global powers such as the US, and majority of Chinese neighbors in the South China seas. This is important to state in contextualizing why the Chinese leader thinks that there are powers that seek to bully China. China’s economic growth continues to rise and this works to bolster its already secured space, and create justification for expansion (Humphrey & Schmtiz 2006, p2; Kim 2016, p707; Nanto & Chanlett-Avery, 2006.). With strategic policies in place that have worked to cater for this growth, China has continues to gain global significance, and harness political, military and economic power like never before (Ahn, 2004). China’s growth has increasingly been perceived differently within different regions of the world, some with positivity and vice versa.
China’s growth has also shifted the geopolitical relations in the West as well as in its backyard especially in relation to Japan (formerly an imperial power in the 20th century that attempted brutally to colonize China), Korea and Australia (Cho & Park, 2013, p7). It has as well been very problematic to the west who have dominated world geopolitically and militarily. China considers various territories such as Hong Kong and Taiwan part and parcel of the greater China, but the claim is controversial, as US supports Taiwan militarily, Hong Kong diplomatically, and has pledged some of its resources to the South China sea to monitor Chinese alleged aggression on its neighbors- Philippines, Japan, Vietnam, Bhutan etc- all of which lay claim on some regions of the sea as well as China. With China’s recently acquired power, the relationship and levels of aggressions in the region have continued to worsen. Coupled with other factors such as poor intellectual property rights protection in China, state sponsored espionage and socialism, the other facets of association between China and the West have deteriorated. Xi feels that China has legitimate interest and claims to certain ideologies, geopolitical and economic interest and it should not be undermined or be determined by external powers. Coupled with a huge population (1.4 billion people), the Chinese people and government, should managed to define some of the world’s policies and perspective, in favor of Chinese interest but more generally against western domination and if push comes to shove China will be willing to defend their interest militarily. The West America and European leaders might take the message with negative impression and react by placing sanctions on China and militarily, as seen with US increased support on Chinese neighbors militarily and its increased presence in the South China sea, as well as trade tariffs and sanctions placed on China.
Chinese neighbors such as Japan, its former colonizers might take this message as a threat and seek to reinforces their military and be ready to protect their interest. Japan is in a sense an oppressor of China as it invaded China and controlled large swathes of China less than 100 years ago. Unlike the US, Japan is not directly meddling in Chinese affairs in relation to Taiwan but nonetheless, its position could be aligned to that of the US since they have similar interest in regard to China, and its growth- China’s ambitions especially in relation to territorial waters in the East China sea, as well as the Senkaku Island should be curtailed. Chinese growth in military might, economy and politics will be viewed as a threat to its neighbors self-interest. Other neighbors in the South China sea who periodically militarily interact with China, and even India in the north west, whose forces clashed with China over border disputes will negatively perceive the message.
There is a rise in parallel powers and global finance and policy institutions that are competing with western powers for governance in the global perspective. China has managed to provide an alternative view that directly clashes and contradicts the West. There are some critical themes that China has espoused as it grows. Storey (2013) identifies that as China rises, it will seek to control its periphery, as such, most of the powers that appear as threats to its control will have at some point in time to clash with China. Japan and South Korea, United States as well as Russia and Australia continue to pose the largest threat to Chinese economic, social and political domination within the region. Storey (2013) takes an important look into Chinese history since 1949 and outlines how its economic success will only work to embody its push for regional dominance. Jakhar (2021) outlines the Chinese dominance in the region and its increasing significance in the world is a major threat to US capitalistic interest across the globe. The fact that China does not really play ball with the west, also makes it sort of a rogue state in the eye of the west. Davidson (2021) China wishes to regain its past glory (pre industrialization era economic dominance) identifying that setting itself up as an economic and military leader is key in asserting its values and goals. Davidson (2021) reinstates that China resents US large presence in the Asian pacific and South China sea. The two powers US and China, each conceptualize their roles within the world first in their own interests. Japan and South Korea, have been perceived as friendly to the west majorly because they accepted western ideals, such as democracy and capitalism.
In China’s new foreign policy under Xi Jinping research provides context to the increasingly assertive Chinese stance. Zhang (2015) expresses that “Chinese diplomacy has become increasingly assertive, challenging the status quo of the regional order in the Asia Pacific…” (p9). But Zhang (2016) also expresses a key element that has worked in China’s favor, that is, the west fails to understand China’s foreign policy and how it shifts from one time to another. Zhang (2015) opines that China under President Hu Jingtao perceived its foreign policy under the “peaceful development” rhetoric. Zhang (2016) states that “China substantially improved its relationship with the outside world, especially with countries in Asia Pacific through the so-called ‘charm offensive’ diplomacy, expanding trade and economic ties and increasing engagement with regional institutions” (p.4). It financed projects across the world and gave economic support through grants and loans to small and major powers which allowed it to take key and strategic interests in most regions of the world. This worked to provide China with leverage and stake in the world development agenda, and also bolstered its position within global institutions. The role of global institutions, in China’s overall development and expansion strategy is key.
It is hard to get Asian countries such as Japan and Korea to balance against China as China’s power continues to rise stemming from its Confucian values where the society and the state are placed above the individual, labour supply and population growth, the rapid diversification of the economy in the last decade, and China’s leadership as well as it unwavering determination to increase growth rates and expand its economic reach. The convergence of a greater population, communist values fetched from confucianism, and historical motivations to succeed position China and Chinese values differently from those of Japan and Korea (seemingly more westernized) and allow China to forge their own unique identity that has worked as a catalyst for Chinese growth and global dominance. Chinese economic success has resulted in a greater powershift within the Asian continent and the world in general. China has managed to provide significant disruptions to the global order. China uses an inherently different and very unpredictable political and economic system. This is contrary to that which Japan and Korea use, that mirrors western systems. This makes China very vague, even in terms of diplomacy and Xi expressed this in his speech warning that under CCP leadership China will not relent to pursue its own interests.

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Davidson, H (2021). Xi Jinping warns China won’t be bullied in speech marking 100-year anniversary of CCP
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