Can China rise peacefully?

China\’s economic and military growth over the past two decades has brought the country to the world stage with major powers such as the United States, Europe and Russia. Today, China has become the second largest economy in the world and continues to dominate production and exports. China\’s growth has been rapid, strategic and “peaceful\”. For many scholars around the world, the rise of China is not a surprise. The development of the country began in 1978 with Deng Xiaoping\’s \”openness policy\”, which laid the foundation for cultural and economic reforms. Since 1978, China\’s average gross domestic product (GDP) has been around 9.8% and is expected to overtake the United States as the world\’s largest economy by 2030.  From a Realist Perspective  Realists like Hans Morgenthau and Kenneth Waltz, who believe that the international system is anarchic and that great powers compete to gain dominance, argue that China’s military expansion suggests a hegemonic pursuit.   In a report presented to the U.S. Congress by the Department of Defence in 2009, China’s military spending surpassed that of the United States by over $70 billion. In November 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared the “Chinese Dream;” a grand process of national resurgence as a global power. Given the realist perspective that states act only in self-interest and compete for power in a zero-sum game, China’s continued approach to dominate Taiwan and its alignment with repressive regimes like North Korea, Iran and Russia, support realists’ claims that China’s rise might lead to “conflict with status-quo” great powers.  So, there is a Chinese threat to the other countries of the region, and that can lead to the worst why not to the war of the fact an uncertain balance of power that, history tells us, always accompanies the emergence of a new great power.  John Mearsheimer, suggests that if China continues to expand its military capabilities, it will become “an aggressive state determined to achieve regional hegemony”. The United States’ polices to foster trade with China are “misguided and doomed to fail,” according to Mearsheimer, who advocates tougher scrutiny of Chinese policies by the U.S. The United  States’ strategy to contain China has been criticized by countries like Australia and South Korea, who have embraced China as a strong ally and trading partner.   On the \”Chinese threat\”, the American strategic discourse implicitly or explicitly calls for an extremely simple assumption: any change in the distribution of power within the international system generates conflicts. Therefore, the rise of China would inexorably lead to the weakening of the United States and therefore to a confrontation between the two.  More so, to support his thesis of the inevitability of a conflict states United States / China, Mearsheimer explains that \”the most powerful states are still trying to establish regional hegemony while ensuring that no rival power dominates another region; the goal of any great power is to maximize its share of power and inexorably to dominate the system. \” He continues, \”China will do anything to widen the power gap between it and its neighbours, especially Japan and Russia, and to ensure that no state in Asia can threaten it\”  This idea that China represents, by the very structure of the international system, a threat to the United States has proved even more insistent since the end of the cold war. Indeed, the last two decades have seen policymakers and military in Washington converge on the same point: to ensure their national security, the United States must remain the first military power in the world and thus prevent the ambitions of a possible peer competitor.  Mearsheimer\’s vision departs deliberately from the so-called defensive neorealists like Kenneth Waltz, for whom the possibility for China to embark on a military adventure in an era of nuclear deterrence is unlikely because of the very structure of the international system.    From a Liberal Perspective  Liberals have a different perspective of China’s rise. They believe in interdependence and democratic peace, and acknowledge the presence of state actors, individuals, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the international system. From this view, neoliberals (liberals who emphasize economic integration) see China’s rise as an integration into a “peaceful world system through economic and diplomatic engagement.   Relying on neorealism about the anarchy of the international system, liberal institutionalists argue that their importance and impact (competition and conflict) have been exaggerated and underestimated the current cooperative behaviour of the contemporary era. The complex interdependence of Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye argues that states and their destinies are inextricably linked by increasingly diverse and complex transnational links and interdependencies.   These links have also led to the creation of many stakeholders (including multinationals, nongovernmental organizations and the public) who have become important international actors. In a more inclusive, open and porous globalized world, leaders need to consider these groups when addressing their peers. At the same time, the use of military force between major powers has been drastically reduced – a phenomenon on which many neorealists agree, but not on interdependence, but on the deterrent effect of nuclear weapons.  Institutionalism propagated by Robert Keohane and other assertors asserts that the United States has created an international post-war order that is open and inclusive to other great  powers. Such a system provided an opportunity to manage tensions while promoting and reinforcing the growing interdependencies that affect the stability, prosperity and prosperity of the great powers.   The Democratic Theory of Peace, the third aspect of the liberal institutionalist paradigm, argues that the promotion of capitalism and democracy by the United States has created a liberal order in which its principal architects and supporters share similar ideological, political, and economic views.   Inconclusion, the Western liberal order provides goods and areas of mutual influence to the great powers, difficult to overthrow due to the presence of nuclear weapons and interdependencies, suppressing power transitions and mitigating conflicts over time. nothing.

Are they optimistic or pessimistic on China’s rapid rise?

As Thucydides wrote, almost 2500 years ago, the real cause of the Peloponnesian War was the growth of the power of Athens and the fear it created in Sparta. The emergence of France was the cause of the chaos that Europe in the early nineteenth century, and one of the causes of the First World War was the fear that the power of Germany inspired its European neighbours.   The international power structure in East Asia is today marked by emergence and collapse great powers. During the last decade, the Soviet Union has declined before disappearing. Also, during this period, the Japanese growth continued, and China began to transform its economy. The scale of China\’s GNP growth means that impressive military capabilities should accompany its economic growth. How the system the emergence of Chinese power, the eventual regeneration of Russia, the changing role of Japan and tensions on the Korean peninsula, should be of paramount importance for the stability and prosperity of the future East Asia.  According to Nye, if the United States is not the gendarmes of the world, \”the forces already deployed in Asia ensure broad regional stability and deter aggression against our allies \”  The purpose is reassuring, unlike the theses developed by Mearsheimer. The Chinese threat, would be in some way not credible, and the risk of a conflict, in the current conditions, unlikely, because of the existence of the American military presence in Asia, provided of course that it is not removed.  In the best case, China is presented as being the second world power, not the first, which makes all the difference, leaving the United States the pre-eminence, provided, according to Nye, they assume in full awareness of their strategic leadership. Nye opposes realistic theses by proposing as instruments of pacification, the strengthening of alliances and the development of regional institutions.  China is not yet a full democracy, however, liberals argue that the possibility of a power struggle in the international system is negligible, given China’s free trade agreements with countries within its region and beyond. China’s advancement on the world stage has paved the way for liberal scholars around the world to push for a more democratic system of governance

How have they arrived at their assessment?

For scholars because of the weight of the United States, Chinese power has fears, ambitions, but few resources. The fears are those of a fragile legitimacy regime, ideologically isolated. The Chinese power feels threatened by any power that would question Beijing\’s claim to be recognized by all its partners as the great leader of the Asian pole. The ambitions are enormous, they aim to strengthen the Chinese vision of the world order.   The funds are based on a declarative power strategy aimed at strengthening China\’s capacity by intimidating or influencing potential opponents to the PRC. As such, the Chinese power and the strategic developments that support it are worrying factors of instability and potential conflict, not only in Asia, but also by the game of alliances in the rest of the world.

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