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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Friday, March 12, 2004

"heping jueqi ": China's International Strategy


Asia Times Online - News from greater China; Hong Kong and Taiwan:

"heping jueqi (peaceful rise' or 'peaceful ascendancy')" is an international strategy of diplomacy that the author of the linked article argues is China's way of assuaging the world's fears of a rising Dragon.

Bruce Klingner, director of analysis for Intellibridge Corp in Washington, DC, in his contribution to the Asia Times believes that China is selling it's rapid rise in regional and world economies as being a "peaceful ascendancy" and has gone out of it's way through the likes of the globetrotting of it's leadership and other means to assure at least the regional nations of it's peaceful intentions.

He argues further that the "peaceful rising" concept "serves as a recently defined veneer laid atop a more subtle and sophisticated strategy..."

He goes on to say that the goals of this subtle strategy are

  • Establish China as the predominant economic force in Asia.
  • Parlay economic cooperation into political influence over Southeast Asian nations.
  • Provide a counterbalance to offset and eventually diminish US influence.

Personally I feel the author's analysis is pretty 19th century textbook stuff.

Essentially, this Machiavellian model states that if a country rises it must be doing so in pursuit of a defined goal and that the goal, according to the model, must be some degree of regional economic or political predominance or as a counterbalance to the rise of some other regional power.

I think this is a very "western" and a very limiting way of looking at things. It assumes that every action by a nation cloaks some dark objective. By assuming that you automatically set a scene for confrontation of some degree.

I do not believe that what the author points out as being goals of China's strategies are really that. I believe they may well end up being the consequences of China's actions but not the objectives per se. In fact the very use of the word "strategy" implies some insidious Machiavellian type machinations which I do not think applies in this scenario.

Could it not be as simple as the Chinese saying to themselves "hey we have some huge potential problems developing here as a result of our current policies"

Think of it, an ever growing population, very serious fuel and food problems, unemployment, all in all a recipe for a cataclysmic disaster.

I think the Communist Party's "strategy" is as simple as "Globalise or perish"

They know, however, that the world will not see their rise as being anything other then as this commentator has seen it, a grab for power. Therefore, obviously, they must sell "heping jueqi" to the region and the world, but, just maybe, what they are selling is really the truth and not a guise, as is suggested, for some ulterior motive