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The International Politics of EU-China Relations$
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David Kerr and Liu Fei

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264089

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264089.001.0001

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Key Elements of China’s Foreign Strategy

Key Elements of China’s Foreign Strategy

(p.38) 2 Key Elements of China’s Foreign Strategy
The International Politics of EU-China Relations


British Academy

This chapter seeks to overcome the problem of strategic misunderstanding of China by setting out some of the cultural traditions and strategic concepts that underpin its behaviour. It does not deny that China has a long tradition of realpolitik but locates this internally in the desire for a ‘reliable defensive capability’; externally, China's strategy is geared towards institutional integration with international society. The discussion holds that China faces problems with regards to a world order centred on the United States (USA). Unipolar order means accepting US hegemony, but promoting multipolarity could mean confronting the USA and an end to China's peaceful rise. As a result, China should move away from a polarity perspective and concentrate on fulfilment of national interests by ‘joining and adapting’.

Keywords:   unipolarity, China, institutional integration, foreign strategy, multipolarity, USA

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