Ever since its creation the Peoples Republic of China has sought to increase its power in relation to its regional neighbours and other international powers, especially the United States and the now defunct Soviet Union. It did not take long for the Chinese Communists to amply demonstrate their importance in regional and international stability with their intervention in the Korean War.
As China’s invasions of Tibet and Vietnam demonstrate its Communist regime will take military action when it considers it necessary. However to a large extent China’s rise has been based upon avoiding military actions although it is not averse to causing regional and international instability. Whilst China has attempted successfully to become a major economic power it has not reduced its powerful armed forces, or stopped its support for rougue states and that does worry its neighbours, especially Taiwan.
The realists who express concerns about the threat posed by China’s rise claim it is potentially dangerous due to the decline of the United States and its own unpredictable foreign policy, not to mention its backing oof countries that are also determined to undermine global stability.
China as a Global Power
China has surprisingly not become more concerned about international stability as its economic importance has increased. More concern for international stability would arguably have reflected China’s growing reliance upon foreign trade to bankroll its economic growth and modernisation.
China’s rise can be traced back to the major economic reforms introduced in the late 1970s. These economic reforms were a tacit admission that Stalinist style industrialisation had failed to make China a regional let alone a global economic power. Yet the Chinese regime aimed to use those reforms to secure its domestic position and then challenge the economic power of Japan whilst weakening the regional position of the Americans.
The Chinese successfully increased their regional and international links with countries such as Japan, South Korea, and the United States in order to promote high levels of economic growth that has conversely allowed to fund an arms race with the Americans and the Japanese.
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