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Influence of the Chinese in International Relations

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Published: Tue, 19 Dec 2017

When one refers to country like China the first thing which comes into mind is country of old civilisation and hard work. The word China or ‘Shina’ in Chinese means the middle country and is pronounced as ‘Zhon Ghua’. It is in a reference to the Chinese faith that their state was the geographical epicenter of the earth and the oldest true evolution of humankind. One of the most noteworthy growths after the cold war is perhaps the rapid progress in China’s economic potential and the subsequent national power it has begun to exert. Since the initiation of economic reforms and trade liberalization 30 years ago, China has been the world’s fastest growing economies and emerged as a major economic trade power. The Chinese economy has been maintaining an average growth rate of about eight percent per annum for the last two decades. Today China has become the second largest economy in the world. [1] The concurrent modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army would enable China to assert its perceived rightful place in near future, as the next super power after the United States of America.

The late eighties in last century saw a lot of political and economic changes, Iran- Iraq war, unification of Germany and the rise of concept of European Union which itself was changing the world order. The most important of the event was disintegration of erstwhile Soviet Union in 1991 which resulted in disassembling of the bipolar formation. This resulted in emergence of a unipolar world which was totally dominated by the United States of America (USA). During the early nineties though the USA was sole super power in the world, China was seen as the potential to emerge as rising economic and military power who is going to bring bi/multi polarity in near future.

Ever since its creation the People’s 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 rogue 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 of countries that are also determined to undermine global stability.2

China’s Growing Influence on International Relationship

One of the greatest challenges the West now faces is how to get China, a habitual free rider, to pull its weight on international issues. Ever since the country reemerged as a great power in the last decade, the United States and Europe have courted it, hoping that if China’s leaders felt they held a stake in the existing world order, they would work to sustain it. But things haven’t worked out that way. The recent Chinese hacker attack on Google, which underscored Beijing’s efforts to suppress information, was only the latest example of China’s rejection of global norms. At the Copenhagen climate conference in December 2009, the country’s opposition to mandatory carbon cuts helped eviscerate an agreement. Economically, China’s refusal to strengthen its currency is threatening the global recovery. On Iran, Beijing has repeatedly rebuffed the West’s call for tougher measures, putting its own interests (Tehran is one of its key energy suppliers) above nonproliferation. The more likely explanation for the country’s obstreperousness is that despite its rise, China is no more comfortable with the Western-led international system now than it was 10 years ago. The Communist Party still openly rejects democracy and human rights, and U.S. leadership is viewed as a reality-but an illegitimate and unfortunate one. Yet the days when China can have it both ways-freeload on global public goods while enjoying international respect-are about to end. Disillusionment with its self-serving policies is setting in. As Google shows, even some multinational corporations are beginning to openly challenge Beijing, and many more are secretly applauding Google’s defiance. Similarly, Western governments are cracking down, levying anti-dumping charges against Chinese exports and contemplating other retaliatory measures if Beijing keeps its current exchange-rate policy. China’s image has also taken a beating because of its lack of cooperation on climate change.

The Beijing’s response to any international problem has been, first we will help our self then we will help the world. The result is emerging tension between the international community and China. Become of the huge economic rise of China, she has become a truly global actor. Is Beijing ready for global leadership? Is a question which keeps haunting the international community. China’s policy makers regularly point out that their foreign policy serves domestic goals of reform and development. The world wants China to do more while Beijing gingerly gropes its way forward with its newfound status, influence, responsibilities, expectations and constraints.4

China and South Asia: Implication on India

China’s increasing interest and engagement in South Asia, Including in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has been manifest in recent years. Indeed, the Chinese invariable asserts China is linked to South Asia by mountains and rivers. However, the Chinese occupation of Tibet and declaring certain parts of India and Bhutan as part of China raises suspicion over her influence in Asia. The twenty-first century has the potential to be known as the “Asian Century.” India and China are simultaneously gaining salience in the international relations. The unfriendly foreign approach of China especially, covert support of military and nuclear hardware to Pakistan, staple visas to Kashmir, growing military bases all around Indian border and unresolved border dispute has been seen as a threat to Indian peace and economic growth. How does India deal with growing influence of China in around its neighbouring countries? Is a big challenge for India.

Statement of the Problem

Post disintegration of erstwhile Soviet Union, the impressive rise of China as an economic and military power has resulted in changes to the unipolar world dominated by USA and lead to the formation of a bi/multi polar world. China has grown as great actor, in influencing international relationship. This paper seeks to analyse the effect of China’s rise as an economic and military power and its role in the international relationship, including the impact on India.

Justification of the Study

The end of this century has seen sleeping dragon as phenomena, the rise of a major economic and military power of the world. She has already become the second largest economy in the world. The China’s growth and its influence on economic powers of the world, its strategic collaboration with various countries have changed the new world order. China as an economic and military power has result in changes to the unipolar world dominated by USA and lead to the formation of a bi/multi polar world. Her status permanent member of the United Nation Security Council (UNSC), most power member of World Trade Organisation and Association of South East Asian Nation indicates her potential national power and influence on the international relationship.

Considering the China’s growing demand of Oil, food grains and natural resources, she is mainly dependent on Africa and littoral countries of Indian Ocean region. China understands the importance of geo-strategic position India in an Indian Ocean region and capability of India to choke the trade routes. Therefore China is influencing her relationship in South Asian region in a big way, by establishing military and economic bases in an around India.


Post disintegration of erstwhile Soviet Union, the impressive rise of China as an economic and military power has resulted in a major impact on the growing influence of China on international relationship. The growing interest of China in Africa and South Asia, her perception of India as her potential competitor in new world order has great impact on her relationship with India.


The scope of the dissertation is intended to be limited as under: –

(a) Rising Red Dragon. In this section it is intended to analyse China’s rising power as economic and military giant.

(b) China and its influence on World. In this section, it is intended to study the various measures taken by China to influence international relationship, her positive or negative impact on world order, is she ready for global leadership?

(c) China’s impact in South Asia. In this section, it is intended to bring out the impact of China’s rise as a super power in South Asia and her dependence of Indian Ocean region.

(d) Sino-Indian Relationship. In this section, it is intended to analyse the impact of greater Chinese influence in South Asia on India, her strategy to keep the economic and military rise of India under her influence.

Methods of Data Collection

The information for this dissertation has been gathered through

study of various books, periodicals and journals available at Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) library. Bibliography of the sources is appended at the end of the text. In addition the medium of INTERNET has also been exploited extensively to gather latest information on the subject.

Organisation of the Dissertation

It is proposed to study the subject under the following sections: –

(a) Introduction and Methodology.

(b) Rise of Sleeping Dragon.

(c) China’s Growing impact on international relations in the new world order.

(d) Chinese impact in South Asia.

(e) Sino – India relationship.

(f) Conclusion.

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