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The Rise Of China History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016


China perceives itself as a central power on Earth. The rest of the World is an array of greater and lesser powers which neither have unified structure nor a single head”

“Macnall Mark” [1] 

1. The quiet yet spectacular rise of China in the last two decades has brought the Oriental dragon on the thresholds of changing the contours of international power politics. China has emerged as the third largest economy in the world and the largest trading partner of all the emerging markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America replacing the USA and EU. China is known to be pursuing a not so transparent path of steep growth in strategic military capability and has developed a credible nuclear and missile deterrence capability.

2. China is rising along with worldwide concerns over the strat implications of the growing Chinese power. Whether any nation likes it or not, China has emerged as a power to reckon with and its hybrid model of quasi- state capitalism & semi democratic authoritarianism sometimes dubbed as the ” Beijing consensus” [2] makes an interesting case study for the strat thinkers.

3. During the cold war, China pursued a policy of ‘leaning to one side’ (either the Soviet Union or the United States) from within a posture of strategic independence. After the disintegration of USSR, it has been making official and emphatic pronouncements of promoting a multipolar world order and its own desire to attain the status of a world power. China has generally maintained an outwardly peaceful outlook and the World has not seen any major intervention by China except possibly in the case of North Korea where the Chinese action can not be defined as responsible. However, as China begins to assert its economic prowess and military capability, the global and regional powers are besieged with the growing realisation of a need to develop mechanisms to deal with the potent ‘China threat’.

4. There appears to be a near consensus that China will soon become a world power. However, whether China will fulfil the responsibilities that accompany the mantle of a ‘Global power’ remains to be seen. Whatever be the case, China has arrived at the centre stage of world politics and the world has to cater for China in all their strategic outlook.


5. The rise of China into a global power in foreseeable future is a fact every nation state has to understand and reckon with. China is on the path of development of comprehensive national power before it asserts itself to take the centre stage of the world order . Assertion of China’s economic and military might in conjunction with its soft power status in the UN to challenge the unipolar world order is likely to bring it in conflict with the sole super power USA. Manifestation of the true Chinese aspirations and intentions are likely to emerge by the year 2030 by which time it may be too late for world players including India to decide on how to align with the changed world order centred around China.

 Statement of the Problem

6. This research seeks to study and analyze the rise of China as a world power and its effect on the global power equation. The paper also seeks to study as to how the major international players including India will manage or adapt to this change in the international arena.


7. This research will primarily focus on the strat activities of China and its implications for other nations including India. It will analyse the World view of the Chinese growth and the management of the change in global power equations due to Chinese growth. The research has been carried out under the following main heads:-

(a) Historical/Background Issues. After a brief mention of the rise of Chinese civilisation, its geography and population, this part includes the research carried out to understand the advent of nationalism and communism in China and the transformation from Mao to Market as Deng Xiaoping laid the foundation for open market policies within a centrist communist regime.

(focus more on the contribution of the CCP and its evolution in the era of Xiaoping. Not to cov econ & its detls to avoid overlap with para c below).

(b) China’s Grand Strategy/ Capabilities and Intentions. The national and military objectives of China and the growth of its military capability to meet its regional as well as global ambitions have been analysed in this part. (Focus on the Chinese perspective only & avoid giving the perspective of the other powers to avoid duplication with para e below).

(c) Economic and Social Growth of China. The emergence of China as a major economic power with substantial forex reserves and its global reach to new markets have been analysed. The Chinese initiatives for social growth to facilitate the economic growth in the long term have also been examined. (only the economic and social growth of china , avoid views and perspective either Chinese or World view as it is being cov in other parts)

(d) China’s Growing Vulnerabilities & Weaknesses. While China has made much progress, it still has many blemishes. The threats of economic disparity, alienation of ethnic minorities like Tibetans and Uighurs, environmental threat due to urbanisation, lack of energy resources and the plight of farmers and migrant labour working in the SEZs are some of the threats which may derail the stability of China. In addition to discussion of the internal weaknesses of China, its performance in relation to internal obligations like nuclear non proliferation, global war on terror , human rights front and world trade issues have also been analysed in this part.

(e) Effect and Analysis of China’s Rise. The effect of China’s rise on the world order and major world players like USA, EU, Asia Pacific, Russia, South Asia and India and their response have been analysed in this part.(you can skip the effect on India and the Indian response as it will be coc in detl in para f)

(f) Implications for India and How Should India Respond. There are areas of common interests as well as areas of competition and concerns between the two Asian giants. In view of the meteoric growth of China, India has a wide range of options to include collaboration, engagement, containment, confrontation and alliance with other global players like USA, Japan, Australia and Taiwan etc . The options of India ranging from deterrence to dissuasion capability and the multi pronged and multi lateral policies to slow down the ‘prowling dragon of China’ have been analysed in this part.

( the alliances by India may be common between paras e and f, both gps may work on it for the time being for maint continuity of your flow, can be rationalises later)


8. The presentation of the Minor Research Project will be conducted as under:-


(a) Historical/Background Issues – 05

(b) China’s Grand Strategy/Intentions – 12

(c) Economic & Social Rise of China – 06

(d) China’s Growing Vulnerabilities & Weaknesses – 10

(e) Effect and Analysis of China’s Rise – 12

(f) Implications for India and How Should India Respond. – 14

(g) Conclusion – 02

(h) Questions & Answers – 20

(j) Summing up by SI – 05

(k) Comments by CI Army/Comdt – 05

Total – 90

(this is tentative , based on the term of ref that we have only 60 mins for presentation & the obvious achievements of China need not be devoted too much of time and space . I have tried to keep the sub parts/contents of the sub topics in mind while allotting time . Historical background part may appear less to you but that being the introductory part should not be too long I feel)


9. The meteoric rise of China in the World order has been one of the most discussed and debated issues of the new millennium. After more than five centuries of dominance of the Western Block, the Oriental Dragon is well poised to take the centre stage in the World politics and economy.

10. There is a considerable amount of debate on issues like how long can the dynamic growth in Chinese economy continue or its nearly totalitarian regime survive but the there can be no dispute to the rising might of the Chinese economy and military power which has shown remarkable signs of resilience, stability and adaptability .

11. The expectation that China eventually would pursue an assertive strategic policy subsequent to attaining comprehensive national strength would be fairly consistent with the conduct of previous great powers historically. Chinese experience of geopolitical primacy and the association of that primacy with good order, civilization, virtue, and justice, may make the pursuit of geopolitical centrality through assertive behaviour once again attractive.

12. The global players and India will have to develop a multi lateral approach for dealing with the rise of China. While China has the right to peaceful development of its own country, any asymmetric growth in military capability is bound to pose a threat to the power balance in regional as well as global levels.

13. India must engage China in a constructive manner to expand bilateral trade and co-operation while enhancing its own military and economic potential to deal with any possible Chinese misadventure like 1962. Our focus has to be based on building matching capabilities rather than reading the Chinese intentions alone as while the capabilities take years to build, intentions may change overnight.


Please come prep with all the proposed changes/amdts to any part of the synopsis or any addition/deletion to the scope of your respective topics/sub topics. You may send in your suggestions by mail also.

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