Over the past few decades, as China has pressed forward with its economic reform policy and transitioned to a market economy, it has experienced remarkable economic growth. Since the time of the Nixon administration and particularly since China opened up, Western-aligned developed nations such as the United States and Japan have pursued engagement with China. The hope was that as China becomes wealthier and is incorporated into the existing international order, it would eventually transform into a democratic state that values freedom and the rule of law.
However, the international environment surrounding China has greatly changed. Amid its fast economic growth, China’s presence on the international stage has dramatically expanded. The Xi Jinping administration’s motto is “achieving the great revival of the Chinese nation,” and its stated goal is for China to become a “modern socialist superpower” whose political system differs from that of Western-aligned nations. China has promoted One Belt, One Road Initiative as its external policy, established and led various international organizations such as AIIB, and has not budged on its hardline stance regarding maritime issues. Meanwhile, Western-aligned developed nations have started to reconsider their policies of engagement with China, there is a growing consensus in Washington that the engagement strategy has failed.
Given the change in the international environment, the research topic under consideration for this project is “the Re-emergence of China and the Changing International Order,” and experts from Japan, the United States, and Europe shine some light on this topic from the following three perspectives:
1. Foreign policy strategies of China. They reveal what China’s vision is, as well as the consequent foreign policy pursued by China.
2. Policies by Western developed nations towards China as well as US-China, EU-China, and Japan-China relations. They reveal how developed nations such as Japan, the United States, and European countries have reconsidered their engagement policies towards China, and how they balance economic and security policies towards China, with focus on maritime issues and unfair trade policies by China, among others.
3. Policies towards China taken by various nations that are caught in between China and Japan, the US, and Europe. They reveal what type of policies are undertaken by “middle powers” or “small powers,” and how they develop a balanced foreign policy.