Chinas Changing Approach to International Intervention

In the Post-Cold War Era

Thesis (M.A.) 2009 116 Pages

Orientalism / Sinology - Chinese / China



Technical notes


1 Preface

2 Chinese foreign policy after the Cold War
2.1 Actors and foreign policy decision-making processes
2.1.1 Party and government actors
2.1.2 Think Tanks and foreign policy elite
2.2 Development of Chinese foreign policy after the Cold War
2.3 Competing goals and motivations
2.3.1 Regime survival, economic development, nationalism
2.3.2 Image policy: China’s ‘Peaceful Rise’
2.4 Conclusion: Muddling through

3 China’s approach to sovereign change
3.1 The ‘New Sovereignty’ debate
3.2 China’s changing position
3.3 Factors constraining change
3.3.1 Traditional Chinese conceptions of sovereignty
3.3.2 Official PRC historiography and nationalism
3.3.3 Example: The Taiwan conflict
3.4 Factors conducive to change
3.4.1 Growing global economic and political interests
3.4.2 China’s international socialization
3.4.3 Example: Flexibility in border disputes
3.5 Conclusion: Mixed signals

4 China’s changing position on international intervention
4.1 UN Peacekeeping Operations
4.1.1 Definition and controversies
4.1.2 Historical development
4.1.3 China’s changing policy on UN PKO
4.1.4 Foreign policy elite analysis
4.1.5 Conclusion
4.2 The Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
4.2.1 From Humanitarian Intervention to R2P
4.2.2 China’s policy on R2P
4.2.3 Foreign policy elite analysis
4.2.4 Conclusion
4.3 Conclusion: Limited progress

5 Conclusion

6 References


A. Deutsche Zusammenfassung

Technical notes

1. For my thesis I will use the Hanyu Pinyin system of Romanization, which is generally used in the People’s Republic of China today. Exceptions are made for historical figures like Chiang Kai-shek, as well as the proper names of Taiwanese personalities. They are better known by these names than by their names in Hanyu Pinyin. The (traditional) Chi- nese characters of the Chinese author’s names and their works which I have quoted in my thesis can be found in the bibliography.
2. Terms and journal/book titles will be written in italic; quotations will be enclosed between quotation marks.
3. Accentuations and underlining of words and expressions in the original text of quotations will be written in bold in this thesis.
4. The (traditional) Chinese characters and the Hanyu Pinyin romanization of terms and ex- pressions translated from Chinese will be parenthesized and written in italic as they appear for the first time.
5. Quotations from Chinese-language sources will be translated into English. Usually I will produce the translations myself. Translations by other authors will be indicated as such.
6. A CD-ROM with a detailed list of the internet sources and the downloaded internet sources is attached to the hardcopy of this thesis.


illustration not visible in this excerpt

1 Preface

In September 2007, Buddhist monks and ordinary citizens protested in the streets of Rangoon and other major cities against the oppressive regime of the Burmese (Myanmar) military junta. After a few days, the military responded with a violent crackdown, killing and arresting an unknown number of protesters in the process. ‘Western’1 governments, media and public fig- ures were appalled by this ‘bloody crackdown’.2 Professor Shen Dingli, an international rela- tions expert at Shanghai's Fudan University, offered a different opinion: ‘China has used tanks to kill people on Tiananmen Square (in 1989). It is Myanmar's sovereign right to kill their own people, too.’3 The Chinese government subsequently blocked Western efforts to impose sanctions on the military junta in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), describing the events as a purely ‘domestic affair’.4

However, Beijing does not only disapprove of non-military forms of foreign intervention such as sanctions: Stretching from its stubborn opposition against United Nations peacekeeping operations (UNPKO) in the 1970s to its furious reaction to the North Atlantic Treaty Organi- zation’s (NATO) ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Kosovo in 1999 and finally to its much criti- cized role in the Darfur conflict today, China has made quite a name for itself as a staunch and passionate opponent of all forms of international intervention. In the Western media, China is regularly portrayed as a representative of radically conservative interpretations of national sovereignty and non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries. Driven by its hun- ger for all sorts of national resources, Beijing is said to be prepared to protect even the most brutal regimes in outlawed ‘rogue states’, such as Sudan, Iran and Burma.

But does China really categorically reject international intervention? Is Beijing following a static interpretation of national sovereignty, which is a principle that has itself undergone pro- found changes in the past decades of accelerated globalization and information revolution? Which factors motivate the Chinese leadership’s policy decisions on international intervention? What does China’s position on international intervention tell us about the overall development of Chinese foreign policy?

This work tries to answer these questions by analyzing China’s changing policy on the princi- ple of national sovereignty and international military intervention, especially since the end of the Cold War era. The result is of course a much more complex picture than the one painted by the Western media: Beijing’s interpretation of national sovereignty is by no means static, despite all its conservative rhetoric. In addition, China has increasingly acquiesced to some forms of international military intervention, while continuing to oppose it in certain cases. Although there are some visible red lines, there seems to be no ideologically-driven Chinese strategy on international intervention. Beijing rather seems to follow a pragmatic approach of muddling through (mosuo, ·I), testing a number of different approaches in order to find the best possible way to promote its interests.5

How to explain the differentiated Chinese approach towards international intervention? This work is based on several assumptions:

First, political survival and maintaining the party’s power monopoly are the primary motiva- tions of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) leadership.

Second, because the CCP regime lacks both electoral and ideological legitimacy, it maintains its legitimacy through rapid economic development. High rates of economic growth are a simple measure of CCP performance.

Third, any policy of the Chinese government therefore has to serve the goal of regime sur- vival based on economic development.

This has resulted in a highly pragmatic foreign policy, which does not shy away form sacrific- ing parts of Chinese national sovereignty, as long as this contributes to the survival of the CCP regime. It explains why Beijing has been willing to give up parts of its national sover- eignty related to economic issues, and why it remained at the same time determined to defend the principle against competing human rights norms that might weaken its monopoly on power. The Chinese attitude towards international intervention can also be explained through this political survival model: International intervention always infringes on national sover- eignty. The difference is in the degree to which such infringements challenge regime survival. Beijing supports international intervention when it contributes to the creation of a stable in- ternational environment for China’s economic development. When international intervention poses a threat to regime survival (for example by promoting the accountability of national governments for human rights abuses, thus endangering their monopoly on domestic power) Beijing opposes it.

However, rational considerations about regime survival through economic development are not the only factor influencing the Chinese approach towards national sovereignty and inter- national intervention. Two other factors are also involved: nationalism and, to a lesser extent, China’s international socialization. The end of the Cold War and the break-up of the Soviet Union brought about the demise of Socialist ideology. Subsequently, the Chinese leadership sought for a new ideological basis for CCP rule that would complement its strategy of eco- nomic development. Beijing quickly found and opened the ‘Pandora’s Box’ of nationalism. The CCP has successfully equated itself with the Chinese state and nation, thus intrinsically linking regime survival to the survival of the Chinese nation as a whole. But while the party’s nationalist credentials helped strengthen regime legitimacy at home, public nationalist pres- sure became a liability for the Chinese government’s pragmatic foreign policy and its image abroad. At the same time, China’s increasing participation in international institutions has resulted in what has been called its ‘international socialization’. Some analysts argue that Chinese officials and foreign policy decision-makers have become socialized through their long-term involvement in these institutions. They have come to accept the norms and behav- ioral rules that come with membership in the ‘international society’, at least partly. In some cases this has lead to foreign policy decisions that seem to be at odds with the primary goal of regime survival.

China's changing approach to international intervention since the end of the Cold War illus- trates how and why the overall dynamic between sovereignty and intervention has changed over time. It also provides a useful yardstick for measuring the degree of China's integration into the international system and its international socialization since the late 1980s. This can give us important clues about the future direction of Chinese foreign policy: Will China de- velop into a reliable partner in securing international peace? Or will it develop into an aggres- sive and bellicose competitor of the West?

This thesis is structured as follows: Chapter 2 provides an analysis of the general development of Chinese foreign policy since the end of the Cold War era. This chapter focuses especially on the issues and motivations that have dominated Chinese foreign policy in the past twenty years. It starts with a brief analysis of the Chinese foreign policy decision-making process and of the Chinese foreign policy think tank landscape. Chapter 3 looks into China’s changing position on the principle of national sovereignty. The chapter also discusses the historical development of the principle of national sovereignty, and the factors constraining and conduc- ing change in the Chinese position towards it. Chapter 4 examines Beijing’s changing ap- proach to international intervention. To illustrate this approach, two concepts of international military intervention will be examined: UN Peacekeeping Operations and a new concept, the Responsibility to Protect. The analysis of China’s position on these concepts will employ a mix of discourse analysis (comprising official statements and unofficial foreign policy elite views) and policy analysis. Thus following a Chinese saying, ‘listen to their words, and watch their actions’ (ting qi yan, guan qi xing, «ëŠ, ëé). Finally, a summarization of the findings and the corresponding conclusions can be found in chapter 5. The chapter ends with some policy recommendations for Western foreign policy decision-makers.

2 Chinese foreign policy after the Cold War

PRC foreign policy has undergone radical changes after the death of Mao Zedong in 1976. In the Mao era, the goals of Chinese foreign policy were nothing less than Socialist world revo- lution and the fight against the ‘Western capitalists, imperialists and colonialists’. After their fallout with the Soviet Union in the early 1960s, Chinese foreign policy also turned against the alleged ‘Socialist imperialism’ of the Soviets.6 Especially during the most tumultuous years of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (Wenhua Dageming, ®U N), China was isolated internationally and Beijing supported revolutionary movements and liberation movements in Africa, Asia and Latin America.7 The PRC later gradually improved its rela- tions with the West in general, and with the United States in particular in order to make up for the loss of its Soviet ally and to have leverage in its conflict with Moscow. It slowly aban- doned its aggressive revolutionary foreign policy, became a permanent member of the United Nations in 1971 (replacing the Kuomintang-regime of Chiang Kai-shek) and established dip- lomatic ties with the US in 1979. Under its new paramount leader8, Deng Xiaoping, China adopted the Reform and Opening policy (Gaige Kaifang,[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]) in 1978, which led to further adjustments to its foreign policy: The new goal was national rejuvenation through rapid and massive economic growth. As a framework for the smooth achievement of this goal, Deng Xiaoping expressed his famous 28-character guidelines (ershiba zi fangzhen,[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]) in the wake of the Tiananmen crackdown of 4 June 1989:

‘Watch and analyse [the developments] calmly (leng jing guan cha,[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]˜); secure [our own] positions (wenzhu zhen jiao,[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]);

deal with [the changes] with confidence (chen zhe ying fu,[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]); conceal [our] capacities (tao guang yang hui, È`‰¤);

be good at keeping a low profile (shan yu zang zhuo,[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]); never become the leader (jue bu dang tou,[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]);

make some contributions (you suo zuo wei,[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]).’9

China today basically still follows this type of conformist, cautious and pro-status quo foreign policy line.10 But given its growing stake in the present international political and economic order, these guidelines seem a little out of date. After all, a rising power can hardly keep a ‘low profile’ in the long term. An active and responsible member of the international commu- nity has to make more than just ‘some contributions’. And would a China, strong enough to be a leader, not want to be one? So how far has China’s foreign policy changed since the end of the Cold War under the post-Deng era leaders Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao? What are its basic goals and motivations today? What are the decisive actors and decision-making proc- esses in China’s foreign policy today?

The next section will briefly discuss the current relevant actors and decision-making proc- esses behind China’s foreign policy. Before analyzing Chinese foreign policy, it is essential to have a basic understanding of who is in charge of making it.

2.1 Actors and foreign policy decision-making processes

Hu Jintao is the General Secretary of the CCP, President of the PRC and chairman of the Cen- tral Military Commission. He is thus the head of all three key administrative groups govern- ing China: party, government and military. But since the Maoist period the relative power of China’s paramount leaders has gradually decreased. Liao Xuanli calls it the shift from cen- tralized elitism under Mao to pluralistic elitism under Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin (and now under Hu Jintao). Chinese paramount leaders are no longer able to make arbitrary policy decisions without consulting other key members of the leadership.11 Today, there are a much greater number of people inside and outside the Chinese administration who have an interest or influence in the decision-making in Chinese foreign policy. Chinese national interests have become more multifaceted, especially in terms of international economics and global stability. This is in contrast to China’s predominantly security-oriented approach during much of the Cold War. Chinese foreign policy decision makers today also hold a more cosmopolitan out- look that is more in line with the prevailing international trends. The decision making struc- ture and processes are regularized and institutionalized to a greater extent than they were in the past.12 Like most countries, when it comes to foreign policy, the Chinese want to hold their cards close to their chest. While there is increasing transparency regarding the decision- making on economic issues, Chinese policy and intentions on major security issues remain shrouded in secrecy. Revealing ‘state secrets’ or information related to national security will lead to serious punishment in China (a criminal offence that is very broadly defined and can include anything from informing foreign media about protests in the Chinese countryside to selling military secrets to Taiwan).13 The next section will briefly present some of the known facts about the PRC foreign policy decision-making structure, actors and processes. The main actors include government, party, and military bureaucracies, government-affiliated and non- government think tanks, and provincial and local governments.

2.1.1 Party and government actors

Although their power has decreased since the Maoist era, China’s paramount leaders still con- tinue to play a decisive role in the making of China’s foreign policy. Currently, Hu Jintao as General Secretary of the CCP, President of the PRC and chairman of the Central Military Commission is the key final decision-maker.14 Next in the hierarchy is the CCP’s nine- member Politburo Standing Committee which supports and influences the decisions of Hu Jintao. Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice-President Xi Jinping (Hu’s possible successor as the next paramount leader) also play leading roles in the making of China’s foreign policy. The broader CCP Politburo and the CCP secretariat play supporting roles for the paramount leader’s decision-making as well. But of greater significance is the so-called Leading Small Group for Foreign Affairs (FALG, Zhongyang Waishi Gongzuo Lingdao Xiaozu, [Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]

[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten], which is the key decision-making and deliberative body on foreign affairs. It is currently chaired by Hu Jintao and comprises other top leaders and top-level officials of the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and State Security ministries. Matters of national security are dealt with by the CCP’s Central Military Commission (Zhongyang Junshi Weiyuanhui [Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]), currently chaired by Hu Jintao. It comprises key representatives from different de- partments and services of the PLA. There also have been unconfirmed reports about the exis- tence of a Leading Small Group on National Security. PRC Taiwan policy is made by the Leading Small Group on Taiwan Affairs, currently chaired by Hu Jintao. The central purpose of these leading small groups (lingdao xiaozu,[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten] is to provide an opportunity for key government, party, and military constituents to have input into key foreign policy decisions. It also allows Chinese top leaders to benefit from the expertise of central parts of the administra- tion to formulate effective policies and also to take their interests into consideration during the decision-making process. Among the principal administrative actors consulted during the foreign policy decision-making process are (among others) the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Commerce Ministry, the CCP International Liaison Department, and PLA components dealing with intelligence and arms transfers.15 All of these different actors have their own agendas and are therefore propagating different priorities for Chinese foreign policy. On the other hand, all of them also have a vested interest in the preservation of the current political system of CCP one-party-rule. One would therefore expect them to act with certain prudence, not pushing any policies that would endanger regime legitimacy.

Although Chinese foreign policy decision-making is still dominated by the paramount leader and the members of the Politburo Standing Committee, it has become more dynamic over the past 30 years and there is more policy input from different sources.

2.1.2 Think Tanks and foreign policy elite

Among all the different sources of intelligence influencing Chinese foreign-policy, think tanks stand out by their extraordinarily dynamic development from mere intellectual talking shops to serious intelligence units. This section will briefly discuss their significance for the foreign policy decision-making process.

Allen Carlson defines the Chinese foreign policy elite as a ‘group of scholars affiliated with a short list of prominent government-sponsored research institutes, think tanks and universities within China involved with analyzing China’s foreign relations and broader issues of interna- tional politics’.16 Liao Xuanli distinguishes between three categories of Chinese International Relations (IR) think tanks: government think tanks, academic specialized think tanks, and university-affiliated think tanks.17 In his authoritative 2002 article China’s International Rela- tions Think Tanks: Evolving Structure and Process, David Shambaugh surveys the organiza- tion and state of research of China’s foreign policy think tanks. He draws several interesting conclusions regarding the landscape of Chinese international relations think tanks and their role in the Chinese foreign policy decision-making process: as China’s has become ever more involved in international affairs and as it has seen its relations with other countries and re- gions of the world continuously grow, the community of foreign policy think tanks and insti- tutes has also expanded over time. It is difficult to assess the real influence of these think tanks on actual foreign policy decision-making, but the decision making-system itself has certainly become more consultative. Also, the policy influence of certain think tanks tends to change in the course of time.18

Shambaugh lists four functions of Chinese IR think tanks: providing analyses for government officials; providing channels for information/intelligence collection and policy test- ing/dissemination for the Chinese government; carrying specific messages to foreign officials, specialists or public audiences (e.g. ‘Track II diplomacy’ or informal diplomacy); and trying to use foreign specialists with whom they are familiar to try and influence the policies of their governments and publics (Shambaugh compares this to the old stratagem of ‘using barbarians to control barbarians’ [Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten].19 Liao lists three areas where Chinese IR think tanks differ greatly from their Western counterparts: they have a higher level of monopoly, fewer sources of financial support and more channels to influence the top leadership (like the FALG or government ministries).20 Zhao Quansheng identifies seven communication chan- nels or points of access for Chinese think tank analysts vis-à-vis foreign policy decision mak- ers in party and government: direct consultations, internal reports via government channels, conferences and public policy debates, emerging policy NGOs (often led by former diplo- mats), outside-system discussions (e.g. in public internet forums) and the growing influence of respected Overseas Chinese scholars and the highly specialized professional community (e.g. experts for issues of arms control). Unlike their Western counterparts, Chinese IR think tanks do not engage in lobbying or partisan advocacy.21 Personal relations (guanxi, ) play a decisive role in determining who gets the best and most direct access to policymakers.22 Given the sensitivity of foreign policy and security issues in China, there is no such thing as a truly ‘independent’ IR think tank in the PRC. They all operate within administrative hierar- chies under a government ministry, a CCP Central Committee department or one of the PLA’s general departments. Some also have more than one line of authority, like for example CICIR.23 On the other hand, one would expect the university-affiliated think tanks to enjoy broader freedoms. Mark Leonard divides China’s foreign policy elite into three groups: The first group are what he calls the liberal internationalists. They want China to participate in the Western-founded international system, and to fight for its rights within this system. The second group are the so-called neo-comms (a term obviously meant to echo the Western term ‘neo-cons’) whose goal it is to build an alternative international system with China in its centre. As the third group, Leonard names the so-called pragmatists who, in his words, ‘will support any idea that advances China’s interests’, regardless of ideological factors.24 This shows that even in such a sensible area as Chinese foreign policy, there is a certain (if limited) room for constructive discussion and differing opinions.

Liao and Shambaugh both come to the conclusion that the influence of Chinese IR think tanks on foreign policy decision-making has generally grown, and that, as a result, Chinese leaders are now better informed about the world.25 Publications by Chinese foreign policy think tank analysts are therefore useful material for the analysis of PRC foreign policy. Although it is difficult to measure their impact on actual decision-making processes, they provide valuable insights into the motivations of China’s foreign policy elite. In sections 4.1.4 and 4.2.3 publi- cations of Chinese IR think tanks will be analyzed in order to take the views of China’s for- eign policy elite into account.

2.2 Development of Chinese foreign policy after the Cold War

The collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s came as both a surprise and a shock for China’s Communist leaders. The disintegration of the Soviet Union helped China get rid of the biggest threat to its national security. No longer could the Soviets and their allies (e.g. Vietnam) endanger the PRC and its borders. As a result, Beijing’s relations with Moscow improved significantly. On the other hand, the Chinese suddenly found themselves in a unipo- lar world with only one remaining superpower. And they had lost the Soviet Union as a bar- gaining chip in their relationship with the United States. The Communist ideology was now widely discredited: Especially the formerly socialist Eastern European republics enthusiasti- cally embraced ‘Western-style’ capitalism and democracy. The demise of the Communist ideology and the sanctions imposed on China by the West in the aftermath of the brutal crackdown against the Chinese democracy movement on Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1989 seriously threatened the legitimacy of the Communist regime in Beijing. Many in the West predicted the early collapse of the PRC as the last remaining major socialist state.26

But the Chinese leaders were determined to continue their reform and opening policy and to hold on to power. In order to break out of the post-Tiananmen diplomatic isolation, China shifted its foreign policy focus towards its neighboring countries and gradually expanded its role in Asia. In the early 1990s, Jiang Zemin took over the position of paramount leader from Deng Xiaoping. At this time, Chinese leaders expected the emergence of a multipolar world (duoji shijie,[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]), where American supremacy would gradually wane and finally be replaced by several roughly equally strong power centers (or poles, namely China, the US, the European Union, Russia and maybe Japan) that would balance US power.27 In such a multipo- lar world, multilateral institutions (especially the UN) would play a decisive role in governing the relations between states.28 This quickly proved to be wishful thinking on the part of Chi- nese foreign policy analysts. The impressing American military victory in Iraq (1993), the slowdown of European integration, as well as the perceived diminishing importance of the UN Security Council forced the Chinese to rethink their foreign policy expectations. In par- ticular, the possibility of a US ‘containment strategy’ (like the one that had contributed criti- cally to the collapse of the Soviet Union) worried the leaders in Beijing. Continued US sup- port for Taiwan29 and criticism of China’s human rights record and trade policies were (and still are) seen as part of a strategy to weaken the PRC.30

Chinese leaders had no choice but to recognize continued US supremacy, although they still expect the emergence of a multipolar international power structure in the longer term. In 1996 the PRC therefore started propagating a New Security Concept (Xin Anquanguan,[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]) on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (Heping Gongchu Wu Xiang Yuanze,[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten])31 which were first presented by China as part of a 1954 agree- ment on trade and communications with India.32 A position paper released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated that the concept was intended to ‘rise above one-sided security and seek common security through mutually beneficial cooperation’ and names ‘mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination’ as the core instruments of the concept. The world should overcome the ‘Cold War mentality’ and abandon the system of NATO-style, US-led security alliances to form a new system of ‘cooperative security’. States should cooperate regardless of their different political, social and economic systems.33 The concept marks the (at least rhetoric) embrace of ‘multilateralism’ by Beijing. In the past, PRC leaders had been skeptical about China’s active involvement in international organizations (e.g. the World Bank or the UN) that it perceived as being dominated by the US. They feared it would con- strain their independent foreign policy and give the Western powers too much influence over Chinese policy decisions. Today the PRC officially embraces multilateralism and promotes the leading role of the UN in solving international issues. China has joined a great number of international and regional organizations and forums (e.g. the ASEAN Regional Forum). It even joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) and was the leading force behind the foun- dation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in 2001. Section 3.3 will take a closer look at the motivation behind China’s newfound multilateral activism, and its limits.

The terror attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001 led to the improvement of Sino- US relations, as China became a supporter of the American ‘War on Terror’. On the other hand, the Chinese had to witness two (at least initially) successful American military cam- paigns that led to regime changes in Afghanistan and Iraq. In addition, American troops were now present in states that shared borders with China, namely in Afghanistan and several Cen- tral Asian states. However, none of these events did trigger any fundamental changes in PRC foreign policy. Beijing continued the policy it had spelled out half a decade before in the New Security Concept.34

In 2002 the PRC saw the beginning of a leadership transition from Jiang Zemin to Hu Jintao, a former Party Secretary in Tibet.35 The populist Wen Jiabao took over the post of Prime Min- ister from Zhu Rongji in 2003. The next section will discuss the goals and motivations of the foreign policy of the Hu/Wen administration.

2.3 Competing goals and motivations

Even though Chinese foreign policy has undergone enormous changes since the founding of the PRC in 1949, party interests (i.e. regime survival) are still its single most important moti- vation. The main goal of Chinese foreign policy is to help strengthen the CCP regime’s do- mestic monopoly on political power.36 While this assumption might apply to any government in the world, the Chinese particularity is that the CCP and PRC structures are designed as Siamese twins. Protecting the Chinese state thus means protecting the party at the same time. The party-state’s quest for internal and external legitimacy is intimately connected with China’s continued economic development, with China’s international image and (for better or for worse) with Chinese nationalism. Like all authoritarian regimes, the PRC leadership is very nervous about real and perceived threats to its monopoly on political power. It is, as Fei- Ling Wang puts it, ‘self-conscious about its persistent lack of legitimacy’.37 The bloody crackdown on the Chinese democracy movement in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union only shortly afterwards left the PRC leadership with a constant feeling of ‘being under siege’.38 This sense of vulnerability, together with suspicion about foreign support for Chinese opposition groups, has led Chinese leaders to adopt several highly pragmatic policies to en- sure regime survival.

2.3.1 Regime survival, economic development, nationalism

Because the CCP regime lacks electoral legitimacy, it primarily maintains its legitimacy through rapid economic development. This strategy has been followed since the implementa- tion of the reform and opening policies under the aegis of Deng Xiaoping in 1978 right until today. Its goal is to improve the standard of living for ordinary Chinese and to establish China as a modern and wealthy economic power on the world stage. Since the implementation of China’s reform and opening policy in 1978 the country’s economy has developed at an aston- ishing speed: The annual GDP growth rate since the late 1970s has been about 9.7%. Chinese GDP growth in 2006 and 2007 was 11.6 percent and 11.9 percent respectively.39 In 2008, China’s GDP growth rate began to sink drastically, especially after the start of the global fi- nancial crisis in September. The Economist Intelligence Unit expects that in 2009 real GDP will grow by just 6%.40 The average income in China has risen from $293 in 1985 to $2.025 in 2006. In 2007, China was the world’s third-largest trading economy (in merchandise, after the US and Germany) and the world’s fourth-largest economy (after the US, Japan, and Ger- many). This has resulted in an enormous reduction of poverty, according to World Bank data: ‘Between 1990 and 2004 the number of people living on a dollar per day fell by 246 million, while total population rose by over 156 million. The estimated number of people living on a dollar per day fell to 101.2 million in 2006…’ Such a strategy contradicts the conventional wisdom of the past, namely that economic development in an autocratic state will ultimately lead to the establishment of a liberal democratic political system in that country. Such a de- velopment had also been predicted by several proponents of ‘China collapse’ theories. Today it has become increasingly clear that the link between economic development and democrati- zation is actually quite weak. Autocratic governments can combine economic development and political oppression, and thereby significantly improve their chances of survival. As Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and George Downs have shown, autocratic systems have also drawn their lessons from history:

‘Gradually, through trial and error, oppressive regimes have discovered that they can suppress opposition activity without totally undermining economic growth by care- fully rationing a particular subset of public goods - goods that are critical to political coordination but less important for economic cooperation. By restricting these goods, autocrats have insulated themselves from the political liberalization that economic growth promotes.’41

However, Chinese policies of economic reform have in turn led to the emergence of a host of serious domestic problems that threaten the survival of the CCP regime: First, there is a grow- ing income gap between residents of the Eastern coastal regions and the Western interior provinces, and between city residents and people living in the countryside.42 Second, wide- spread corruption and power-abuse by party officials (especially illegal land-grabs and the embezzlement of compensation money) has led to tens of thousands of sometimes violent protests. In addition to these social protests, ethnic violence and separatist movements are continuing to challenge Chinese authority over Tibet and the Uighur-inhabited region of Xin- jiang in China’s Far West. Other problems include health issues and food scandals, for in- stance the infamous outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 or the mass poisoning of babies through toxic milk powder in 2008. China’s rapid economic devel- opment also has led to the excessive consumption of natural resources and energy, as well as to massive environmental problems (in 2008, by some accounts, China overtook the US to become the world's leading producer of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas)43. These negative side-effects of China’s economic development have prompted the Chinese leadership to react as early as 2003, when it adapted the Concept of Scientific Development (Kexue Faz- han Guan [Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]Çv ). A more sustainable approach to China’s development is intended to reduce the negative side effects and to help create a moderately prosperous society (Xiaokang Shehui, [Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]) and a Harmonious Society (Hexie Shehui, I+ë ).44

The impact of the Global Financial Crisis that gripped the world in late 2008 has yet to be fully assessed. But the Chinese economy today is intimately interconnected with the global- ized world economy and Chinese economic growth relies heavily on exports. A massive eco- nomic downturn might force the Communist leadership to attach greater importance to other sources of legitimacy.

The second most important source of the CCP regime’s legitimacy is an ideological one. Af- ter the collapse of the Soviet Union and the accompanying demise of the Communist ideology, the Chinese leadership decided to choose nationalism as the new ideological foundation of CCP rule. It uses a rising sense of Chinese nationalism and historically-framed narratives of China as a victim of Western aggression to deflect foreign criticism (e.g. of its human rights record and minority policies) and to discredit this criticism as neo-colonialist interference by the old Western imperialist powers.45 Suisheng Zhao calls this form of nationalism pragmatic nationalism and defines it as follows: ‘[Pragmatic nationalism] considers the nation as a terri- torial-political unit, gives the Communist state the responsibility to speak in the name of the nation and demands that citizens subordinate their individual interests to China’s national ones.’46 The CCP has successfully equated itself with the Chinese state and nation, thus in- trinsically linking regime survival to the survival of the Chinese nation as a whole.47 By ren- dering party and nation indistinguishable, the leadership in Beijing wants to silence its nation- alist-minded critics. At the same time it promotes the credo that only one-party rule can pro- vide the necessary stability for China’s rapid economic development, which would return China to its ‘rightful’ place of a respected international power.48 To strengthen the regimes nationalist credentials, the Communist leaders have also rediscovered traditional Chinese culture. They even promote Confucianism, which was despised under Mao.49

While nationalism serves as a powerful ideological tool to mobilize popular support for the CCP, it is by no means a purely top down affair. Nationalist grassroots movements (especially on the internet) are increasingly influencing government policy.50 Chinese nationalism is a ‘double-edged sword’, as it can sometimes be highly critical of the party-state, thus threaten- ing its monopoly on political power.51 Sometimes it can also be xenophobic and bellicose, leading to frictions with China’s goal to establish cooperative relations and avoid confronta- tions with other nations. Therefore, while the Chinese leadership is using nationalism to strengthen its ideological legitimacy, it is at the same time carefully seeking to rein in exces- sive nationalism. For example, in 2005 the Chinese government moved quickly to suppress anti-Japanese protests that threatened to severely damage China’s image abroad.52

2.3.2 Image policy: China’s ‘Peaceful Rise’

The Chinese leadership cares deeply about the country’s image abroad. It influences regime survival in two different ways:

First, a negative image abroad could severely hinder China’s economic modernization drive. Beijing recognizes the need for a peaceful and stable external environment for its economy that has become more and more intimately linked to a globalized world economy. A hostile international environment (maybe even a US-led international alliance to contain a China perceived as a threat) would threaten Beijing’s economic modernization strategy and thus also regime survival. In recent years, China has stepped up its public diplomacy in order to counter what it labels China threat theories (Zhongguo weixie lun, m Öaõ).53 China’s economic, political and military power has risen dramatically in the past three decades. This develop- ment increasingly worries governments and publics abroad, especially in the West and in countries neighboring China.54 International opinion polls have shown that global attitudes towards China have continued to sour in recent years.55 Foreigners have voiced a myriad of concerns about China’s rise: Security concerns include China’s military build-up, the sale of arms and military technology to ‘rogue states’ (such as Iran and North Korea), and Chinese territorial claims (especially its threat of force against Taiwan). ‘China threat’ proponents assume that a powerful and militarily strong China will use force and coercion to achieve its foreign policy goals, thus threatening international peace and stability. Economic concerns include the damage inflicted by China’s rapid economic development on other countries’ economies and labor markets, especially in labor-intensive manufacturing industries: China absorbs much of the foreign direct investment that would otherwise go to other countries. This assumption increasingly worries developing countries. China’s mercantilist trade policy and its insatiable hunger for natural resources will undermine the international liberal eco- nomic regimes and lead to rising commodity prices worldwide.56 The impact of China’s growth on the global environment, scandals involving tainted Chinese products and violations of intellectual property rights by Chinese companies have also become major international concerns.

Beijing has responded to the ‘China threat’ theory on two levels: On the rhetorical level it has tried to discredit its critics as ‘biased’, ‘ignorant’ or being ‘guided by ulterior motives’.57 It has also tried to promote an image of China as a peaceful and cooperative responsible great power (fuzeren de daguo, ‰‰K%$ß) through its increasingly active and skilled public diplomacy. China has highlighted its allegedly peaceful historical record, associated with the benevolent traditional Confucian culture of China. Zheng Bijian, chairman of the China Re- form Forum and government adviser, came up with the notion of China’s Peaceful Rise (Hep- ing Jueqi, I 9¦) in his speech at the annual Bo’ao Forum for Asia in 2003.58 He empha-

sized China’s economic interdependence and its increasing integration into the world econ- omy. Zheng underlined China’s commitment ‘to adhere to peace, and never [to] seek hegem- ony.’ China would also work towards a peaceful international environment for the sake of its own development. Unlike other great powers in history that, according to Zheng, ‘have plun- dered other countries' resources through invasion, colonization, expansion, or even large-scale wars of aggression’ (e.g. Germany and Japan in the late 19th and early 20th centuries), China was determined to conduct its rise to great power status peacefully. In Zheng’s view, China’s rise has so far been ‘driven by capital, technology, and resources acquired through peaceful means’.59 The concept was quickly embraced by top leaders like President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. But after only five months the name of the concept was changed to Peaceful Development (Heping Fazhan, [Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]).60 The term ‘rise’ was deemed too threatening for foreign ears.61 Some Chinese nationalist analysts were also unhappy about the term ‘peaceful’. They felt it was constraining Chinese options for preventing Taiwan’s de jure independence and the pursuit of China’s other national interests.62

Peaceful Development means not only means that China’s economic and political rise will be peaceful, but also that it will bring economic benefits for other countries. If others can benefit from China’s rise, they will be less likely to develop a hostile attitude towards it. This applies to foreign governments and populations alike. China’s economic growth will help to foster world peace and create a Harmonious World (Hexie Shijie,[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]).63 On the policy level China has increased its participation in international organizations and multilateral processes to alleviate foreign anxieties. This development will be discussed in section 3.4.1.

Second, China’s international status is linked to the CCP regime’s domestic legitimacy. Peer recognition of the CCP leadership as the only legitimate government of China, of China as one of the world’s great powers and as a legitimate, full and ‘normal’ member of the interna- tional community are significant in bolstering its legitimacy both at home and abroad.64 Inter- national great power status is being defined and socially constructed by the current members of the group, which is led by the US and dominated by Western powers.65 According to Mi- chael Alan Brittingham, the premises for great power status include material capabilities (es- pecially military capabilities) and a great power identity granted by peer recognition.66 Shogo Suzuki argues that the Chinese leadership feels that it is currently denied this acceptance as a legitimate great power.67 It is very difficult to objectively determine when a state has been accorded ‘equal social treatment’ by other ‘legitimate great powers’, because this is dependent on psychological perceptions. Suzuki defines China’s current status as that of a frustrated great power. Beijing believes that, as a latecomer into international society, it has been denied social equality with other ‘legitimate great powers’. It also feels that it is not granted the privi- leges associated with ‘legitimate great power status’.68 Because Beijing cannot change the requirements for this status, its quest for great power status has forced it to radically adjust elements of its foreign policy, sometimes seemingly in contradiction to other national inter- ests. For example, China’s increasingly positive attitude towards UN peacekeeping operations was partly motivated by its long-standing nationalist quest to ‘restore China’s rightful place’ as an international great power.69

2.4 Conclusion: Muddling through

Chinese foreign policy has undergone tremendous changes in the time since Deng Xiaoping introduced the reform and opening policy in 1978. Driven by the primary goal of regime sur- vival, Chinese foreign policy has been commissioned to serve the CCP’s economic moderni- zation strategy. Chinese foreign policy has become increasingly cooperative and status-quo- abiding, while China’s involvement in international affairs and especially in the international economy has steadily grown. In order to secure a friendly and stable international environ- ment for its economic development, the PRC is trying to increase its soft power and the effec- tiveness of its public diplomacy to project the desired image of a peaceful and responsible member of the international community. Beijing is also striving to be recognized as a ‘legiti- mate great power’ in order to bolster its nationalist credentials at home. Pragmatic nationalism has increasingly become the major ideological source of regime legitimacy. The tensions be- tween the integrationist and nationalist goals of Chinese foreign policy have resulted in a highly pragmatic foreign policy strategy of muddling through in the complex international environment of the post-Cold War era. This strategy has to contribute to ensuring regime sur- vival by balancing Beijing’s economic and nationalist goals, as well as its legal and ‘social duties’ as a responsible member of international society.

This approach is also visible in Beijing’s attitude towards the principle of national sovereignty and towards international intervention. Respect for national sovereignty and territorial integ- rity and the norm of non-intervention in other countries’ domestic affairs have always been a major concern for PRC foreign policy. Beijing’s official rhetoric in this regard has changed little over the past two decades. For example, the New Security Concept and Harmonious World still attach great importance to the inviolability of a state’s national sovereignty. But in practice, there have been remarkable changes in China’s approach towards the principle of sovereignty. So how did China’s rapid rise influence its position on national sovereignty? Which factors are facilitating change, which ones are constraining Chinese flexibility? The next chapter will discuss these questions.

3 China’s approach to sovereign change

The principle of national sovereignty is the major obstacle for international intervention. Al- len Carlson defines international intervention as ‘the projection of force by an outside actor, or actors, into the affairs of a sovereign state’.70 Generally speaking, a country with a conser- vative and narrow interpretation of national sovereignty is more likely to oppose international intervention. In contrast, a country with a more ‘progressive’ and flexible interpretation of national sovereignty is expected to embrace and actively support international intervention. To understand China's changing approach to international intervention it is thus necessary to explore the PRC's approach to the principle of national sovereignty first. In the West, Chinese opposition to foreign intervention in places like Burma and Sudan creates the picture of a stubborn and irresponsible Chinese foreign policy, which flatly rejects any form of interna- tional intervention and defends its own interpretation of the principle of national sovereignty at any cost. The real situation, of course, is much more complex.71

For instance, Western critics accuse Beijing of protecting the government in Khartoum for economic reasons thus being complicit in the ongoing conflict in Darfur, a Sudanese civil war region. Namely because Beijing wants to safeguard its investments in the Sudanese oil sector, in order to satisfy the PRC economy’s growing thirst for oil. In a 2008 study, Trevor Houser and Roy Levy analyze the connection between energy security and China's UN diplomacy. The study finds, that ‘…there is no clear correlation, either positive or negative, between a country's bilateral trade with China and Beijing's willingness to support UNSC action against that country.’ It therefore comes to the conclusion that defending China’s understanding of the principles of national sovereignty and non-intervention and the international isolation of Taiwan continue to be the major motivating factors regarding Beijing’s policy on interna- tional intervention. Contrary to what seems to be common knowledge in Western countries, the protection of resource supplying countries from international sanctions and intervention does not appear to be the most important factor.72 According to Houser and Levy, the result- ing long-term damage to China’s global image as a ‘responsible stakeholder’ in the interna- tional system caused by its diplomatic support for ‘rogue states’ could even outweigh the short-term economic gains.73 Bates Gill echoes this view:

‘Chinese leaders and strategists staunchly defend a traditional understanding of sover- eignty that justifies Beijing's absolute authority over China's expansive territory, strengthens regime legitimacy, deflects internal criticisms of its domestic policies, counters the encroachment of foreign influence, and wards off outside involvement in such sovereignty claims as Taiwan and Tibet. When Chinese look beyond their bor- ders, these strong views on sovereignty are reflected in the country's policies regarding foreign interventions abroad.’74

However, economic considerations nonetheless play a very important role in China’s ap- proach to national sovereignty, because the CCP regime’s legitimacy stems primarily from its economic performance. As this chapter will illustrate, Beijing has therefore shown a remark- able degree of flexibility on certain aspects of national sovereignty. Despite its hard-line rhetoric, the Chinese leadership has in practice adopted a highly nuanced and pragmatic ap- proach to issues of national sovereignty. While Beijing (mostly quietly) accepts the erosion of sovereignty when it contributes to ensuring regime survival, it staunchly rejects any changes to the principle which might endanger the CCP’s monopoly on political power in China.

3.1 The ‘New Sovereignty’ debate

In the early 1990s, many analysts predicted a new era of sovereign change, triggered by the end of the Cold War stalemate and the increased pace of globalization. Initially, some schol- ars expected the sudden demise of the principle of national sovereignty. However, national sovereignty did not disappear. Over the course of the decade, the debate shifted towards find- ing new definitions of national sovereignty that would accurately capture how its role had evolved historically and how it was now being applied in the current international system. Old definitions were criticized as being too static and too general. The result of this New Sover- eignty debate was a series of what have been called basket approaches.75

The most influential proponent of such an approach is Stephen D. Krasner. In his view, the ‘traditional rules’ of sovereignty are the recognition of juridically independent territorial enti- ties and the exclusion of external sources of authority from domestic territory.76 Today, most scholars define national sovereignty as a set of attributes, including territory, population, an effective domestic hierarchy of control, de jure constitutional independence, the de facto ab- sence of external authority, international recognition and the ability to regulate transborder flows. These different rules and characteristics do not necessarily all go together at all times. They can be ‘unbundled’, as Krasner puts it. He differentiates between four usages of the term ‘sovereignty’:

- Domestic sovereignty refers to the organization of and the level of effectiveness of public authority within a state.
- Interdependence sovereignty describes the ability of states to control transborder move- ments with regard to goods, capital, individuals, and ideas.
- International legal sovereignty involves the status of a political entity in the international system and refers to the mutual recognition of states.
- Westphalian sovereignty refers to the exclusion of external authority structures from the territory of a state.77

States are de jure independent and de facto autonomous. Weak developing states especially tend to stress the Westphalian usage and the significance of non-intervention as the basic norm of the sovereign state system. Non-intervention is a norm of international customary law and features in major international treaties and in the Charter of the United Nations.78 It is also a prominent component of Chinese foreign policy (for example in the form of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence).79 Krasner comes to the conclusion that the rules of sov- ereignty are not absolutely constraining. Departures from conventional sovereignty are possi- ble. Throughout history, political decision-makers have voluntarily constructed new rules, either unilaterally or multilaterally. Sometimes they have even established them through coer- cion. Only if such efforts fail, is sovereignty the default.80 Krasner calls these incursions ‘mo- dalities of compromise’ (namely conventions, contracts, coercion, and imposition) and argues that the principle of national sovereignty has always been able to absorb such violations. He therefore describes the sovereign state system as being in a state of ‘organized hypocrisy’.81 Allen Carlson criticizes Krasner’s approach for being too static, because Krasner assumes that the only reason for sovereign change lies in changing levels of compromise. In his work Uni- fying China, Integrating with the World Carlson offers an alternative and more dynamic framework for examining national sovereignty that links sovereign change to the evolving structure of the contemporary international system. He essentially agrees with the consensus in the literature that ‘sovereignty consists of mutually recognized rights and obligations pos- sessed by states as members of the contemporary international system.’82 He argues that sov- ereignty contains four relatively distinct bundles of rights whose roles in the international system are continually evolving:

Territorial sovereignty encompasses the exclusive possession of a certain territory by a state and the rights to delineate, demarcate, and defend the physical boundaries of its sovereign territory. Carlson describes it as sovereignty’s most static feature. Territory and the right to secure territorial boundaries remain defining characteristics of states in the contemporary international system. Nevertheless, since World War II, three systemic shifts have unfolded: First, while states continued to fight over territory, the extent to which land has changed hands as a result of territorial conflicts has dropped dramatically over the past few decades. Second, during this period a tendency emerged within the system towards the use of multilat- eral dispute mechanisms (especially the International Court of Justice). Third, a new norm against the use of armed conflict for the purpose of territorial expansion has gained wide ac- ceptance (it also includes respect for the status quo of established territorial boundaries). So while the contents of territorial sovereignty have remained largely unchanged, the way it has been realized and substantiated has undergone some arguably significant changes.83

Jurisdictional sovereignty contains the right of each state to rule over the population residing within its boundaries and to ensure that they remain an indivisible part of the political entity. This aspect of sovereignty consists of the relationship between a state and the people residing within it, and of the extent to which the state’s rule over its people is regarded as legitimate by both the populace itself and the international community. While territorial disputes are dis- putes between states over the location of specific stretches of territorial boundaries, jurisdic- tional disputes (or questions of ‘national unity’) are mainly between a government and those claiming to be representing the inhabitants of certain territories. Like territorial sovereignty, jurisdictional sovereignty’s basic role in the international system has remained quite static. Nevertheless, since the end of the Second World War, two systemic trends have emerged: First, the right of jurisdictional sovereignty has been expanded to an enormous number of new states and peoples. For example, when it was established in 1945, the UN had only fifty-one sovereign members. Today it has 192 recognized member states.84 Second, jurisdiction became increasingly tied to legitimate representation. Nowadays, a legitimate state has to represent ‘the will of the nation’ (even if that does not necessarily imply the actual involvement of the ‘people’). This was accompanied by a trend toward pinning states’ jurisdictional sovereignty to the principle of self-determination. This principle was initially actively promoted by the UN (and China) to further the struggles of colonized peoples for independence and selfrule (in contrast to the break-up of existing sovereign states). In the post-Cold War period,this original interpretation has been challenged by the popular support for the extension of the right to self-determination to almost every distinctive or national group. The question of selfdetermination is therefore a highly contentious issue.85


1 In this thesis, the terms ‘Western’ and ‘West’ refer to the liberal democracies of Europe and North America plus Japan. This is not meant to imply that the ‘West’ represents a totally homogeneous block, but only that these countries are similarly structured and that the mainstream of their publics share basic common values, such as support for liberal democracy, respect for human rights and individual freedoms, the rule of law, etc.

2 USA Today: China not likely to rebuke Burma (accessed on 24 February 2009)

3 Ibid.

4 The New York Times: China Blocks Move to Condemn Crackdown (accessed on 5 March 2009)

5 A scientific concept of muddling through was first developed by the American economist Charles E. Lindblom in the late 1950s. He developed the method of Successive Limited Comparisons for the field of public admini- stration. Lindblom rejects the employment of unrealistically ‘comprehensive’ and strictly theory-based ap- proaches to solve complex policy questions. Instead, he suggests that policy-makers use a succession of incre- mental changes, making slight changes to policies presently in effect and comparing the respective outcome. By ‘muddling through’ the policy-makers can gradually move towards their desired outcome without previously setting a ‘grand strategy’. Charles E. Lindblom, 1959: The Science of ‘Muddling Through’, in: Public Admini- stration Review, Vol.19, No.2, p.79-88

6 Kay Möller, 2005: Die Außenpolitik der Volksrepublik China 1949-2004, p.63 et seqq.

7 Ibid.: p.70 et seq.

8 The term paramount leader refers to the single most important political leader of the party-state’s power hier- archy. Unlike Deng Xiaoping, who did not hold any of the China’s highest offices (with the exception of chair- man of the Central Military Commission), his successors Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao both assumed the posts of General Secretary of the CCP, President of the PRC and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

9 Zhao Quansheng, 1998: Chinese Foreign Policy Today (accessed on 8 May 2008), and Guo Xiaolin, 2008: Repackaging Confucius. PRC Public Diplomacy and the Rise of Soft Power, p.11

10 Wang Fei-Ling, 2005: Beijing’s Incentive Structure, in: Deng/Wang (ed.), 2005: p.25

11 Liao Xuanli, 2006: Chinese Foreign Policy Think Tanks and China’s Policy towards Japan, p. 11

12 Robert G. Sutter, 2008: Chinese Foreign Relations, p.53 et seq.

13 For an overview of China’s national security and state secrets legislation see Congressional-Executive Com- mission on China, Virtual Academy: Silencing Critics by Exploiting National Security and State Secrets Laws (accessed on 18 March 2009)

14 Sutter, 2008: p.56 et seqq.

15 Sutter, 2008: p.59 et seq.

16 Allen Carlson, 2004: Helping to Keep the Peace (Albeit Reluctantly). China’s Recent Stance on Sovereignty and Multilateral Intervention, in: Pacific Affairs, Vol.77, No.1, p.10 footnote 4

17 Liao, 2006: p.56; Important government think tanks are the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR, Zhongguo Xiandai Guoji Guanxi Yanjiusu, $ßÒfißö°–èJ ) affiliated with the State Council Ministry of State Security and the CCP Central Committee Foreign Affairs Office, and the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS, Zhongguo Guoji Wenti Yanjiusuo,[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]) affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Academic specialized think tanks are for example the institutes under the Chi- nese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS, Zhongguo Shehui Kexue Yuan,[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]), like the Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP, Shijie Jingji yu Zhengzhi Yanjiusuo,[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]). An ex- ample for university-affiliated think tanks is the Institute of International Relations at Peking University.

18 David Shambaugh, 2002: China’s International Relations Think Tanks. Evolving Structure and Process, in: The China Quarterly, Vol.171, p.575 et seq.

19 Ibid.: p.576

20 Liao, 2006: p.60

21 Ibid.: p.243

22 Zhao Quansheng, 2005: Impact of Intellectuals and Think Tanks on Chinese Foreign Policy, in: Hao/Su (ed.), 2005: p.126 et seqq.

23 Shambaugh, 2002: p.579

24 Mark Leonard, 2008: What does China think?, p.92

25 Shambaugh, 2002: p.596; Liao, 2006: p.11

26 The so-called China collapse theories (Zhongguo bengkui lun, [Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]). They have gradually been eclipsed by the China threat theories, discussed in detail in section 2.3.2.

27 Kay Möller, 2003: Chinas Außenpolitik. Selektive Multilateralität, p.5

28 Bates Gill, 2007: Rising Star. China’s New Security Diplomacy, p.3

29 The term Taiwan refers to the separate political identity of the ‘Republic of China’ (ROC, Zhonghua Minguo [Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]) on the island of Taiwan. Because of its status as a limited international legal personality, Taiwan is forced to use names like ‘Chinese Taipei’ (Zhonghua Taibei, [Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten] e.g. in APEC) or ‘Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu’ (Tai Peng Jin Ma Gebie Guanshui Lingyu, [Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten] , in the WTO) when entering international organizations. In order to avoid any confusion, this thesis simply uses the term Taiwan.

30 Sutter, 2008: p.66 et seq.

31 The Five Principles are mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non- interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence (huxiang zun- zhong zhuquan he lingtu wanzheng, hubu qinfan, hubu ganshe neizheng, pingdeng huli, heping gongchu, [Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]). The principles represent Chinas insis- tence on the ‘sanctity’ of national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Originally they were meant to further relations with non-Western, non-Communist fellow members of the ex-colonial world. After the collapse of the Communist block Beijing raised them to the level of a universal principle of international relations. Embassy of the PRC in India: Backgrounder. Five principles of peaceful coexistence (accessed on 3 March 2008)

32 Gill, 2007: p.4 et seqq.

33 Foreign Ministry of the PRC: China's Position Paper on the New Security Concept (accessed on 23 August 2008)

34 Gill, 2007: p.16

35 Hu Jintao took over the posts of CCP General Secretary in 2002, Chinese President in 2003 and Chairman of the Central Military Commission in 2004 from his predecessor Jiang Zemin.

36 Eberhard Sandschneider, 2007: Globale Rivalen. Chinas unheimlicher Aufstieg und die Ohnmacht des Wes- tens, p.11

37 Wang in Deng/Wang, 2005: p.26

38 Ibid.: p.22

39 World Bank: China Economic Indicators. Current (accessed on 9 March 2009)

40 Economist Intelligence Unit: Forecast (accessed on 9 March 2009)

41 Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and George Downs, 2005: Development and Democracy, in: Foreign Affairs, Vol.84, Issue 5, p.77-86

42 Sutter, 2008: p.92 et seqq.; WTO and World Bank data (accessed 24 August 2008)

43 The Guardian: China overtakes US as world's biggest CO2 emitter (accessed on 24 August 2008)

44 Men Jing, 2007: Changing Ideology in China and Its Impact on Chinese Foreign Policy, in: Guo/Hua (ed.), 2007: p.28 et seq.; a detailed analysis of Harmonious Society is provided by Gudrun Wacker and Matthis Kaiser: Nachhaltigkeit auf chinesische Art. Das Konzept der “harmonischen Gesellschaft” (SWP-Studie) 2008/S 18

45 Sutter 2008: p.62

46 Zhao Suisheng, 2005/6: China’s Pragmatic Nationalism. Is It Manageable? in: The Washington Quarterly, Vol.29, No.1, p.134

47 The same method was used by the CCP’s predecessor, the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) regime. In 1947, during the Chinese Civil War (1945-49), Chiang Kai-shek, leader of China’s then Nationalist Party (or Kuomin- tang) administration wrote in his book titled China’s Destiny: ‘So long as the Kuomintang remains in existence, so long will China continue to exist. If China today did not have the Kuomintang, there would be no China. Had the revolution of the Kuomintang been defeated, it would have meant the complete defeat of the Chinese state. Briefly speaking, China’s destiny rests entirely with the Kuomintang . ’ Chiang Kai-shek, 1947: China’s Destiny & Chinese Economic Theory, p.222; After the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War in 1949, Chiang, the KMT government and its supporters had to flee to Taiwan. The Communist song Without the Communist Party there would be no New China (meiyou Gongchandang jiu meiyou xin Zhongguo,[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]) mirrors the equation of national interests and party interests expressed by Chiang. The song was written by Cao Huoxing in 1943 as a response to Chiang’s book and originally had the title “Without the Communist Party There Would Be No China”. The title was then changed in 1950 to include the term ‘New China’. The Chinese text of the song can be found here: http://cpc.people.com.cn/GB/64150/64154/4509330.html (accessed on 23 August 2008); Wang in Deng/Wang, 2005: p.26

48 Zhao, 2005/6: p.135

49 For a detailed discussion of the revival of Confucianism and its meaning for Chinese foreign policy and soft power, see Guo Xiaolin, 2008: Repackaging Confucius. PRC Public Diplomacy and the Rise of Soft Power

50 Peter Hays Gries, 2005: Nationalism and Chinese Foreign Policy, in: Deng/Wang (ed.), 2005: p.114

51 Zhao, 2005/6: p.142

52 Ibid.: p.143

53 Chinese analysts trace the origins of the China threat theory that covers both security and economic aspects, back to the early 1990s. Yong Deng, 2006: Reputation and the Security Dilemma, in: Johnston/Ross (ed.), 2006: p.191 et seqq.

54 See for example Ross Terril, 2003: The New Chinese Empire

55 See for example Andrew Kohut, 2007: How the World Sees China. Pew Global Attitudes Project (accessed 25 August 2008) and BBC News: Russia and China 'approval down' (accessed on 9 March 2009)

56 See Deng in Johnston/Ross, 2006: p.192 for a thorough discussion.

57 This strategy sometimes includes editorials in the Chinese state media that attack individual critics or articles that cite anonymous netizens (wangyou, ;ƒ) loyal to the CCP. These personal attacks sometimes contain in- sulting language. One example is a Xinhua editorial in the aftermath of the March 2008 Lhasa protests, in which US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was called a ‘disgusting figure’. Xinhua: Commentary. On hypocricy [sic] of Pelosi's double standards (accessed on 19 December 2008)

58 See Brookings Institution, 2005: China’s Peaceful Rise. Speeches of Zheng Bijian 1997-2004 (accessed on 16 August 2008)

59 Brookings Institution, 2005: China’s Peaceful Rise. Speeches of Zheng Bijian 1997-2004, p.14 et seq. (ac-

cessed on 16 August 2008); Zheng Bijian, 2005: China's "Peaceful Rise" to Great-Power Status in Foreign Af- fairs, Sep/Oct2005, Vol. 84, Issue 5, p.18-24

60 Cp. State Council, Information Office, 2005: China’s Peaceful Development Road (accessed on 14 March 2009)

61 Catherine H. Keyser and Su Lin, 2007: Conceptualizing Foreign Policy. The “Peaceful Rise” debate, in: Guo/Hua, 2007: p.41 and 47; Guo, 2008: p.21

62 Gill, 2007: p.8

63 Qin Yaqing, professor and executive vice-president of China’s Foreign Affairs University, describes Harmo- nious World as the Chinese conception of a new world order and as an alternative to existing Western concep- tions. According to Qin, states would treat each other as equals and respect each others rights and specific char- acteristics in a Harmonious World. They solve their problems through coordination and cooperation, and not through power and coercion. No single country would have a monopoly over the definition of justice in interna- tional affairs, as justice would be defined by the common interests of all states. The concept remains vague, but it clearly reaffirms the inviolability of the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, as well as the principle of non-interference. Qin Yaqing, 2008: Guanyu goujian Zhongguo tese waijiao lilun de ruogan, in: Waijiao Pinglun (Foreign Affairs Review), No.101, 2008, p.9-17 and Qin Yaqing, 2007: Hexie shijie. Zhongguo waijiao xin linian, in: Lilun Cankao, 5/2007, p.22-23. For an overview about the Chinese scholarly debate about ‘Harmonious World’ see Oliver Bräuner, Gudrun Wacker and Zhou Jiajing: Die ‘Harmonische Welt’ und Chinas Rolle im internationalen System (SWP-Zeitschriftenschau) 2008/ZS 02

64 Wang in Deng/Wang, 2005: p.19

65 Deng Yong, 2005: Better Than Power. “International Status” in Chinese Foreign Policy, in: Deng/Wang (ed.), 2005: p.55

66 Michael Alan Brittingham, 2007: China’s Contested Rise, in: Guo/Hua (ed.), 2007: p.84 et seqq.

67 Suzuki defines ‘legitimate great powers’ as ‘a powerful elite of states whose superior status is recognised by minor powers as a political fact giving rise to the existence of certain constitutional privileges, rights and duties and whose relations with each other are defined by adherence to a rough principle of sovereign equality.’ Shogo Suzuki, 2008: Seeking ‘Legitimate’ Great Power Status in Post-Cold War International Society. China’s and Japan’s Participation in UNPKO, in: International Relations, Vol.22, No.1, p.47

68 Ibid.: p.49

69 Such contradictions (e.g. between the official rhetoric on national sovereignty and the actual policy on UN- PKO) are usually explained by highlighting their significance for the higher goal of ‘national rejuvenation’, or by attributing them to irresistible ‘international developments’. This subject will be discussed in detail in the follow- ing chapters.

70 Allen Carlson, 2006: More than just saying no. China's evolving approach to sovereignty and intervention since Tiananmen, in: Johnston/Ross (ed.), 2006, p.219

71 Carlson in Johnston/Ross, 2006: p.217

72 Trevor Houser and Roy Levy, 2008: Energy Security and China's UN Diplomacy, in: China Security, Vol. 4, No. 3, p.68

73 Ibid.: p.70; For a more detailed analysis of China’s ‘New Dictatorship Diplomacy’ see Andrew Small: China’s New Dictatorship Diplomacy, in: Foreign Affairs, Vol. 78, Issue 1, 2008, p.38-56

74 Gill, 2007: p.104

75 Allen Carlson, 2005: Unifying China, Integrating with the World. Securing Chinese Sovereignty in the Re- form Era, p.8

76 Stephen D. Krasner, 2001: Problematic Sovereignty, in: Krasner, 2001: p.vii

77 Krasner, 2001: p.6 et seqq.

78 see Articles 2(1) and 2(7) of the UN Charter

79 Krasner, 2001: p.11

80 Ibid.: p.20

81 Carlson, 2005: p.9

82 Carlson, 2005: p.11

83 Ibid.: p.11 et seqq.

84 Most of these new states emerged in two waves: The first wave was constituted by former colonies which achieved their independence, mainly in the 1950s and 1960s. The second wave of new states came via the breakup of already existing states (most significantly the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia) during the 1990s. Carlson, 2005: p14

85 Ibid.: p. 13 et seqq.


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University of Heidelberg – Institut für Sinologie
China Internationale Beziehungen Nationale Souveränität Souveränität Intervention Peacekeeping Peace Enforcement Responsibility to Protect R2P Chinesische Außenpolitik Vereinte Nationen




Title: Chinas Changing Approach to International Intervention