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China's Foreign Policy

ISBN: 978-0-7456-6246-6
240 pages
May 2014, Polity


China’s inexorable rise as a major world power is one of the defining features of the contemporary political landscape. But should we heed the warnings of a so-called ‘China threat?’ Is China set to become the next superpower? Or will its ambitions be tempered by economic and political realities both at home and abroad?

In this insightful and balanced analysis, noted China expert Stuart Harris explores China’s present foreign policy and its motivations, focusing in particular on the extent to which China will co-operate with the West in years to come. He considers what factors, international or domestic, will influence the foreign policies being shaped in Beijing, including how far the Chinese regime will adhere to existing global norms and the evolving international system. In contemplating this uncertain future, Harris assesses the considerable challenges and vulnerabilities likely to impact on Chinese foreign policy, leading it to be cautious and hesitant or assertive and aggressive on the international stage. Concise and authoritative, this book will be essential reading for anyone seeking a clearer understanding of the international relations of one of the world’s most important powers.
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Table of Contents





1 Continuity and change in China’s foreign policies

2 Foreign policy decision-making

3 China, the world and the international system

4 Insecurity and vulnerability

5 Military threats and responses

6 Economic foreign policy

7 China, its neighbours and beyond

8 Foreign Policy in Transition



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Author Information

Stuart Harris is Professor Emeritus of International Relations at the Australian National University, and a former head of the Australian department for foreign affairs and trade
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"Above all, and especially for those coming to Chinese foreign policy and affairs for the first time, Harris book is balanced, orderly and informative"

"In this balanced and sensible analysis, Stuart Harris offers a clear and engaging account of China's foreign policy and the internal and external pressures its leaders face. Impartial and non-alarmist in its discussion of the so-called China threat, this book will serve instructors and students admirably."
Andrew J. Nathan, Columbia University

"A thoughtful, comprehensive and well-written analysis of the multiple domestic and international sources of Chinese foreign policy and of China s policy toward the United States, its Asian neighbours, and international institutions and norms. It is an admirably balanced account that places Chinese policy in the context of Chinese culture, history, national interests and its improving economic and military capabilities and in the context of the patterns of behaviour of other countries."
Robert Ross, Boston College

"Harris book, is well and fluently written, organized, informative and very comprehensive in terms of including many aspects of China s foreign policy and makes a valuable contribution to the field of International Relations, particularly Chinese Studies."
Insight Turkey

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