Constructing a “new type of great power relations” : the state of debate in China (1998-2014). / Zeng, Jinghan.

In: British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Vol. 18, No. 2, 01.05.2016, p. 422-442.

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Abstract

Provide the first comprehensive study of Chinese discourse of new type of great power relations

Contribute to a broader understanding of how new political concepts and ideas are gradually established in China

Use content analysis to study 141 Chinese academic articles with title ‘new type of great power relations’ in the title’

China’s re-emergence as a global power has intensified its conflicts with the United States. Power transition theory suggests that the rising power and the exiting hegemony are unlikely to settle with peace. In order to manage the confrontation with the United States, China has called for establishing a ‘new type of great power relations’. This article explores how this Chinese-coined concept is introduced by Chinese leaders, and subsequently filled with real meaning, in an incremental manner. It provides the first comprehensive study of the Chinese discourse of new type of great power relations using content analysis to study 141 articles written by Chinese scholars. It finds that the academic debate of this concept can be traced back to the late 1990s when China still considered itself as a normal power. China’s international identity has shifted with China’s rise and thus changed the contemporary debate on new type of great power relations. This article argues that there are neither predetermined strategic intentions nor real substance contained by this concept at this stage. Indeed, China itself is concerned that it may be constrained by its own concept.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-442
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Volume18
Issue number2
Early online date15 Apr 2016
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2016
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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