Recognizing that China’s influence in international economic and safety affairs is rapidly increasing, while simultaneously causing concern among major powers, Chinese leaders have introduced the concept of “peaceful rise” to policymakers around the world. “Peaceful rise” is China’s way of addressing the historical problems associated with a rise in power, and signalizing to the world, that this measure is an effort to prevent conflict. The policy, also referred to as a “peaceful development,” states that China will develop economically by taking control of the peaceful international environment while contributing to world peace and its overall development. Chinese policymakers argue that, as China rises in power, it seeks to refrain from competition-inducing policies of Imperial China, the Soviet Union, and Weimar Germany, in the Cold War. According to Zheng Bijian, the main architect of this theory, “The only choice for China under the current international situation is to rise peacefully, namely, to develop by taking advantage of the peaceful international environment, and at the same time to maintain world peace through its development.
” Zheng’s inspiration for the concept arose during a visit to the United States in 2002 where he had experienced the pervasive discourse of the “Chinese threat” and “collapse of China” first hand. China should not abandon its strategy of peaceful rise. China’s achievements as well as its journey towards development is deemed to be crucial. For instance in 1978, China began to plan ways to reform its economy.
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Zheng mentioned, “China has averaged 9.4 percent annual GDP growth, one of the highest growth rates in the world. In 1978, it accounted for less than one percent of the world economy, and its total foreign trade was worth $20.6 billion.
” In today’s day, it accounts for roughly four percent of ours world’s economy. China also has a foreign trade worth $851 billion, which accounts as the third largest national total. (Zheng) China reached the goal set for itself and has since then showed significant measures of improvement in various areas such as labor force, creativity, and its commitment for change.
It’s given that, economic growth does not constitute to overall change, it’s merely an aspect. In terms of per capita, China is still seen as a low-income developing country, with a limited impact on the world economy. (Zheng) Similarly, China faces several constraints such as pulling its population out of poverty. Given China’s immense population, there’s a scarcity when it comes to necessities and natural resources. Finding food, energy, raw materials, water is seen as an obstacle, especially since the recycling of materials and efficiency of use is comparably low.
This is why it is crucial that we focus on China’s strategic intention. For instance, China’s strategic intention can be categorized in two words as mentioned by Dai Bingguo, author of “Stick to the Path of Peaceful Development”, “: peaceful development, i.e. harmony and development at home and peace and cooperation abroad.” This is something we should take into high consideration not only for current generations but for the future of China’s development. China should continue it’s strategy for peaceful rise because Chinese people account for roughly one-fifth of the world’s total population and doing so, will allow them to rid themselves of poverty and start a better life. Allowing China to grow will result in a more “developed country where people are content, society is harmonious, and material, political, cultural and environmental development proceeds in a balanced way.” (Bingguo) This will result in a more developed socialist democracy in China.
As mentioned in the article, “the CPC has termed this process “peaceful development” and the ways and means to achieve peaceful development ‘the path of peaceful development.'” Essentially what this means is that the main motive of their plan is to make everyday better than the last for the people of China, and to provide that same balance to everyone around the world. In recent years China has been able to attract attention to its progress in economic and social development. Although, many consider China to be a developed country when scaled with the United States. Allowing China to continue its peaceful rise ultimately will allow it to become a developed country.
It is clear China has a large population but a very weak economic structure. If China were to become stronger, it will still remain a member of the developing world and work in unison with them to develop together. (Bingguo) This is so because China shares a similar historical background with other developing countries and have mutual strategic interests as well as developmental tactics. China’s growth will not negatively impact other countries but will rather work with them to achieve ultimate greatness.
Regardless of increase in power, China claims to “remain the most sincere and trustworthy friend, brother and partner of developing countries. There are many concerns of whether China seeks hegemony if it becomes more developed. If you look into China’s history, there is no record of culture or tradition of seeking expansion mentioned. Similarly, “to oppose hegemony has been written into China’s Constitution and the Constitution of the Communist Party of China.” (Bingguo) Throughout history, harmony and compassion are evident even through the toughest wars. In terms of development, “revitalization of a country in the era of economic globalization can be well achieved through equal and orderly international competition and mutually beneficial cooperation. It’s no longer necessary or possible to take the old path of challenging either the existing international order or other countries.
” (Bingguo) It’s evident that expansion and world dominance do not get you very far. The more developed China becomes, the more it will need to strengthen its both with other nations. The key to success is not simply getting to the top, it is increasing mutual benefit and common development to strengthen foreign relations. The United States, Japan, and other countries do not need to worry about China’s rise to power. China has made it clear that, they will always”adheres to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, respects the right of the people in all countries to choose their own development paths, never seeks hegemony or leadership and never tries to dominate the world.
” (Bingguo) The international community has authority to objectify them if they do otherwise. China’s peaceful rise will open its economy in a way that is beneficial to the rest of the world. China will provide opportunities for the international sector rather than posing a threat. China has no intention of seeking hegemony or world dominance. It plans to form a new political and economic order, which can be achieved through incremental reforms as well as democratization.
(Zheng) China’s strategy for peaceful rise lies on the fundamentals of world peace, one that benefits international relations.