The rise of China will be one of the biggest dramas of the
twenty-first century, China’s economic and military growth over the last few
decades but the country on the world stage with superpowers like the US, today
China is the second largest economy in the world and continues to grow fast
peacefully, it is expected that China will surpass the US in 2030. This will
give more power and influence, its active diplomacy is also transforming East-Asia
and Pacific region. but how this drama will play out is open question that
people have looked from different perspectives, there are always different
theories that explain why something happened how it happened and most
importantly what it says about the future, in this paper I intend to explain
the rise of China looking from the point view of Liberalism, Realism and
constructivism and at the end I will discuss the future US-China relation and
international order.

The main goal of China is to transform itself into global
power which directly challenges the only superpower the US, many experts are
discussing this topic because the decline of US hegemony is feasible know, and
experts are asking questions like how the US should handle china without confrontation?
What future would like under Chinese leadership? And the best answers and
explanations of this topic are offered by the mainstream IR theories.

 

 

Liberalism

Liberalists believe that economic interdependence under
globalization era and China’s economic reforms combined with its participation
in international institutions gave way this miracle economic development, they
argue that Chinas economic integration into the global market and strengthening
trade relations with the west  will also
reduce the possibility of war between them, so if China integrates more into
world economy it will lead to social change, democracy and liberalism although
they economically did politically China is still communist with bad human
rights record liberals hope that economic integration will lead to political
change and democracy.

They advocate  tight
economic policies to integrate China to the rest of the world so that  war becomes unlikely because of fear of its
cost and economic repercussions, they believe deepening economic ties with the
US for example will turn into political development which overthrows illiberal
system of the country liberals argue that democratic China will not be a threat
because of the democratic peace theory which claims democracies don’t fight
with each other, Although this case is long way they suggest that the US should
encourage China to take steps into democratic political system.

Realism

Realists with its different schools have different opinions
over the issue, but overall they believe that since the international system is
anarchic and based on self-interest states compete for power and use any
available means to survive and accomplish their agenda,  this will cause tension between rising power
and its rivals and will be understood as a threat against the existing system
because powerful China will destabilize the current system, and its giant
economy and military hegemonic pursuit will give the chance to use force to
reach its aims anywhere in the world.

since China has ambitions to annex Taiwan and dominate East
Asia these agendas conflicts with American interest, Here realists see
potential conflict between great powers and predict that the US will try to
contain and stop this raising power from becoming too strong, doing so American
will group with their allies like Japan and Taiwan which are threatened by
China, if the US does that it will deter China to take any step of using force
in the region. They disagree with liberal democracy and internal change ideas. they
see these arguments weak solution, their way is aggressive deterrence.

On the other hand, China wants to become world’s greatest military power which shows
that Beijing aims to dominate world and reshape the order John Mearsheimer, a
realist scholar, suggests that if China continues to expand its military
capabilities, it will become “an aggressive state determined to achieve
regional hegemony”

so far realist arguments can be seen practically across the
globe were Chinas used its growing economy to make influence friends and global
partnership, today China’s popularity and influence are hugely felt in South
America Asia and Africa. If China continues to grow its domestic economy it
will have more chances to challenge the US some experts point out the
competition might lead to second bipolar world more competition as a result of
security dilemma and China will probably take expansionist policies as the US
did.

Constructivism

The Constructivist generally believe, international relations
ia socially constructed, they reject the position of other theories which are
more feasible and materialistic, they consider other invisible factors very
important. Such as, history, culture and human behavior focusing more into
ideas and believes that people have in their heads which leads them to
interpret  events in different ways,  they argue that “a shared identity will
determine whether the two states view each other as threats.” They claim
national identity plays important role in regional security large population
and long tradition of Confucian morality which supports “harmony and
prosperity” help China to achieve successful domestic market and
stability. it also brings China’s foreign policy toward the neighboring
countries which is friendly responsibility, kindness, and peace-loving, I think
Wendt’s approach is worth mentioning where he describes China’s relations with East Asia as lockian
culture. they don’t deny there is disagreement like the dispute that China has
with Japan over the island, but they don’t agree on realists view of imagining
the worst. Although China sees itself as a victim of western domination and has
Maoist tradition which disconnects them from rest of the world they contributed
a lot to the world mostly economical side, they also participated regional
activities such as working with ASEAN regional block this created the sense of “we”
and new Chinese identity which will result in new regional structure, that
encourages cooperation.

Looking into these three mainstream theories and their inside
different schools which offer different explanations and solutions, I think my
position would be more realist and pessimist oriented one, the reasons are all
in front of as today. Firstly, Chinas growing investment in Africa the
countries industry and economy is growing rapidly and needs resources which
under the policy of “go abroad” they are overtaking continents
markets, investment and projects. Secondly, arms buildup in Asia China is
undertaking massive military buildup which threatens the neighboring countries
although they denounce that they don’t have expansionist policies it is a
matter of time when they make a move, and recently the US showed it is not
willing to intervene. Thirdly, there are many US allies in the region which can
try to balance against China’s increasing influence although other factors like
liberal economic interdependence and domestic factor are important States are
still most important actors and power still triumphs.

Lately, experts also are discussing a lot, about the future
US-China relations, while they seem to be interested in, how the international
order would look like under Chinese leadership? , although there is no correct
answer it is unknown the western scholars are optimistic that China will
continue to cooperate with the west and continue to use the current system, but
my argument is that when the time comes and China is strong enough it will
transform the rules and norms of international order and its institutions into
one that serves more of its interests. This will of course increase tensions
and many states will see China reshaping the system as big threat.

Finally, after many years the US focused on the war on terror
pentagon recently shifted their policy and called aggressive steps against
Russia and China, this shows that the rise of China is here and challenges the
already declining American led era, both groups may plunge into an open arms
race and further conflicts or may agree on peaceful transition.

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