Edited by Nils Hedberg
China is on its way to becoming a superpower, and how it will use its newfound strength will affect the global playing field and the rules of the game. The question is whether this will make the world better or worse off? By seeing how China behaves in its new role, one can get an idea of how the country will use its influence as a superpower. The anthology “China as a superpower – foreign policy, strategies and paradoxes” deals with these very issues.
“China’s Challenges” by Guy de Jonquières takes a thorough look at the current economic situation in China, domestic political insecurity and their foreign policy choices. “Hegemony with a Chinese Twist” by Aaron L. Friedberg and “The Advantages of an Independently Secure China” by Thomas J. Christensen, professor at Princeton University, take up the overarching question of China’s foreign policy. Friedberg analyzes the USA’s tougher competition in East Asia and warns for risks of conflict that lie ahead if one side mishandles the delicate balance between the two. Christensen turns the discussion to the advantages of China playing a larger role on the global stage.
The book’s final two chapters take a narrower look at the subject. In “China and the Coup d’Etat” Jonathan Holslag analyzes how China handled five African coups d’etat between 2003 and 2010. “The Scramble Around Europe” by François Godement, Jonas Parello-Plesner and Alice Richards discusses China’s increasing roles as lifesaver, purchaser of underpriced resources and possible splitting-power in debt-ridden Southern Europe.
Finally, the conclusion “China’s Relations and Strategies” by Nils Hedberg Grimlund addresses two important contexts that help to understand China today: the role played by China’s history and ideological traditions in the daily lives of many Chinese citizens and how challenges are addressed through a combination of close relations, advanced strategies and tactical tricks. The effects of these ideological legacies on the Communist Party’s steering mechanisms of complete societal penetration are then discussed.