China: The Post-Responsible Power

Yong Deng
Content Type
Journal Article
The Washington Quarterly
Issue Number
Publication Date
Winter 2015
Center for Strategic and International Studies
Something profound seems to have occurred in Chinese foreign policy since the global financial crisis starting in 2007–08. Many have noted an assertive and nationalist Chinese shift, as most dramatically demonstrated in its high-profile global diplomacy to promote its agenda and maritime disputes with its neighbors to defend its “core” interest. But how to characterize the change remains unclear. Even the “assertive” label, an innocuous term in international relations, is contested. More common is the pessimism regarding China and East Asia, as expressed by strategist Robert Kaplan when he said, “The 21st century map of the Pacific Basin, clogged as it is with warships, is like a map of conflict-prone Europe from previous centuries.” Does this signal the start of a wholesale Chinese reversal of a formerly placid, cooperative strategy? What does the recent turn of events mean for the Sino–U.S. relationship, the East Asian order, and global governance?
Political Geography
Associated CIAO Resources
China: The Post-Responsible Power