The conception of the foreign policy of China develops as its entire potential increases. China’s foreign policy has been influenced by its core national interests, with internal political stability also being a factor.
Sovereignty, territorial integrity, and sustainable socioeconomic development are among these fundamental national interests.
According to the current Constitution of the Chinese Communist Party, “the Communist Party of China shall uphold an independent foreign policy of peace, follow a path of peaceful development, continue with the win-win opening-up strategy, consider both domestic and international situations, and actively foster relations with other countries, endeavoring to develop a favorable international environment for China’s reform, opening up, and modernization”
Since Deng Xiaoping, upholding the communist party’s supremacy has been the major goal of Chinese foreign policy.
China aims to preserve its integrity, reunite the motherland (referring to Taiwan), and sustain economic growth in order to maintain its domination (communism with a capitalistic view). Little has changed regarding China’s foreign policy’s primary objectives.
While the general policy framework has remained virtually constant, China has only increased its assertiveness in a few areas.
As a result, while China was more assertive on particular topics, it did not represent a general increase in assertiveness or a fundamental shift in China’s foreign policy.
Recent maritime border disputes provide a striking illustration of China’s rising assertiveness in its foreign policy. Moreover, China does not want these disputes to detract from its own economic growth.
China, therefore, strives to prevent, or resolve foreign confrontations whenever possible. Over the past 20 years, China has significantly increased and expanded its military capabilities.
The growth of China into a powerful, independent, and affluent nation remains at the forefront of the Chinese government’s priorities. Its diplomacy continues to be conservative and motivated by domestic concerns.
China is a worldwide economic powerhouse and a regional superpower, but it is not a diplomatic global superpower. China’s diplomacy typically takes the least risky and divisive stance.
Developments in the Foreign Policy of China
China’s Foreign policy is transforming from the principle of nonintervention to increased international engagement.
The 1950s saw China face an increasingly hostile international environment as a result of its revolutionary fervor and strong membership in the communist bloc.
This is when the idea of nonintervention in the internal affairs of other nations first emerged. Resources were depleted as a result of disagreements over foreign policy.
Whether they took the form of wars or restrictions on trade with its noncommunist neighbors. In response, Chinese officials devised a new plan that would enable them to conserve those resources and concentrate on their own internal development.
By advocating nonintervention in the internal affairs of other nations China started to build allies within the global nonaligned movement, in marked contradiction to the Soviet Union’s & America’s declared policies of advancing democratic movements globally.
Beginning in the late 1970s, under Deng Xiaoping, noninterventionism gained increased significance as a result of Deng’s insistence on a “low profile” foreign policy. It was developed so that China could entirely concentrate on internal economic development.
As part of the Communist Party’s “going out” strategy, which promotes Chinese firms’ worldwide involvement, China’s business communities, and private corporations alike have expanded more and more into the global economy during the past 30 years.
The Chinese government made an effort to uphold its long-standing policy of diplomatic and military nonintervention in the face of this shifting reality.
Foreign Initiatives of China
By announcing numerous new strategic foreign initiatives, China’s current leadership has provided the global community with a view of its desire for regional and global order.
While some of these projects appear to be more specifically targeted at Southeast Asian nations or even at particular concerns, like territorial conflicts in the South China Sea, others appear to be part of China’s larger Asia-Pacific strategy.
Despite the fact that not all of them may be regarded as equally “strategic” in terms of potential long-term or comprehensive influence, they all seem to be a part of a coherent strategy planned by China to accomplish specific desired outcomes relative to the strategic environment in its neighbor.
Moreover, To emerge as a recognized power in international affairs, China has expanded its foreign policy. In Asia, it has proposed Belt Road Initiative (BRI).
The BRI and its projects like China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would bolster the economy of China.
The 18th CCP Congress designated The South China Sea as a “core national interest.” Xi Jinping also prioritized pride in one’s country, patriotism, and nation.
As demonstrated by China’s 2009 sovereignty claim (the “nine-dashed line”), the country’s grand new strategy undoubtedly grabbed attention from throughout the world, particularly with regard to the SCS territorial and island conflicts.
There are many other signs that China is becoming more forceful in the South China Sea under Xi Jinping.
While undergoing China’s Foreign policy, Numerous actors influence China’s foreign policy. There isn’t one clear-cut foreign strategy.
The trajectory of China’s development and, primarily, internal problems have an impact on its foreign policy. In addition, China’s foreign policy is reactive. China’s foreign policy is resource-focused and affected by nationalism as well.
So, one can say that China’s foreign policy is based on objectives that may help achieve global dominance. It adopts the policies that would make China overcome the US and Russia.
Moreover, it seeks to have stable and friendly relations with the states of its own interest. From the context of the reform era and opening up in late 1970, the influence of China’s domestic circumstances on its foreign and security policy is evident.
China has transitioned from a planned economy to a market economy. It shifted from isolationism to active engagement in the international community.
Since then, the Chinese economy has grown astronomically. More notably, the government was able to accomplish these objectives while maintaining the authoritarian system.
The highest levels of the CCP make Decisions about China’s foreign policy. In addition, President Xi Jinping overtook his predecessors in terms of influence in the political system and policy-making process.
By “locating” himself at the apex of the Party, the State, and the Military, he has dismantled institutional impediments. Thus, we can say that the President and the CCP have complete control over Chinese foreign and security policy.
*The writer is a Fellow at The Diplomatic Insight, published by the Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies
Disclaimer: The Diplomatic Insight does not take any position on issues and the views represented herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Diplomatic Insight and its staff.