China Foreign Policy

Do you think, considering recent foreign policy initiatives of China, its rise is peaceful and reassuring to its neighbours? Critically analyse. (200 Words)

China, due to its growing economic and military might, has been a force to reckon with and only next to U.S in the recent times. Its growing stature on global stage is, thus, not a surprise. It has taken a number of foreign policy initiatives specially the current regime under President Xi Jinping which have several negative under pinning for its neighbours –
  1. Increased assertion in South China Sea – China’s assertiveness in South China Sea ( recent land reclamation ,warning/threat to vessels entering these waters and unilateral claim on natural resources) has left its many of ASEAN members worried.
  2. Claims on East China Sea – China’s claims on disputed islands in East China sea has concerned South Korea and Japan, two of its important neighbours.
  3. ‘String of Pearls’ and CPEC– China’s String of Pearls in IoR and CPEC in PoK despite India’s reservations has left India dismayed. Recently China has also defended Pakistan in UN sanctions committee on terrorists Sallauddin and Lakhvi.
However, China’s few initiatives have also indicated its genuine willingness to play a responsible power’s role
  1. NDB and AIIB – These multilateral institutions have been set up with major thrust from China to not only supplement existing multilateral financial order but also to assist the developing world ( specially Asia) financially for its needs.
  2. OBOR – Silk road economic belt and MSR initiatives are aimed at reviving historical silk routes to Europe by bringing economic development to the participating nations.
  3. China’s assistance to its neighbours like Myanmar, Nepal, Central Asian countries etc for developmental needs is also a case in point.
However, critiques also see them as a part of larger Chinese design.
Thus, we see that China, being a major power of the world should carry itself in a more acceptable manner by respecting international laws/treaties/practices, taking smaller neighbours into confidence and respecting the ethos of Panchsheel principles. It should not only act in a more responsible manner but also should be seen doing so. Only then, its “peaceful rise” shall be in a larger global interest.
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