China's peaceful rise

China's peaceful rise is a phrase that has been used by scholars and officials in the People's Republic of China to describe the country's foreign policy approach in the early 21st century.


Many of the ideas behind the effort to promote the concept of the peaceful rise of the PRC came from the new security concept, which was formulated by thinktanks in the PRC in the mid-1990s.

The term itself was used in a speech given by the former Vice Principal of the Central Party School, Zheng Bijian, in late 2003 during the Boao Forum for Asia It was then reiterated by PRC premier Wen Jiabao in an ASEAN meeting as well as during his visit to the United States. It appears to be one of the first initiatives by the fourth generation of the leadership of the PRC, headed by Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao.

In Zheng's speech he pointed out that in the past, a rise of a new power often resulted in drastic changes to global political structures, and even war (i.e. the hegemonic stability theory in international relations). He believed that this was because these powers "chose the road of aggression and expansion, which will ultimately fail." Zheng stated that in today's new world, the PRC should instead develop peaceably, and in turn help to maintain a peaceful international environment.

However, the term proved controversial among the Chinese leadership, in part because some officials thought use of the word 'rise' could fuel perceptions that China is a threat to the established order. At the 2004 session of the Boao Forum, Hu Jintao, Chinese president, used instead the phrase China's peaceful development (). 'Peaceful development' has since been the definition generally used by senior officials, with 'peaceful rise' rarely heard.

Main principle

The term is used primarily to reassure the nations of Asia and the United States that the rise of the PRC in military and economic prominence will not pose a threat to peace and stability, and that other nations will benefit from PRC's rising power and influence.

The doctrine emphasizes the importance of soft power and is based in part on the premise that good relations with its neighbors will enhance rather than diminish the comprehensive national power of the PRC. Part of this doctrine is that the PRC will avoid neo-mercantilism and protectionism.

In diplomacy, the doctrine calls for less assertiveness in border disputes such as those concerning the Spratly Islands, Diaoyutai/Senkaku, and the Aksai Chin.

Sino-American relations

In addition, this doctrine seeks to avoid unnecessary confrontation with the United States.


See also

External links

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