China’s International Relations
On May 13th, 2017, CNN published a multipart series entitled “China’s World New Order.” The pieces discuss the rising rose of China’s international relations, in terms of China’s humanitarianism, Chinese international economic activities, travel, military, etc…
China’s rising military power, economic influence (and China’s soft power, among other things) are receiving significant international attention. As China continues to grow economically, and as the country spends on its military, there are surely international implications of these actions.
For example, Brenda Goh and Yawen Chen reported that on Sunday, May 14th, 2017, Chinese leader Xi Jinping came out and said that he would commit 124 billion dollars to what he calls the “Silk Road Plan.” He says that this plan is a project to help build international relations and diplomatic ties with other countries, as well as aiding in international economic growth. As it was noted in the story, “China has touted what it formally calls the Belt and Road initiative as a new way to boost global development since Xi unveiled the plan in 2013, aiming to expand links between Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond underpinned by billions of dollars in infrastructure investment” (Goh & Yawen, 2017).
Again, economically, China is looking to link up with other countries on a series of economic deals that they hope will produce interdependence and increase in trade.
Militarily, China is looking to expand its troop presence internationally, in hopes of vamping up its soft power. Thus, they are looking to combine military and economic presence, providing aid, and also investment opportunities to other countries. As the CNN report notes, “The presence of Chinese peacekeepers on African soil is just one facet of China’s quest to become a global military player rivaling the United States.” In fact, “China supplies 2,322 troops to UN peacekeeping efforts worldwide — by far the most of any UN security council member — and has pledged 8,000 for a fast-response force. The US has just 42 troops but fronts the largest share of the UN peacekeeping budget — although US President Donald Trump wants to cut that by half.”
It will be interesting to examine China’s international relations, especially during the Trump administration, whose rhetoric has been that of internal attention (to the United States), and the reduction of international activities. The question many are asking is whether the US is going to leave a hole in their international involvement, and whether China will look to fill that gap.