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"Marching westwards": The rebalancing of China's geostrategy

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Abstract

China should not confine its sights to its coast and borders, and traditional rivals and partners; instead, it should make plans to "move westwards" and establish a new international geostrategic pillar for its Western Development strategy. The "march westwards" strategy is conducive to establishment of more balanced Sino-u.s. relations and helps build Sino-u.s. strategic mutual trust. As its economic interests grow in western countries, China is facing favorable opportunities for participating in multilateral coordination and contributing to its international status. However, the strategy will also bring risks and more attention should be paid to the environment, people's livelihood, and employment in the invested countries. Consular rules must be improved to better protect local Chinese and help them get integrated into local communities. This article does not in any way advocate making "marching westwards" a clear written national foreign policy strategy. Rather, it uses this idea to emphasize that as the geo-economic and geo-political situation constantly changes, China needs to have new and comprehensive thinking on geostrategic "rebalancing" that does not lead to clashes between China's land and sea power. © 2014 by Koninklijke Brill nv, Leiden, The Netherlands. All rights reserved.

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... Beijing's plans are as opaque as its policy-making process. Arguably, the quasi-official rubric of the 'march westwards' (Wang 2014) is a guiding principle, but is challenged by China's démarche to Panama, which lies east. The one indisputable fact is the observable pattern of behaviour, which is how grand strategy overall is understood hereinbelow. ...
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... Uno de los resultados de la política de "marchar hacia el oeste" del gobierno chino fue la presentación de la Iniciativa Cinturón y Ruta de la Seda en Astaná (ahora Nur-Sultán), Kazajistán, en septiembre de 2013. 45 2) En el caso de Alemania, en diciembre de 2013 comenzó el tercer periodo de gobierno de Angela Merkel: en esta ocasión estuvo integrado por una gran coalición y se designó a Frank-Walter Steinmeier (psd) como el nuevo ministro federal de Asuntos Exteriores. Como lo menciona Annegret Bendiek, hacia 2013-2014 el nuevo gobierno alemán se encontró con mayores responsabilidades en su posición de liderazgo en la ue y como potencia económica global (una de las pocas que se habían fortalecido durante el proceso de crisis económica) en temas como la continuación de la crisis en la eurozona, los conflictos en Medio Oriente (en 2011, Alemania había declinado su participación en la intervención de la otan en Libia), la crisis diplomática con ee.uu. ...
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... A more systematic approach to this position, centering on the strategic aspects of Chinese involvement in the Middle East, was presented a few months later in a resounding article titled 'March Westward' by Wang Jisi, one of China's most influential international relations scholars. 20 Wang envisaged a new strategy in Chinese foreign policy whereby China would expand its influence in regions farther westward, including the Greater Middle East. This strategy rested on the assumption that because of the shift to Asia in the US foreign policy -also known as Pivot to Asia, Return to Asia, or Rebalancing Asia -tension might be expected to rise on China's eastern front. ...
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... Another important element that the new leadership bears in mind is the fact that in the last two decades, with a declining United States, the international balance of power is moving towards multipolarization. As a result, a "new round of geo-political and geo-economic competition between strategic powers" (Wang, 2014), is intensifying, and considering its fast rise, this main competitor of the US seems to be China. Washington "rebalance to Asia" in the last decade has increased China"s feeling of being encircled. ...
... Wang Jisi, for example, constructed a case for China to 'march westward' basing his assessment of the strategic pressure that the US 'rebalance' would place on China in the maritime domain of the Indo-Pacific. 43 For Wang, the 'eastward shift' in strategic focus of the Obama administration under the 'rebalance,' could potentially lock Sino-US relations into a 'zero-sum game' in East Asia. However, if instead, China shifted its strategic focus towards Eurasia the 'potential for US-China cooperation' across a variety of fields would increase and 'there will be almost no risk of military confrontation between the two'. ...
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... Most importantly, in this respect, since the late 2000s and early 2010s, it has become a prominent part of Beijing's strategic plans to increase its engagement on its western peripheries. Such a vision was first publicly articulated in "Marching Westwards," a resounding article by Wang (2012), one of China's most influential international relations scholars. Wang envisages a new foreign policy strategy, whereby China would expand its influence in regions farther westward, including the Greater Middle East. ...
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... Beijing's plans are as opaque as its policy-making process. Arguably, the quasi-official rubric of the 'march westwards' (Wang 2014) is a guiding principle, but is challenged by China's démarche to Panama, which lies east. ...
Article
Full-text available
The globalisation of China’s development strategy, from its origins as infrastructure diplomacy connecting its domestic west with its Central Asian periphery, into the transnational Belt and Road Initiative encompassing the periphery of the world system, epitomises the rapid evolution of a Chinese grand strategy of great economic and political ambition. The small state of Panama is a key node in the global trading system that can make an unexpectedly large contribution to China’s national security and international influence. Accordingly, China’s economic statecraft in Panama is not only opening up the Latin America and Caribbean markets to further Chinese commercial penetration, but is simultaneously expanding its political influence in this remotest part of the global South. China’s is a two-track grand strategy positing to other nations a choice between a liberal internationalist co-prosperity and a zero-sum realist contest. This audacious approach relies on relational power amongst small states, especially semi-peripheral ones like Panama, to put China at the forefront of what is shaping up as a grand coalition of the global South collectively challenging American hegemony.
... Another concern is how China's recent economic downturn will affect the viability of its regional economic projects. In the meantime, China confidently marches on southwards and westwards (Wang, 2014), economically at least. ...
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... Çin'in önde gelen Uluslararası İlişkiler düşünürlerinden Wang Jisi, 2012 yılında yayınlanan bir çalışmasında, Çinli liderlere ABD ile mücadele etmek ve Doğu ve Güney Çin Denizi'ne odaklanmak yerine, ABD'nin etki alanının dışında kalan Orta, Güney ve Batı Asya rotasından Avrupa'ya yönelmelerini tavsiye etmiştir. Böylelikle Çin, faaliyetlerini daha rahat hareket edebileceği bir alanda yürütebilecek ve Pasifik'e ağırlık veren ABD ile mücadeleden kaçınabilecektir (Wang, 2014). Her ne kadar Donald Trump'ın 2017'de ABD Başkanlık makamını Obama'dan devralmasının hemen ardından Asya'ya Dönüş politikası rafa kaldırılmışsa da Trump yönetimi kısa bir süre içinde ülkesinin Çin'e karşı tavrını selefine kıyasla daha da sertleştirmiş ve "Serbest ve Açık Bir Hint-Pasifik" (Free And Open Indo-Pacific) adlı yeni bir stratejiyi uygulamaya koymuştur. ...
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Çin Halk Cumhuriyeti’nin uluslararası düzen içindeki yükselişi, 21. yüzyılın en tartışılan konu başlıklarından biri olmuştur. Pek çok yazar Çin’in gelişimini mevcut düzen ve onun lideri ABD için bir tehdit olarak görmekte ve bu nedenle bir önlem alınması gerektiğini belirtmektedir. Diğer birtakım yazarlar ise Çin’in yükselişini, ülkenin küresel güney ülkelerine neoliberal modele alternatif bir kalkınma modeli sunması dolayısıyla olumlu bir gelişme olarak görmektedir. Bu kapsamda Çin’in son yıllardaki en önemli adımlarından biri 2013 yılının son aylarında Başkan Xi Jinping tarafından açıklanan Kuşak ve Yol Girişimi’dir. Türkiye’nin de katılımcıları arasında yer aldığı girişim kapsamında trilyonlarca dolarlık yatırımlar yapılması planlanmaktadır. Ne var ki KYG, henüz Türkçe yazında henüz yeterince tartışılmamıştır. Çalışma, Xi Jinping dönemi Çin dış politikasına ve Kuşak ve Yol Girişimi’ne odaklanarak Türkçe yazındaki bu eksikliğe katkı sunmak niyetindedir.
... A 2013-ban elindított program, Kína "nyugati nyitása" (Jisi, 2012) kezdettől fogva számolt Iránnal -mind a szárazföldön, mind a tengeren -, miközben célzottan el akarja kerülni Oroszországot, és lehetőleg elkerüli Indiát. A már említett helyi vagy rövid távú közlekedésihálózat-fejlesztések nagyobb dimenzióban is megjelentek: az utóbbi néhány évben több teherszállítási vasútvonal is kiépült Irán és Kína között, amelyek Közép-Ázsia különböző országain áthaladva kapcsolják össze a két államot, és szervesen illeszkednek az "új selyemút" kapcsolódási hálózatába. ...
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Contemporary Chinese Political Economy and Strategic Relations: An International Journal (CCPS), Vol. 2, No. 3, December 2016, pp. 985-1265 (281 pp. + xiii). [Scopus] <http://rpb115.nsysu.edu.tw/p/404-1131-162781.php?Lang=en> <http://rpb115.nsysu.edu.tw/var/file/131/1131/img/2375/CCPS2(3)-full-issue.pdf> <https://www.dropbox.com/s/lmd1wr9nq8i7qk7/CCPS-V2N3-full-issue.pdf>
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It is obvious that in the 21st century, the global power balance is changing. The Unite States’ relative power is declining, and the world’s centre of gravity is shifting from the Atlantic to the Asia-Pacific region. The rise of ‘two Asian giants’ China and India requires rewriting the strategies toward the region. The concept of Asia-Pacific now leaves its place to the “Indo-Pacific” conceptualisation. “Indo-Pacific” is the perception of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean as a single ‘geopolitical/ strategic’ region. The basic logic in the “Indo-Pacific” notion is to reduce the perception of Chinese power in Asia-Pacific and prioritising the perception of Indian power and its leading role coming from its ‘Raj’ legacy. The “Indo-Pacific” approach is the confluence of India’s “Look East/Act East”, China’s “String of Pearls & Belt-Road”, US’ “Pivot/Rebalance” strategies. Keywords: Indo-Pacific, India, Raj, The USA, China.
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This chapter reviews how China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is evolving. It begins with a discussion of the historical, economic, and geopolitical contexts in which the initiative was rolled out by Beijing in 2013. Through the BRI, China seeks to expand its diplomatic manoeuvring space, reclaim its past glory, provide infrastructure finance to neighbouring countries, and revive its slowing economy. By discussing, among others, the scope and the coordination financing mechanisms of the BRI, this chapter explains how the initiative is being implemented by the Chinese government. The broader trade and investment relations between China and three Asian sub-regions of interest, namely, East and Southeast Asia, South Asia and Central Asia are provided. The major achievements of the BRI to date are also highlighted. The chapter concludes with an overview of the structure of the book.
Article
I examine the views of Chinese scholars during the decade of Hu’s leadership concerning China’s diplomatic strategy with respect to the judgment of China’s national power, the orientation of China’s diplomatic goals, and the choice of China’s foreign policy. Chinese scholars increasingly judged China as an emerging major power in a multi-polarizing world. The mainstream academic attitude was that China should augment its international role. The discourse on China’s diplomatic goals experienced a skillful and tacit transition from the “keep a low profile” principle to the “harmonious world” proposal, featured by the shift in emphasis, the expansion of interpretation, and the substitution of concepts. The Chinese academia unanimously endorsed the governmental proposal of the road of peaceful development, while ambiguity can be observed in China’s more assertive responses to challenges to its “core interests”, agenda setting attempts in multilateral cooperation, and various endeavors to gain “soft power”. Underlying the transition of China’s diplomatic strategy was the materialist way of thinking concerning international relations.
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