Is China a Rovolutionary or Staus Quo State
A state’s revisionism is usually connected with the dissatisfaction or satisfaction it has with the international order. According to Chan Steve, a satisfied nation is one that accepts the systems that the international organizations have put in place. The state is comfortable with the international principles that are in place. Schweller Randall has a similar conception. However, he contrasts with the idea in that he divided revisionists in to two. There are status quo nations and true revisionist. In his argument, status quo nations are pleased to “preserve the essential characteristics of the existing international order”. On the other hand, revisionist nations are determined to change the existing systems in order to increase their power. In his opinion, states should not be completely comfortable with the existing systems. States have different national interests, cultures and wealth. In this case, they cannot be comfortable with what is set as they are not similar in all aspects. According to Schweller, revisionist nations use the military to change the existing status quo. They are determined to change the values set in the international order because the want their national values to be considered.
According to Christensen, China has for a long time engaged with the international institutions, making seem like to support the status quo. The commitment to conserve the status quo and replace the multilateralism skepticism is evident in the nation. China has been active in the activities of World Trade Organization. However, China is passive when participating with United Nations activities. In addition, China has actively been involved with Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This has resulted active involvement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. In addition, China supports and works with other international institutions such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, ASEAN Regional Forum. On December 2005, China also joined East Asian Summit. Currently, the nation has become an observer of G8 group which consist of the industrialized nations. China’s participates actively in international institutions. Therefore, it is seen as a status quo nation. However, the nation can also be argued to be a revisionist nation.
According to Medeiros, China has continuously tried to resolve border and territorial disputes with her neighbors. She has addressed Sino-Russian demarcation issues. She also handled the long time disputes with India. In fact, China does everything possible to ensure that she is at peace with her neighbors. According to the international law, countries should be at peace with each other. Boundaries and territorial disputes should be resolved to ensure the nations have no disputes that can cause war or ethnic conflicts. China is tries to hold disputes that can result to violence or war with her neighbors. For instance, the conflict over Senkaku Islands with Japan has been put on hold to allow the best time that the dispute can be resolved. In the region, China is one of the most cooperative nations. She is at peace with all her neighbors in the region. She attends most of the meetings and joins the other nations in development programs.
To maintain its economic growth, China has attracted foreign investments in large numbers. For the nation to be one of the leading economies, it has ensured that it has a good relationship with the international trade. Consequently, China has a close integration to all continents in the world. In fact, China accepted the rules set by the US global economy committees. It has benefited from the rules more than any other country in the world. China’s desire to be an economic giant makes her strengthen relationships with the international organizations, trade unions and individual nations. Even in Africa, China is the greatest economic friend. Most of the import from Central and East Africa come from China. Kenya, for example, has changed her economic direction from the west to the East because of the promising relationship China offers. According to the set rules of the international economic system, China is a sustainable leader that can be trusted to lead at the international level. Her growth and her achievement make her exceptional. China accepts the international order so that she remains a head. If china continues with the current economic growth rate, it is suggested that her economy in terms of US dollars will surpass Japan’s economy by 2020. The drastic growth is related to China participation in the international institutions.
Christensen argues that China has recently been active in activities of international relations. The approach proves that China supports the status quo. It has supported the international economy, international institutions, worked to resolve disputes with her neighbors in reference to the international law, and helped her neighbors to resolve their boundaries disputes as well. These activities strengthen regional stability, international relations and the status quo.
On the other hand, there are activities in China that shows the country as a revisionist. China was not satisfied with eth idea of America’s unipolarity. In collaboration with Russia, China opposed the hegemonism ideology and was ready to defend their stand. According to China, see US hegemony is not genuine. The dissatisfaction in this aspect makes China to support the de facto independence of Taiwan. According to Steve, Beijing believes that the United Nations should embrace the idea of multipolarity, whereby China will become of the poles. China believes that America should not dominate the world. This school of thought has made China to go against the balancing of military set by the international law. In fact, China is working towards strengthening her military power. It is looking for military alliances to strengthen their military power, so that they can show America that the world cannot be dominated by one nation. China has strengthened her relations with China. Even if the bilateral relations may not necessarily appear to be a full-fledged alliance”, has strategic plan to empower herself with string allies to form a strong military alliance. As a result of the dissatisfaction with the US dominance, China and Russia joined and formed a Sino-Russian summit I in July 2005. The summit, held in Moscow worked towards creating a new international order that will be fair to all nations. The two countries have hence been trying to woo Central Asia. Consequently, their efforts are overturning the gains America had obtained in the region.
In August 2005, China Russia had a joint military that completed exercising. Sino-Russian military was strengthened to ensure that they are strong. China and Russia are continuously working to strengthen their military to counter the US dominance. In fact, Russia has been transferring advanced weapons to China in support of the same ideology. Gradually, China is working with other nations which are likely to buy China’s idea. Pakistan, Myanmar and North Korea are slowly moving their support to Sino-Russia. Even if these countries are not so strong politically, their support will be meaningful. Recently, Myanmar allowed China to be accessing its naval facilities. The states may not have robust militaries, but a combination of several states has the potential to caret a robust alliance.
Currently, China can be said to be a status quo nation. The country moved from a third world nation to being one of the most developed nations. China’s economy has grown dramatically to levels that no one could expect. This growth can be attributed to the nation’s support of the international relations. The dissatisfaction that China has as result of America’s dominance does not make it a revolutionist nation. China just expressed her values that the world should not have one dominant nation while others are subordinate. The country does not undermine the existing order. In fact, the international law and international institutions do not demand that a nation has to agree with everything that is done in the world. Furthermore, America does not stand for the entire world. China has a good relationship with America, and has signed several trade agreements with U.S. In this case, the dissatisfaction is as a result of the differences in national interests among nations. America believes that it should dominate, while Russia and China have another opinion. Therefore, China is a status quo nation.
China, by showing dissatisfaction with US hegemony, does not try to undermine r change the existing international order. The country is not frustrated with the America’s idea. It does not attempt to convince other nations to be against America. Instead, it only indicates that the ideology should not be applied in the current era. Lee points out that such dominance should have occurred during the world war era. However, China continues to do businesses with America despite the dissatisfaction. It is normal for nations to disagree because they have different national interests and national values. Frustrations can make a country become a revolutionist, as it tries to fight with aspects that make it disadvantaged. However, this is not the case with China. China managed to benefit greatly from the trade agreements signed between her and America. The two countries have many businesses together. America does not deny China or any other nation access to its business doors. Therefore, China is not acting out of frustrations. This is just a means of giving the opinion of Chinese people.
According to the liberalism theory of international relations, there is a lot of cooperation in the world. Most of states are not concerned about money and power. Therefore, states aim at building world order so that there can be good relationships among the nations. Nations prefer to have peace rather than have power and conflicts. Therefore, they try to create international law that is enforceable. Idealism empathizes that there are broad ties among nations that make it hard to determine individual national interests. In this concept, the idea of globalization, advancement in technology, increased international trade and the international law makes states to cease being political in all their aspect. China has had good relations with other nations. This is why it has managed to surpass the economic giants that ruled the world for a long time. Using the liberalism theory of international relations, China concentrates on other things rather than military power. China’s relationship has made her prosper. According to Kang, most nations in the world trust China because of her relationship with international institutions. The liberalism theory argues that the consequences of using military power outweigh the benefits. In this case, international cooperation is better than use of military power.
According to Lee, China has used a lot of time and resources to be where it is. Its relationship with international institutions and the entire world has made it succeed. Therefore, China might not change from being a status quo nation to a revolutionary nation. In fact, military power is not the only power that can make a nation be a superpower. China is forming alliances with nations that are not military robust. Medeiros points out that the incident indicates that the nation is not interested in military power. Instead, china concentrates on social and economic power. It has been working to achieve economic power using all available means. Its desire to exercise economic power has proven to be more effective as compared to military power. It focuses on international rules and organization as they help foster prosperity, trust and cooperation.
According to Christensen, the universe is divided into different nations. Every nation has a different culture, language, interest and national loyalties. These are the things that make every nation different. The traits in the people of a particular nation make them react differently from people of other nations. In fact, it is the indifferences that increase hostility, conflict and suspicion among nations. In the study of international relations, the conflicts are normal and should not no worry scholars and experts. If people of all the nations happen to think in the same way, the world will be a very boring place to live in. therefore, the reaction of China towards America’s dominance is healthy. It only indicates that China has her values that should be respected. It is practically impossible for all nations to thinks the same way because they have different values, cultures and thus different perspectives.
After the Second World War, the political structure in the world was divided into two bipolar divisions: eastern and western blocs, which are also referred to as the east and west axis appropriately. These axes represent the political and military issues evident in their region. However, the bipolar systems are no longer in existence. The US wants to be a single super power, an ideology that is rejected by some nations. Nations that have emerged with new strength include China, India, Japans and Germany. Russia and China are against the idea of one super power in the world. They believe that they have political and economic strength that cannot be ignored. In this case, they are against the idea of a single super power to dominate the world. However, the countries are not damaging the existing international order. They are just airing their views, which should not be taken as a revolutionist perspective. Political alignment in the world is ever changing. However, most of the nations are interested in international relations because IR enhances growth and development. Lampton points out that, China in particular is interested in international institutions that operate above the state because of her interest in economic growth. China aims to have the best economy in the near future. Therefore, she cannot afford poor political stand that may ruin her dreams. There are many regional organizations that are becoming powerful. The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), where China is an active member is gaining strength day in day out.
According to Medeiros, there are two types of power in the world; soft power and hard power. Soft power is based on a country’s institutions, ideology and culture. Soft power eventually leads to co-optive power. Cooptive power is the ability of a nation to influence other nations using attractive ideas. On the other hand, hard power refers to the use of command power. Hard power requires the ability to force a nation do something based on economic and military might. Economic and military powers are important components in the world as far as power is concerned. With the advancement in technology and the increased worldwide network, nations have the ability to win friends and project by setting good examples. Thus, friendship and relationship among nations has become an important aspect of power. China uses both soft power and hard power. The country is driven by its cultures and value to reject the domination ideology. China believes that all nations should be the same, and should be ruled by the international law to ensure peace and security of all. Therefore, China feels the dominance idea is primitive.
Ikenberry believes that as a result of economic interdependence among nations, hard power use has tremendously decreased. There are many changes in the international values and norms about the authenticity use of military force, and the economic burden associated with maintaining large and equipped military force. Consequently, nations have agreed that the cost of war, even a small war is too much. China is determined to be an economic giant in the world. Therefore, she might not be ready in the near future to spend all her prepared to risk all her profits in war.
In conclusion, China is a status quo nation, and is likely to remain that way. Every country that has had a security challenge in the past has the right to empower its military force, to secure its citizens, resources, territory and its clients as well. With the terrorism threat and other emerging security threats in the world, it is morally right for China to import weapons from Russia. On the same note, it can be argued that China forms alliances with nations that are not robust in military strength. This indicates that China is not trying to acquire military power for dominance purposes. Instead, China only works out a strategic plan to ensure that she is safe and secure. The idea of dissatisfaction with America’s homogeneity does not make China a revolutionary state. Instead, it shows that China is honest. She does not claim to agree with values that the Chinese people are not. China airs her opinion which she shares with Russia.