Values to Be Added to an “Eastphalia Order” by the Emerging China

Chang-fa Lo
Chair Professor and Lifetime Distinguished Professor
National Taiwan University

The rise of China and India has transformed the former collective dominance of the United States, Europe, and Japan into a multipolar world. Within this multipolar world, relations between the United States and China will constitute an important bilateral contour for the twenty-first century, as illustrated by the United States-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue that convened in July 2009. In this context, the ideas promoted and practiced by China will have greater weight in influencing and shaping international relations. It is important for other parts of the world to see and understand what differences Chinese power and ideas could make in the evolving, multipolar world and what values China could bring to the new international society. The essay thus focuses on the potential impact of emerging China and discusses ideas practiced and proposed by China concerning international relations. Ideas supported by China are compared with the concepts present in the Westphalian system of international politics. Then, it is questioned whether it is appropriate to see in the rise of China the emergence of an Asian-centric international system. In addition, the essay tries to identify the merits and inadequacies of ideas favored by China. The ultimate purpose is to show that China must integrate other values into its existing ideas if it desires to make a long-lasting impact on world affairs.

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