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International Relations: China, ASEAN countries - Essay Example

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As China grows economically and militarily more rapidly than ever, several regional observers become restless with respect to the consequences of this rising Chinese power in the Asia Pacific region. It is expected that the region would be a different place once China emerges as a regional power in the presence of Japan as an existing economic power and the significant issues involving Taiwan and the ASEAN countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam etc…
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International Relations: China, ASEAN countries
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Download file to see previous pages It sheds light on the facts that endorse that China's intentions at least in the foreseeable future would only be directed towards economic well being and cooperation rather than engaging into any military conflicts with other countries.
The recent acceleration of Chinese progress on economic and military grounds has been raising profound concerns not only on the part of its rivals but also its non-rivals in the region. Asia Pacific as a whole is emerging as the most rapidly growing region in the world owing to the splendid economic development of Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and China. However, the outstanding growth manifested by China during the past few decades has led the regional powers to consider it the most important contender of regional supremacy in the near future.
Notably, China is not the only progressing country in the region. There happen to be several countries in the Asia Pacific the economies of which are growing at a rapid rate. In this scenario, the factors that are leading China as a rising superpower in the region appear to be the presence of a huge domestic market, central position in the region and China's passion to regain its historic influence in the region. Bernstein and Munro (1997, p19) also state that, "China's sheer size and inherent strength, its conception of itself as a centre of global civilization, and its eagerness to redeem centuries of humiliating weakness are propelling it toward Asian hegemony".
As a matter of fact, Chinese rapid growth and its emergence on the political landscape of Asia Pacific as a powerful country happen to be something observed by everyone. Hence the question does not remain of whether or not China will be able to reach the position of regional superpower. Rather, it mostly concerns what would China actually be doing once it arrives at this position. As Gallagher (1994, p169) illuminates that, "this combination of rapid economic growth and increasing military strength has many, in Asia and elsewhere, wondering exactly what the Chinese intend to do with their newly acquired power". This not only suggests the pre-eminence of Chinese growth to the other countries in the region, but also connotes the strategic stance that China is expected to take in the pursuit of establishing its regional hegemony.
The question concerning the impact of prospective Chinese rise in the region needs to be analysed in the perspective of the country's position and relationship with other countries in the Asia Pacific. A brief look at the existing regional scenario with respect to China reveals the constant ongoing heated issues with other countries such as Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. This basically tends to be the factor that leads the concerned countries to perceive the Chinese growing power in the region as threatening to their national security and sovereignty. These countries fear that any increase in Chinese influence in the region will lead the country to use its power to fulfil its strategic objectives, subjugating the interests of others. Gallagher (1994, p170) also argues that, "China's growing economic and military ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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