Chapter 8: China's geo-strategy and relations with the major powers during the global downturn in 2008-2010
This chapter examines China's strategic relations with the US and other major powers during the global downturn in 2008-2010. It argues that while China has built the national strength to effectively defend its state sovereignty and wield significant global influence, it is still obsessed by its immediate or so-called core interests in response to the daunting internal and external challenges to its regime survival, economic development and territorial integrity. Beijing's recent assertiveness in relations with the Western powers is not joined with a broader vision as a rising global power, making China often reluctant in taking more international responsibilities. For many years after the end of the Cold War, China followed a low profile policy, conditioned by China's limited strength and geostrategic position, to make pragmatic accommodations to the US power position by 'learning to live with the hegemon', that is, making adaptation and policy adjustment to the reality of the US dominance in the international system, because the US held the key for China's modernization (Jia 2005). China's perception of Western powers in general and the US in particular, however, began to change after the financial meltdown in 2008.
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