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China’s Eurasian Dilemmas

Roads and Risks for a Sustainable Global Power

R. J. Ferguson

Providing a timely analysis of China’s engagement with Eurasia, R. James Ferguson focuses on the challenges obstructing China’s path to becoming a sustainable global power. Engagement across Eurasia presents China, its leaders and policymakers with intensified contact with regional and national conflicts, posing environmental, developmental and strategic dilemmas.
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Chapter 8: The Eurasian end-game: from regional roles to sustainable global power

R. J. Ferguson


In Eurasian processes, China has avoided letting Russian security initiatives undermine its more nuanced approach toward the super-region. The PRC leadership understands that the formation of a G2 ‘ruling diarchy’ with the US would result in it becoming a junior partner, delaying the future struggle for power primacy. These factors have led Chinese foreign, economic and security policies along several parallel directions. China has enhanced its roles in international organizations, including ASEAN, the ADB, IMF and UN. It has founded parallel institutions including BRICS, the SCO, BRI and the AIIB. The AIIB demonstrates the kind of institutional learning that will be required as China becomes a stronger global player in development, aid and financing agenda. China’s ‘hyperactive’ diplomacy has built ‘special’ relations with over 47 states, and engaged over 67 in BRI programmes. However, a cooperative, multipolar order with wide power diffusion could be derailed by a failure of the BRI as a whole, by unresolved global crises, or the evolution of a bipolar Eurasian versus Euro-Atlantic order.

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