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 “Decoding Chinese concepts for the global order – How Chinese scholars rethink and shape foreign policy concepts.”

The Chinese leadership wants to shape the global order. But what exactly does this mean? Official statements are frequently vague and strategic debates are rarely open to the public. MERICS Research Associate Sabine Mokry has analyzed articles in leading Chinese journals on International Relations. She presents the results of her research in the new MERICS China Monitor “Decoding Chinese concepts for the global order – How Chinese scholars rethink and shape foreign policy concepts.”

Chinese experts increasingly question Western ideas and see them as part of a failing and obsolete world order. Influential academic schools take it as a given that the government in Beijing will assume a regional or even global leadership role. They do not discuss whether or why China should assume that role. The current academic discourse focuses on how China should lead – mirroring a new Chinese assertiveness in foreign policy.

Increasingly, Chinese experts argue that their country’s successful development in the last decades could serve as a development model internationally. Government officials promote Chinese foreign policy concepts on the international stage and insert CCP rhetoric into official documents of international organizations. In June 2017, the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution submitted by China called “The contribution of development to the enjoyment of all human rights.” The resolution portraits the “right to development” as a necessary precondition for attaining human rights.

Chinese visions and concepts not only influence Beijing’s current foreign policy, they also constitute a window into a possible future world order with a powerful China as the central actor. For political decision makers, researchers and the general public in Europe it is essential to systematically look into the ideas that circulate in Chinese foreign policy debates.

You can read the online version of the China Monitor here or download a PDF version here. 

We hope you enjoy this product and look forward to your feedback. 


Frank N. Pieke (CEO MERICS)
Claudia Wessling (Head of Publications MERICS)


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