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Inside China's Grand Strategy

The Perspective from the People's Republic

Ye Zicheng

Publication Year: 2011

China’s enormous size, vast population, abundant natural resources, robust economy, and modern military suggest that it will emerge as a great world power. Inside China’s Grand Strategy: The Perspective from the People’s Republic offers unique insights from a prominent Chinese scholar about the country’s geopolitical ambitions and strategic thinking. Ye Zicheng, professor of political science in the School of International Studies at Peking University, examines China’s interactions with current world powers as well as its policies toward neighboring countries. Despite claims that repressive domestic policies and an economic slowdown are evidence that the country’s efforts toward modernization will fail, Ye points to China’s inclusion in the G-20 as an indicator of success. Ye compares China’s global ascension, particularly its emphasis on peace, to the historical experiences of rising European superpowers, providing an insider look at a country poised to become an increasingly prominent international power.

Published by: The University Press of Kentucky

Series: Asia in the New Millennium

Front cover

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Copyright page

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pp. v

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pp. vii-x

Late at night on September 20, 2008, my old schoolmate and friend Professor Guoli Liu called me from the United States with some good news. The translation of my book Inside China’s Grand Strategy was now complete and would soon be published by the University Press of Kentucky. After the phone call, I was very excited and could not fall asleep for a ...

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Further Thoughts on the Life Expectancy of U.S. Hegemony

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pp. xi-xii

In 2008, many important economic events occurred in rapid succession in the United States. There was a subprime mortgage crisis. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the country’s two largest mortgage companies, were faced with serious financial difficulties. The government had no choice but to take control of them. On September 15, the country’s fourth-largest...

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Introduction: Understanding a View from Beijing

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pp. 1-11

China’s rapid rise as a global economic power has resulted in its growing political influence and military capability. Scholars in the United States, Europe, and Japan have engaged in serious debates about China’s grand strategy and its implications.1 Apart from some China scholars and international relations experts, however, the outside world has not paid close ...

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1. China's Development as a World Power: Objective Conditions, Strategic Opportunity, and Strategic Choices

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pp. 13-75

The elephant mentality. According to this viewpoint, it is unrealistic to believe that China can achieve its objective of becoming a world power. “It is impossible for China to catch up with the West, not to mention surpassing it, in the twenty-first century. There is no way to tell whether it ...

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2. China's Rise: Key Strategic Choices

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pp. 77-90

Some analysts hold that China should assign top priority to developing military capabilities and treat economic interests as secondary.1 Others hold that, while there is nothing wrong with emphasizing economic development, Western countries and the United States will not allow China the time it needs to do so. Accordingly, it should focus on ...

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3. Relations with the United States: China’s Strategic Choices

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pp. 91-125

After the Cold War, the United States became the world’s sole superpower. Therefore, the Sino-U.S. relationship became the most important one in China’s foreign relations and, arguably, the most important bilateral relationship in the world. The United States is important to China for three reasons. First, as the largest developing country, China needs a ...

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4. Chinas's Relations and Strategic Choces with Other Developing World Powers

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pp. 127-174

Developing or quasi world powers may at times be regarded as the fourth type of world power. They are those powers capable of competing for the position of a world power and on the threshold of becoming one in the near future. In absolute terms, their national power may exceed that of any large powers in the past, but their influence on world aff airs does ...

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5. China and Its Neighbors: Geopolitical and Strategic Choices

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pp. 175-222

As recent trends indicate, China’s development into a global power is occurring in conjunction with the development of its neighboring countries. In many ways, its growth can benefit them by creating an East Asian economic cooperation system. For example, the lifestyle of the Chinese people has changed significantly thanks to economic development. ...

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6. China and Unification: Strategic Choices on the Taiwan Issue

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pp. 223-256

Unification is closely tied to the growth of great powers. Without unification, great powers cannot emerge. The development of world civilizations illustrates this point, which is one that China should bear in mind: “From the perspective of the Chinese people, China can become a great power in the true sense of that term only aft er it completes the process ...

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pp. 257-263

In May and June 2002, while I was lecturing at East China University in Taiwan, I finished writing Inside China’s Grand Strategy, a book that was published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in November 2003. More than seven years have passed since then, and there have been many changes regarding various subjects that the book discusses. Some things I ...


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pp. 265-277


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pp. 279-301

E-ISBN-13: 9780813126463
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813126456

Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: Asia in the New Millennium

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • China -- Foreign relations -- 1976-
  • China -- Economic policy -- 2000-.
  • China -- Strategic aspects.
  • China -- Politics and government -- 1976-2002.
  • Geopolitics -- Asia.
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