Using a case study of Beijing’s participation in the Shangri-La Dialogue, a prominent annual security gathering in Singapore, this article analyses China’s approach to Asian security multilateralism. It does so by developing and employing a typology consisting of four characterizations of multilateral engagement: China as “blocker”; China as “socialized participant”; China as “shaper”; and China as “opportunistic participant”. The article shows that in its approach to the Shangri-La Dialogue, China displays all four of these traits, while noting that some are more prevalent and compelling at certain points in time. It uses this finding to draw conclusions about Beijing’s future engagement with the Shangri-La Dialogue and its broader approach to security multilateralism. It also contributes to the larger debate over whether China is a “revisionist” or a “status quo” rising power.


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pp. 29-48
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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