Xi Jinping took office in 2013 with a vision for a “new type of major-power relations” between China and the United States. What does this concept mean and why is it important now? An examination of the current Chinese discourse on major-power relations, as reflected in official and scholarly writings, reveals more continuity than change in China’s external orientation. China’s major-powers model reinforces (1) peaceful intentions rather than hegemonic aspirations, (2) the primacy of advancing China’s domestic development rather than its international position, and (3) tensions between China’s dual identities as a rising power and developing economy. The most distinct feature of this model is that it remains a Chinese proposition, posing a question as to the extent to which the United States and China are aligned in perceptions of their future relationship and the international order more broadly.


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pp. 493-522
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