This article examines the relationship between security strategy and the policy of "opening up to the outside world" (the Open Policy). In contrast to most Chinese scholars and China watchers in the West who focus only on how China’s security strategy is formulated to meet its strategic interest at the systemic level, the article asks what "security" means and whose "interest" it serves in order to understand what it means to be a supporter for or an opponent of the Open Policy in China. Through a review of Chinese strategic literature in the 1990s and interviews with Chinese strategists, the article attempts to identify the elites with power to discuss the issues concerning security policy. It then compares their interests derived from the Open Policy to their perceptions of the external security environment. The article then suggests three strategic choices, all of which have supporters from the elite groups identified in the research.


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pp. 133-177
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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