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“Will China’s Rise Lead To War?”

1302 words - 6 pages

The rise of China and the impact it will have is the subject of much speculation. In his paper, “Will China’s Rise Lead to War?” Glaser (2011) looks at this issue. Glaser contends that the outcome of China-U.S. relations is not predetermined to be a repetition of the U.S.-Soviet Cold War or even a hegemonic war as per the standard realist’s view, nor does he agree with the liberal view that the current international order will accept China’s rise peacefully. Glaser’s thesis is that major confrontation can be avoided; he argues that the forces that could create a hegemonic conflict between the two powers are weak; that the greatest dangers will be created through “secondary disputes.” Glaser ...view middle of the document...

Currently China is embroiled in territorial disputes for islands with both Japan and the Philippines causing China both internal unrest, through public demonstrations as well as international condemnation and criticism from many parties including the U.S. and her allies.

The geographical positioning of China and the US makes the risk of a conventional invasive conflict between the two unlikely and both maintain sufficient nuclear weapons to protect their vital interests and act as a deterrent for nuclear exchange; under current circumstances, war between the two is unlikely. These points are well supported by Glaser, but the question still remains regarding the intentions of China’s possible expansion and how the U.S. will respond to protect the interests of both the U.S.A. and her allies in the Asia/Pacific region. The implausibility of a hegemonic war between the two nations is reiterated by Kolodziej (1992, 27) while discussing international security and the “state and order” dimension of the security system. In her research article, Bonnie Glaser (2007) contends that China’s foreign policy is one of peaceful development; the paper examines the term, “peaceful rise”, first used by China’s leaders in late 2003, but dropped from use by early 2004 to be replaced with a modified statement “peaceful development.” In April 2004 Politburo standing committee member, Zeng Qinghong at the Opening Ceremony of the 60th Session of the United Nations Economic and Social commission for Asia made comments that promised China “would never seek hegemony, no matter how well developed it becomes and labelled [sic] China’s path as peaceful development.” Glaser (2007, 300)

Charles Glaser (2011) claims that conflict between the two countries has potential to arise in what he calls “secondary disputes” between China and her Northern-Asian neighbours to whom the US has strategic alliances with; namely Japan, Korea and most importantly Taiwan (interestingly he did not mention Southeast-Asia where a territorial issue is currently being played out). “The One-China Principle has been evolved in the course of the Chinese people's just struggle to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and its basis, both de facto and de jure, is unshakable. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China.” Taiwan Affairs Office (2000) Glaser contends that the “growth in China’s power may nevertheless require some changes in U.S. foreign policy that Washington will find disagreeable---particularly regarding Taiwan.” Glaser (2011, 86) Later Glaser (2011) states that although current U.S. foreign policy is not designed to encourage Taiwanese independence, nor will the U.S. necessarily come to Taiwan’s aid if Taiwan formally declares independence; he says that Washington may well be led into a crises they are not able to control through maintaining their alliances. His solution is for the U.S. to back away from its commitments in Taiwan, but his argument that the impact of...

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