Chinese Hegemony: Grand Strategy and International by Feng Zhang

By Feng Zhang

Chinese Hegemony: Grand approach and overseas associations in East Asian History joins a speedily starting to be physique of vital literature that mixes background and diplomacy idea to create new views on East Asian political and strategic habit. The ebook explores the strategic and institutional dynamics of diplomacy in East Asian historical past while imperial China was once the undisputed nearby hegemon, focusing extensive on important facets of chinese language hegemony on the time: the grand concepts China and its buddies followed of their strategic interactions, and the foreign associations they engaged in to keep up nearby order—including yet no longer restricted to the tribute system.

Feng Zhang attracts on either chinese language and Western highbrow traditions to strengthen a relational concept of grand technique and basic associations in neighborhood kinfolk. the idea is evaluated with 3 case reviews of Sino-Korean, Sino-Japanese, and Sino-Mongol kin in the course of China's early Ming dynasty—when a kind of Confucian expressive approach used to be an important function of neighborhood kin. He then explores the coverage implications of this relational version for figuring out and interpreting modern China's upward thrust and the altering East Asian order. The booklet indicates a few ancient classes for knowing modern chinese language overseas coverage and considers the opportunity of a extra relational and cooperative chinese language technique within the future.

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Of course, China may not become a hegemon, given the inherent limits and constraints of its power, and the question of a future Chinese hegemony would thus be a moot one. Even so, the value of this study as a historical and theoretical inquiry into international relations in East Asian history will stand. An exploration of the dynamics of historical Chinese hegemony and the intellectual challenges it poses to existing Eurocentric IR theory will in itself make a contribution to IR as a global field of study.

I contend, in addition, that the degree of relational tension was a facilitating condition for the adoption of instrumental or expressive strategies. The tribute system, including both its strategic and its institutional dimensions, can also be explained relationally. Finally, this book makes a much-needed argument about the strategic responses of China’s neighbors to Chinese hegemony in the region. 29 Although an established paradigm on regional responses does not seem to exist in the current literature, there are several suggestive views that can serve as a starting point for discussion.

36 This is a point repeatedly made in this book. It is theoretically and empirically elaborated on with explanations of regional strategic dynamics beyond tributary relations. Before proceeding to methodology, a clarification of what I mean by Confucianism is necessary. 38 Some scholars, equating Confucianism with imperial ideology, dismiss it as having any causal role in foreign policy or any utility in building modern social-science theory. Such a simplistic view can no longer be sustained. ”40 We need to at least make a distinction between intellectual Confucianism, or Confucianism as an intellectual tradition and the point of view of the shi (士 literati; see Appendix II for translation of key Chinese terms and expressions) class,41 and imperial Confucianism, or Confucianism as the ideology of the imperial Chinese polity.

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