The future of the current international order in light of the rise of major powers: a case study of the People’s Republic of China

Prepared by: Iman Ayman Al-Fakharani – The Arab Democratic Center

an introduction:

      The international order is now witnessing transformations, including the rise of major countries such as Russia, China and India, in addition to the influence of international organizations, including the BRICS and the European Union, and they are trying to shift the balance of the system in their favor against the American hegemony imposed on them by those actors who recently expressed to the United States that the time of unipolarity has passed so that the system returns to its status The first is multipolar and importantThis research paper tries to find an answer to a question that always preoccupies students in our academic circles, which is where the pattern is heading? Will it remain unilateral or will it return to its first phase in light of the rise of old and new forces influencing the pattern?. The focus will be here on the role of China in Influencing the global order as a state that has never before influenced international relations before, and whose local and global scope has witnessed a gradual shift in its power since the seventies of the last century to make this gradual transformation a feared force that even the pioneer of the current system fears for a major question.Can China change the image of the international system? In the context of its beginning in 2008, that year which witnessed evidence that China can now influence the pattern by overcoming the global crisis, ending in 2016, according to the latest evidence that shows the validity of that perception, which is the expectations of the International Monetary Fund for Determining the extent to which China can influence the current pattern by studying the opportunities that China exploits and the challenges that impede its rise. And through the research results, the researcher will mention whether China has its status after decades prepared to be a pole country, or will it be a country that has surpassed the stage of ascension? The study regarding this previously mentioned problematic will be divided into two topics, the first topic, the elements of the Chinese rise. The second topic challenges facing the global influence of China.

The first topic: the elements of the Chinese rise

        It was not an easy matter for any country to develop its power dimensions in four decades only, as China did, and it could influence the pattern of relations around it, so through that development, as China rose from a revolutionary militant state to a modern state and then to a country that has regional complex relations. To a state whose role turns into a global state through setting up a plan to increase its power in the areas or dimensions of its power. That interest The researcher sees that its pattern is different from any interest that a state has made before; There is interest in one field at the expense of another, but this interest is not zero, but in it also developments and fields, and there is a field that serves and supports the other, and from here we can analyze the areas and dimensions of the Chinese rise in three areas, including:

First: – The economic basis

The rise or global influence of China has always been described as a peaceful rise, which it achieved through the increasing interest in its economic capabilities, which occurred as a result of adopting a policy that was different to the one that ruled for a period after the establishment of the country to the extent that the International Monetary Fund expected for the year 2016 that the growth rate of the Chinese economy will increase by a percentage. Even larger than the US and Japanese counterpart, even the Eurozone. Through the development of the Chinese policy of the foundations of its economic capabilities, it becomes clear to us the question of how China was able to exploit this development in the most prominent way of its strength and make it penetrate its economic influence in the world so far? This question will be answered in the form of two components:

  • The global economic crisis of 2008. [1]

The economic crisis that shook the world in 2008 represented the extent of the weakness that afflicted the capitalist countries that were unable to avoid the crisis and the strength of the Chinese economy despite being affected by the fragments of the crisis, but it proved the extent of its ability to avoid it, the repercussions of which were the decline in the rate of the Chinese economy from 10% to 6-8% Because of the association of the Chinese economy with its exports with the capitalist countries, the source of the crisis, in order for the Chinese economy to adjust its economic policy, whether internal or external, to put an end to the impact of that crisis in reducing the interest rate at home to 5%. As for the situation of its foreign policy, continuing to provide support to the Chinese economy, buying shares of Western companies And by exploiting China’s success in avoiding the economic crisis, it proved the extent of its competence to have a leadership role in the system and the ability to influence it.

  • China’s economic influence mechanisms.

The most prominent mechanisms of Chinese influence are that it now has intertwined and intertwined economic relations with many countries, whether at the regional or global level, or through linking them to reach the heart of the European world through the initiative that it launched in 2013, and these mechanisms will be divided into two scales:

  • The regional scale

As a result of the opening of diplomatic relations between China and the countries of Central Asia, China presented its security and economic considerations [2] ; those considerations were that considering that most of the Chinese imports of gas and oil from those countries and that for China as an economic financier, China launched its investment policy in These countries, on the one hand, and on the other hand, have met with the aim of securing the Silk Road.

  • Global scale

To complement the extension of global economic penetration, China had an economic plantation, whether in Latin American countries or in the Middle East, or with economically advanced countries on the level of the Latin American continent, whose tool was the achievement of common economic development [3] ; And through which China conducted investment relations with countries in Latin America, namely Peru, Chile and Ecuador. As for the countries of the Middle East and through the Arab-Chinese Cooperation Forum, China’s policy in the Arab countries was similar to what it was in Latin American countries with some strengthening in Relationships are deeply rooted to take the form of commercial, investment and technological exchange [4]. China’s interest in that region is represented as the last stop on the Silk Road. Therefore, it is striving to try to secure that region through the consolidation of economic relations with the Arab countries. Finally, in terms of its relationship with the economically developed countries, that is, its relationship with the G20, through China’s presidency of the G20 [5] ; China has played the role of coordinating the economy of developing countries in terms of raising the capabilities of developing countries in facing the financial and economic risks resulting from the appreciation of the dollar.

By clarifying the strength of the Chinese economy’s presence in all parts of the world and its doing many jobs, including seeking to finance its economy on the one hand, increasing its investment capacity on the other hand, coordinating the economy of developing countries and launching the Belt and Road Initiative [6] through which China will achieve a balance for the global economy from By exporting Chinese surplus production and allowing countries participating in that initiative to export that

Its crown also we can say that China has become the architect of the global economy.

Second: – The cultural component

The economic dimension alone does not have sufficient power to achieve full global influence or control for any country, and this is what China realized. Therefore, the cultural component was a catalyst for the economic constituent.

  • Internal harmony: – It can be inferred politically * [7] that it is a mixture between the will of the dominant state that wants to achieve stability and the desire of the citizen or nationalism to obtain his rights according to the state’s conditions, who has several axes [8]
  1. The political dimension: the Communist Party’s monopoly on power, and the condition of participation in political life is membership in the party.
  2. The cultural dimension: ensuring all rights and freedoms for all nationalities present in China.
  3. Divide China into 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, and 3 municipalities, in order to ensure the freedom of nationalities in government and ease of control.
  • External harmony in the field of international relations: Based on two principles, the principle of the initiative in order to strengthen relations with neighboring countries, for example the Belt and Road Initiative, as previously mentioned, and on the principle of win-win.

The presence of the cultural factor with those characteristics that China imparts makes its rise more peaceful to the regional and global scale, and may provide it with more survival and continuity in the environment of international order, in contrast to the policy of countries that sought before the pattern, whether in the form of pluralism or unilateralism, which was based on the principle of power Mainly to impose its dominance and ensure its survival.

Third: – the military evaluator

It has already been indicated that the Chinese rise has always been described as a peaceful rise that depends mainly on the economic factor supported by the cultural factor, but this does not mean that the Chinese policy neglects the development of its military capabilities. On the contrary, China has developed its military side to the extent that it fears the United States. Before emerging regional countries feared it, an important problem becomes clear to us. Why does China attach importance to the military side and have no armed intervention in the world around it? We will answer this question in two points

  • The Nature of Chinese Foreign Policy.

Before analyzing the nature of China’s foreign policy, a description of the military situation in China must be made, as the Chinese army today is considered the largest in the world in terms of the number of personnel, but with regard to the twenty-first century, the human aspect no longer has the importance it had acquired in the context of the distant times of wars due to The development of modern military equipment and technologies that reduced the role of the human factor, but today China has not lost that theory, so it reduced the human aspect [9] and made developments in military equipment, whether in the airspace or the sea, to the extent that the size of military spending reached a third of the US budget. This development is still limited by its role through the nature of Chinese foreign policy, which mainly adopts the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of countries, and avoiding a collision with the United States [10], In addition to the concept of harmony in international relations, which was explained before.

  • China’s moves in the field of global peace-keeping.

China is among the Security Council countries that have the largest number of world peacekeepers, and it is at the forefront of the countries that contribute most to the international peacekeeping budget, in addition to sending naval fleets to carry out maritime escort missions in accordance with Security Council resolutions. (11)

The purpose behind China’s development of its military capabilities is not to have global power and influence, but rather to have a defensive military force; [12] In order to preserve Chinese territory “Taiwan”, and to deter its arch-enemy Japan, and its desire to establish a military balance with the United States in the Pacific Ocean. When comparing the military, economic and cultural components, we find that the Chinese policy attaches the economic aspect a great interest supported by the cultural factor Regarding the military side, it is only valued for use as a defense system.

The second topic is the challenges facing the Chinese rise

        A follower of the history of international relations finds that when any state issues actions that affect the nature and pattern of international relations, it necessarily faces challenges that try to weaken its influence by the countries that dominate the system, as was the case in Europe before the First World War, and of course through the magnitude of the influence China will face challenges that try to limit its global role, and in this regard, the researcher puts a problem: How can China face these challenges on both the internal and external levels?

Internal challenges: – As a result of China’s adoption of a policy of reform and openness, and although it has benefited the Chinese situation, it has had a negative impact on the Chinese interior to some extent. And the great disparity between living standards, through the state’s concentration in the Politburo and the Standing Committee of the Politburo. These challenges all capitalist countries suffer from before the socialist countries. He sets policy and creates it, and he creates solutions to face its repercussions.

External challenges: The most prominent external challenges that impede the rise of China are:

  1. Maintaining the unity and territorial integrity of China, as China faces separatist tendencies from Taiwan and the regions of Tibet and Xinjiang, as well as the conflict between the Philippines and the Philippines over the islands of Spartley and Paracel. Foreign policy in order to solve this crisis has always sought to use peaceful means, not military means, which will be considered a threat to its peaceful rise. [13] .
  2. The containment policy pursued by the United States, which seeks to impose it again on the Chinese giant through military alliances with other emerging countries such as India and Japan [14] . However, China’s development of its economic relations with the countries of Southeast Asia has made this policy unsuccessful.
  3. Slowdown in the rate of economic growth, which resulted from the increase in the rate of investment [15] , the export of cheap labor, which China avoided through the Belt and Road initiative and persuaded the International Monetary Fund to accept the Chinese yuan as an international currency.
  4. Lack of flexibility in Chinese diplomacy; [16] As the nature of decision-making is characterized by complexity and the absence of the comprehensive nature of Chinese foreign policy in its self-reliance and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. Regarding the nature of the foreign policy, the researcher believes that these characteristics will not be able to be changed by China even under its leadership of the pattern. During the extrapolation of Chinese history, it was never mentioned that the Chinese Empire had previously interfered in other affairs or even attempted to attack the territories of neighboring civilizations.


By studying the factors of strength and weakness in China, it becomes clear that it is difficult for China to turn into a polar state, which must have features, including independence, and this condition is difficult to achieve in light of the complexity of economic relations at the world level, and the comprehensive nature of possessing the elements of power, as it has economic power Likewise, cultural, as for ideological power, it has abandoned it, albeit not absolutely in favor of its pragmatic policy, and with regard to its military power, it is subject to the nature of its foreign policy, so the situation of the Chinese giant after decades will transform from a mere emerging country that has already achieved the characteristics of an already emerging country to an influential country in the pattern By how terrible its economic power is.

research results:

  • The trend of Chinese influence to rise economically after realizing its importance, and now all countries give up thinking even just to think about the use of military force, and thus the economic factor becomes important and precedes the military factor for short.
  • In light of the transformation of the global system again into a multi-polar one and the emergence of the Chinese pole, China will present in the folds of this pattern a unique, special case that a country like the one has never done before, which is the separation of economic matters from political matters.

[1] Faleh Mansour Al-Haisah, MA Thesis , Opportunities and Challenges for Chinese Growth as a Great Power , Mutah University, 2009.

(2) Baher Mardan, Chinese Relations with Central Asian Countries , Academy Center, 2014, website link

[3] Muhammad Ali Hassan, China Expanding in Latin America , Al- Badil Center, published December 5, 2016, website link .

[4] Eman Fakhry An Economic Vision for the Arab-Chinese Cooperation Forum , China Today Magazine, July 2016 issue, p. 49.

[5] He Ya Fe, G20 What can China do for the growth of the global economy? , China Today magazine, July 2016 issue, p. 33

[6] The Belt and Road Initiative, launched by the current president of China, aims to develop the economy of the countries through which the two roads pass, which consist of two land lines and a sea line that both end in Europe. In order to strengthen this line, China established the Asian Investment Bank and the Silk Fund.

[7] This concept was deduced from a previous study of the case of China.

[8]  Muhammad Numan Jalal, Civilized revival: What future for China in the global system? , Supplement to the Journal of International Politics, January 2017 issue, p.8.

[9] The increase in Chinese military power and its contribution to world peace , China Today, published August 1, 2017, website link

[10] Hussein Ismail, The Priority of the Economy, the Implications of the Shifts in the Pattern of Development on the Prospects for the Chinese Rise , Supplement of the Journal of International Politics, January issue, 2017, p.

[11] Previous reference, the increase in Chinese military power and its contribution to world peace .

[12] The rulings of Abd al-Rahman, The Peaceful Rise of China , Arab Politics, Issue 14, published in May 2015, website link

[13] Jeng Yuan Ling, translated by Muhammad Kamal, Belt and Road Transformations of Chinese Diplomacy in the Twenty-first Century , Safsafa Publishing House, Cairo, 2017, p. 158.

[14] The rulings of Abd al-Rahman, The Peaceful Rise of China , Arab Politics, Published May 2015, Issue 14, the website link has been previously included.

[15] Hussein Ismail, The Priority of the Economy: Reflections of the Shifts in the Pattern of Development on the Prospects for Chinese Rise , Supplement of the Journal of International Politics, January issue, 2017, p. 15.

[16] Zheng Yunleng, translated by Muhammad Kamal, The Belt and the Road, Changes in Chinese Diplomacy in the Twenty-first Century , Al-Safafa, Cairo, pp. 163: 161.

Characteristics of the emerging country : achieving high rates of economic growth, the ability to influence the economy and adapt to various changes and form blocs against American hegemony and its possession of military capabilities.

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a bachelor's degree in political science and international relations as well as a Master's degree in international security studies, alongside a passion for web development. During my studies, I gained a strong understanding of key political concepts, theories in international relations, security and strategic studies, as well as the tools and research methods used in these fields.

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