Pubblicato in: Cina, Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Cina non divide l’Unione Europea: è già divisa. Ceec.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-04-15.

Ceec. 16 + 1. 0021

Delle cose importanti nessuno ama parlarne.

Se è vero che Mr Li sia venuto in Europa a parlare con i Governi Italiano e Francese, per poi avere una riunione con la dirigenza uscente dell’Unione Europea, sarebbe altrettanto vero ricordarsi che terminate queste incombenze si è diretto alla riunione della Ceec, il Gruppo 16 +1. Ceec significa Central and Eastern European Countries.


Via Seta: premier cinese Li in Croazia per vertice ’16+1′

«BELGRADO, 11 APR – Il premier cinese Li Keqiang, alla guida di una numerosa delegazione governativa, è giunto oggi a Dubrovnik, sulla costa dalmata croata, per un vertice di due giorni con i Paesi dell’Europa centrorientale e dei Balcani, il cosiddetto formato ’16+1′ il cui obiettivo è il rafforzamento della collaborazione dei Paesi della regione con Pechino e lo sviluppo di progetti comuni, in particolare in campo infrastrutturale ed energetico. L’iniziativa è considerata parte integrante del progetto cinese noto come ‘Via della Seta’ mirante a una sempre maggiore penetrazione dell’economia e delle aziende cinesi sui mercati del mondo. Ieri Li Keqiang è stato in visita ufficiale a Zagabria dove ha avuto colloqui con la dirigenza croata, a margine dei quali sono stati firmati diversi accordi bilaterali.

Lo scorso anno la società statale cinese China Road and Bridge Corporation (Crbc) si è aggiudicata il contratto per la costruzione del ponte di Peljesac, nel sud della Dalmazia, il più grande progetto infrastrutturale in Croazia il cui valore ammonta a 280 milioni di euro. Per oggi, riferiscono i media, è in programma una visita del premier cinese ai cantieri di questa opera, al cui finanziamento partecipa in larga parte la Ue. Il ponte di Peljesac sarà lungo 2,4 km e avrà un’altezza di 55 metri, con quattro corsie. I tempi di costruzione sono previsti in tre anni. Quello di oggi e domani a Dubrovnik è l’ottavo vertice fra Cina e Paesi Ceec (Central and Eastern European Countries), 11 dei quali sono membri della Ue. Del formato ’16+1′ fanno parte Albania, Bosnia-Erzegovina, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Croazia, Montenegro, Macedonia del Nord, Polonia, Ungheria, Repubblica ceca, Slovacchia, Slovenia, Lituania, Lettonia, Estonia»

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Della Ceec, il 16+1, ne abbiamo già diffusamente parlato.

Cina. Ceec, un nome da imparare. Dazi ridotti dal 17.3% al 7.7%.

Asia alla conquista dell’Europa dell’Est.

Cina. Ceec 16 + 1. L’Occidente inizia a preoccuparsi.

«The 16+1 was established in 2012 as a multilateral platform facilitating cooperation between China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC).»

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«In recent years, the platform’s summits have attracted a lot of attention, especially in Western Europe»

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«The intensifying level of engagement between the 16 countries in the CEE region and China has considerably alarmed Brussels and Berlin»

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«Many Western European observers and policymakers have raised concerns about the potential risks of growing Chinese presence in Eastern Europe, claiming that Beijing’s major interest in engaging with the region is a part of its long-term strategy to undermine EU unity»

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Basta dare un’occhiata sia pur distratta alla carta geografica, aggiungerci l’Italia, e gli schieramente saltano immediatamente agli occhi.

La Cina in Europa c’è già, e l’Europa si è già divisa.

Eastern European countries form a crucial part of its Belt and Road Initiative

«Li made clear that projects such as the Chinese-built Peljesac Bridge in Croatia could “inspire future cooperation,” especially for central and eastern European countries hoping to lure investment home»

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Gli investimenti cinesi nei paesi dell’est europeo hanno ampiamente superato quelli fatti dall’Unione Europea, che li ha sempre trattati da parenti pover, scagliandosi infine contro di essi perché sono fieri del loro retaggio religioso, storico, culturale e sociale. Si pensi solo alle diatribe ideologiche contro la Polonia e l’Ungheria.

Adesso anche l’ultima mazzata nei denti.

Greece eyes 16+1 group of China and eastern European states [Financial Times]

«Greece wants to join a club of eastern European countries looking to deepen ties with China, in a move that highlights Beijing’s growing clout in the bloc despite wariness in Brussels.

Alexis Tsipras, Greece’s prime minister, this month informed the members of the “16+1” group of China and central and eastern European states — 11 of them EU members — of his country’s willingness to join them, according to a letter seen by the Financial Times.

A formal announcement is expected to be made at the group’s annual gathering this week in Croatia, according to a diplomat who will attend the meeting. “The participation of Greece . . . is consistent with the willingness of my country to enhance its role in the region and promote peace and co-development, also on the basis of its strategic co-operation with China,” Mr Tsipras wrote in a letter to Zoran Zaev, prime minister of North Macedonia. ….

The move comes as the European Commission branded Beijing a “systemic rival” and was alarmed by Italy’s decision to become the first G7 country to endorse the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s global infrastructure investment drive. Greece is already part of BRI and has welcomed Chinese investment after being severely hit by the eurozone debt crisis. The Port of Piraeus in Athens is an important container trans-shipment point for Cosco, China’s state shipping company. ….

Since the 16+1 was formed in 2012, Beijing has announced more than $15.4bn worth of investments in the 16 countries, with more than 70 per cent going to the five non-EU members in the group»

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Bruxelles non dovrebbe preoccuparsi che arrivino i cinesi: ci sono già.


Deutsche Welle. 2019-04-12. China promises not to divide EU at eastern Europe summit

China’s premier has vowed to respect European Union trade rules, amid fears about preferential treatment for some entities. Brussels is worried Beijing — present at a summit of eastern states — could divide the bloc.

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday said that China would “cooperate and respect European standards” at the opening of the eighth annual summit on cooperation between Beijing and eastern European countries in Croatia.

Before a breakthrough earlier this week, leading EU member states — including Germany and France — had expressed concerns that Beijing may attempt to divide the bloc with its separate summit focusing on relations with Europe’s eastern states.

Brussels is particularly worried about European access to Chinese markets. Currently, Chinese companies have greater access to EU markets than their European equivalents. But China has signaled its intention to change that.

“We welcome openness and we want to treat all companies that operate in China equally and to increase imports from the (European) countries,” Li said, using an interpreter. “China is open to the world.”

Europe on China’s ‘Silk Road’

For China, eastern European countries form a crucial part of its Belt and Road Initiative, which is commonly referred to as the new “Silk Road.”

The project imagines overland and maritime routes linking China to markets across the globe, including Europe, Africa and other parts of Asia. But the initiative has come under scrutiny, in part due to some projects failing to take off or having been scrapped permanently.

But Li made clear that projects such as the Chinese-built Peljesac Bridge in Croatia could “inspire future cooperation,” especially for central and eastern European countries hoping to lure investment home.

“With Greece joining in with all the central and eastern European countries … we will deepen China’s relationship with the EU,” Li said.

Shady involvement

Meanwhile, the EU has also expressed concerns about Chinese involvement in the projects, especially after Italy signed on in a nonbinding “Silk Road” pact.

Last month, EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger expressed “concern that in Italy and other European countries, infrastructure of strategic importance like power networks, rapid rail lines or harbors are no longer in European but in Chinese hands.”

Other infrastructure projects, including the rollout of 5G networks, have come under wider scrutiny, in part due to heightened fears that Chinese involvement could compromise national security. Telecommunications giant Huawei has been singled out by the US and other countries for purportedly maintaining close ties to Chinese security services.

Annunci
Pubblicato in: Cina, Commercio, Unione Europea

Summit Eu – China. Dichiarazioni di intenti.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-04-09.

2019-04-09__Summit_China__001

Si è aperto il summit tra Mr Li, Mr Juncker e Mr Tusk.

Come si vede dalla fotografia, pur essendo Mr Juncker e Mr Tusk equiparati a capi di stato, la Cina era presente con il suo primo ministro: sbavatura sostanziale ai comuni protocolli diplomatici. Capi di stato ricevono capi di stato.

È uno dei modi cinesi per ricordare come stiano le cose.

Subito gli eventi lieti. Mr Juncker barcollava per gli evidenti segni della sciatica alcolica che lo affligge da anni, la voce era abburattata, ma questa volta però non ha urinato sulle parti della sala riunione. Ma c’è ancora tempo.

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Germany’s Manfred Weber warns of China ‘shopping spree’

«The European Union should prevent Chinese firms from going on a “shopping spree,” buying up strategic assets, a top contender for the European Commission presidency said Saturday.

Manfred Weber, the leader of the conservative European People’s Party (EPP), warned that the EU should not be naive in its approach to China.»

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EU seeks more assertive strategy with China

«The “distortive” effects of China’s economic policies and growing power top the agenda on the final day of the EU summit. Leaders are looking for ways to counter what they describe as a “systemic rival.

European leaders are set to sign off on a 10-point plan regarding relations with China at the EU summit Friday. 

In the face of China’s growing economic and political influence, Brussels is seeking a “more realistic” and “assertive” approach towards what the bloc describes as both a “partner” and a “systemic rival” due to China’s tightly controlled market.”

The strategy formulated by the EU includes:

– protection against “unfair practices of third countries and investments that threaten security or public order”

– a more “balanced and reciprocal economic relationship” including a reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO)

– addressing the “distortive effects of foreign state ownership and state financing”

– reciprocal access to public procurement markets

-strengthening cooperation on climate change and in international organizations».

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Con questi presupposti non si poteva attendere altro che dichiarazioni di intenti.

Poi, forse, potrebbe anche maturare qualcosa di più consistente, ma Mr Li sa bene come questa dirigenza europea stia volgendo a termine mandato.


Deutsche Welle. 2019-04-09. EU announces ‘breakthrough’ on trade with China

China has vowed at a summit with the EU not to make companies share intellectual property. The talks marked a significant shift for Beijing amid growing concerns about China’s influence in Europe.

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The European Union and China pledged to strengthen their trade relationship and work towards opening up China’s economy for foreign investors at a summit in Brussels on Tuesday.

The annual summit comes a month after the European Commission branded Beijing a “systemic rival” over what they said were unfair trade practices, and amid an ongoing US trade war with China.

The main takeaways from the summit:

In a seven-page joint declaration that was signed after last-minute negotiations, Brussels and Beijing agreed to the following changes:

– A commitment toward “broader” and “non-discriminatory” market access, in wording that the EU saw as a shift from China on opening up its economy.

– On surrendering intellectual property to gain access to China’s market, both sides agreed “there should not be a forced transfer of technology.”

– Increase efforts to strengthen international rules against state subsidies for industries.

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Equal treatment’ for European companies

Speaking after the summit in Brussels, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said that European companies will enjoy “equal treatment” in China.

“We will not treat EU companies, especially those registered in China, with discriminatory policy, including solely foreign-owned companies in China,” Li said. “And likewise Chinese companies should not be discriminated against in their operation in the European Union, he added.

European Council President Donald Tusk hailed China’s signing of the joint statement as a “breakthrough,” particularly Beijing’s commitment to strengthen rules against industrial subsidies.

“This is a breakthrough. For the first time China has agree to engage with Europe on this key WTO reform,” Tusk said.

Concerns over China’s influence

The EU has grown increasingly concerned about Chinese state-led companies buying key European assets, while the level of market openness is not reciprocated in China.

Politicians and businesses in the EU and the United States have criticized China for forcing foreign companies to hand over intellectual property in order to gain access to China’s economy — which is the second largest in the world.

Beijing has repeatedly pledged to open up its economy to foreign companies and investors, but critics say that China hasn’t done much to fulfill this promise.

As US President Donald Trump’s administration is currently embroiled in a trade war with China, Washington has also been pressuring Brussels to take steps against Beijing. Most notably, the US has urged the EU to ban Chinese tech giant Huawei over the company’s alleged ties to state security.

High stakes talks: The EU is China’s biggest trading partner, with two-way trade between the bloc and China worth around €575 billion ($648 billion) annually. The stakes were high for the EU as well, as China is the bloc’s second-biggest trading partner, coming in only after the US.

What happens next: Prime Minister Li will now head to Croatia for another European summit in Croatia on Thursday and Friday with the so-called 16+1 summit. The meeting grants central and eastern European states the chance to meet alone with Beijing, in a move that has garnered criticism from other European countries.

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Deutsche Welle. 2019-04-09. China to ‘further open’ its doors to Europe, PM Li says ahead of summit

China’s Li Keqiang has attempted to quell European skepticism towards China’s investment approach ahead of this week’s EU-China summit. Some fear projects like the Belt and Road initiative aim to bind countries to China.

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China is prepared to “further develop its cooperation” with Europe “to build an open world economy,” Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said in an op-ed published in business daily Handelsblatt on Monday.

“China is ready to work with Europe to promote a mutual opening and a fair and equitable business environment for enhanced cooperation between firms on both sides,” Li said.

Li said China intends to “further develop its cooperation” with Europe over the maintenance of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Iran Nuclear Deal, the fight against terrorism and reforming the World Trade Organization (WTO).

China and the European Union are set to hold a summit on Tuesday on trade relations and global governance.

‘United and prosperous Europe’

Some Europeans worry that China is taking a “divide and conquer” approach to the EU. Those fears were enhanced by trade agreements struck with the 16 countries comprising the Central and Eastern European Cooperation (CEEC) last year and recent nonbinding agreements with some EU countries as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, an industrial investment project spearheaded by President Xi Jinping.

Read more: Can the new foreign investment law level the playing field in China?

But Li said the China-CEEC cooperation “is beneficial to balanced development within the EU, serves to bring unity to the EU and is a useful compliment to relations between China and Europe.”

“We strongly support the European integration process in the hope of a united and prosperous Europe,” Li added.

Fears over ‘New Silk Road’

China has made a strong push to expand their Belt and Road Initiative to Europe. In March, Italy became the first G7 country to join the scheme. Xi has also sought to recruit France for the initiative.

However, since its inception in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative has drawn complaints that it racks up huge debts and leaves nations reliant on China. Some countries, such as Malaysia, have cancelled plans to join the project. Others are also critical of how China forces foreign businesses to relinquish trade secrets to do business within its borders. 

Germany’s Manfred Weber, who aims to succeed European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, has cautioned that the bloc should not be naive in its approach to China. He believes that the Belt and Road Initiative has “political motivation” to leave countries beholden to China. 

The European Commission has also recently labeled China a “systemic rival” and an economic competitor. Günther Oettinger, Germany’s EU commissioner, has even called for EU veto rights  over China’s attempts to commandeer European infrastructure projects. 

Pubblicato in: Cina, Stati Uniti

Cina ed Usa come potenze globali. – The Diplomat.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-05-03.

Animali. Bocca aperta. Civetta. 001

Riportiamo due acuti interventi del prof. Xue Li, “Director of Department of International Strategy at the Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

Trattano della Cina intesa nella visione prospettica di potenza globale.

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La strategia cinese è stata ottimamente sintetizzata in tre frasi.

«Non importa che sia un gatto bianco o un gatto nero, finché cattura topi è un buon gatto» [Deng Xiaoping]

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«si prenda tempo mantenendo un basso profilo, pur senza mancare di fare qualcosa» [Deng Xiaoping]

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«si perseveri nel prendere tempo mantenendo un basso profilo, pur senza mancare di agire in modo proattivo per fare qualcosa» [Hu Jintao]

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Al momento, la Cina sembrerebbe voler consolidare la propria posizione di potenza locoregionale. Questa esigenza ben si attaglia al dettame del basso profilo. Ha costituito un armamentario nucleare strategico, compresi sommergibili ad armamento atomico, e questo le basta, per il momento. Ha costituito una serie di isole artificiali a difesa avanzata del proprio territorio, e questo le basta, per il momento.

Ha un sistema economico produttivo alla avanguardia. Ha riserva valutarie per 3,143 miliardi di Usd e 1,942.6 tonnellate di oro fino.

Secondo lo International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook (October – 2017) la Cina è proiettata nel 2022 ad un pil ppa di 34,465 miliardi Usd, contro i 23,505 miliardi degli Stati Uniti.

Ma è ancora tempo di basso profilo.

Al momento sta investendo oltre 1,000 miliardi Usd nel progetto Belt and Road. È un progetto di lungo termine mirato sui paesi al momento miseri oppure poveri, per dotarli delle infrastrutture che possano farli crescere: tra venti anni la Cina avrà rapporti politici, militari ed economici con quasi tutti i paesi africani, del sud – est asiatico e, parzialmente, dell’America Latina. Sempre per quella epoca anche buona parte di ciò che ora indichiamo come Unione Europea potrebbe essere passata nella sua orbita.

Ciò che ora denominiamo occidente a tale epoca sarà stato circondato ed aggirato strategicamente: i suoi prodotti non avranno mercato.

Il segreto del successo è sconcertantemente semplice: rapporti economici su base più o meno paritetica. I cinesi non si impicciano degli affari interni altrui.

«We suggest that China may be committed to building a Chinese order governed by the ancient concept of li (礼). The main characteristics of this order are: it regards li as the key means to conducting relationships; it is based on a concentric zone structure; and it is open.

What is “li”? Whilst we will adopt “proprietyas the English translation, li is also often translated as “ritual” or “rites.” The word has a broad meaning in Chinese, and can refer to, among other things, proper words or behavior, codes of conduct, ceremonies, gifts, surnames, etc. Li, in the sense of the first two meanings, is one of the Five Constant Virtues (五常 wu chang: 仁 ren, benevolence; 义 yi, righteousness; 礼 li, propriety; 智 zhi, wisdom; and 信 xin, fidelity).

Since the Han Dynasty, Confucianism has become the primary backbone of Chinese culture and has great influence on both the country’s politics and peoples’ lives. Propriety is the key tenet of Confucianism, as it is intrinsically related to each of the other Five Constant Virtues. One must have propriety to realize benevolence and righteousness, while wisdom and fidelity are requirements to achieving propriety»

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Da quattromila anni i cinesi affrontano e risolvono il presente alla luce del futuro.  Possono permettersi di farlo, oltre che per la sua ragionevolezza, per la loro peculiare struttura politica. È alla fine indifferente chi sia il capo pro tempore, ancorché a vita: la strategia è messa a punto nella Scuola Mandarinica, che oggi è denominata Partito Comunista Cinese. È solo un cambio di etichetta: la sostanza è sempre la stessa.


The Diplomat. 2018-04-13. What Might a Chinese World Order Look Like?

Using the ancient concept of Li to understand a Chinese order.

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What kind of world order will China be committed to building? This is a topic of global concern, and one which Chinese scholars need to ponder and answer. We suggest that China may be committed to building a Chinese order governed by the ancient concept of li (礼). The main characteristics of this order are: it regards li as the key means to conducting relationships; it is based on a concentric zone structure; and it is open.

What is “li”? Whilst we will adopt “proprietyas the English translation, li is also often translated as “ritual” or “rites.” The word has a broad meaning in Chinese, and can refer to, among other things, proper words or behavior, codes of conduct, ceremonies, gifts, surnames, etc. Li, in the sense of the first two meanings, is one of the Five Constant Virtues (五常 wu chang: 仁 ren, benevolence; 义 yi, righteousness; 礼 li, propriety; 智 zhi, wisdom; and 信 xin, fidelity).

Since the Han Dynasty, Confucianism has become the primary backbone of Chinese culture and has great influence on both the country’s politics and peoples’ lives. Propriety is the key tenet of Confucianism, as it is intrinsically related to each of the other Five Constant Virtues. One must have propriety to realize benevolence and righteousness, while wisdom and fidelity are requirements to achieving propriety.

Further, ancient China tradition holds that families and countries are based on the same structure, which is underpinned by li. Hence the saying: “man without propriety shall not stand, matters without propriety shall not succeed, and countries without propriety shall not last.” In other words, whether in personal affairs or interstate relations, propriety should always be the foundation, whereas rudeness (the lack of li) can only lead to disaster.

For more than 1,000 years of history, East Asia had an international state system centred on China, namely the Hua-Yi Order (华夷秩序), which refers to China (Hua) and others or, less charitably, “barbarians” (Yi). Under this system, China adopted a policy of “give more but take less” (bo lai hou wang, 薄来厚往). This policy conformed to the Chinese conception of propriety, and it helped maintain the stability of the East Asian region, and thereby the Hua-Yi Order itself.

When driving forward the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China may not copy that ancient policy; however, it is also not placing business interests first. To support the development of China-friendly countries is obviously an important factor, hence the emphases on the correct view of righteousness; the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, and so on; and the implementations of bilateral government cooperation and investment in infrastructure projects seen as less desirable from a business perspective. In a future Chinese order governed by propriety, however, China as a leading country is less likely to stress relative gains, for that is neither a general practice of major powers toward small states, nor is it a traditional Chinese approach.

Li and the Concentric Zone Structure

The Hua-Yi Order was built on a concentric zone structure that expanded from the Emperor’s palace outward. The relationships of the members within the system were both hierarchical and distinguished by their closeness to the center. To understand the Hua-Yi Order, envision a series of concentric circles, with the Emperor’s palace at the heart. Every additional 500 Chinese miles (250 kilometers) in the radius delimits a circle (服 fu); the Chinese considered the Hua-Yi Order to consist of Five Circles (五服 wu fu). The first three circles were considered Hua, which meant the civilized land. The latter two circles were called Yi, which refers to the uncivilized land.

Both interpersonal and interstate relationships could be divided into Five Circles. Traditional Chinese culture believes that the inequality between individuals is normal. What really matters is not how to achieve equality, but how to connect individuals with propriety so as to facilitate an orderly society.

Christianity, on the other hand, has the concept of everyone being equal before God. This basic philosophy evolved into modern concepts like equality before the law, equality between men and women, equality between major and small countries, etc. in Christian-majority countries. However, these concepts have changed from local philosophies to the concepts and practices recognized by most people and countries in the world. Therefore, it is impossible for the Chinese order governed by propriety to rebuild its hierarchy in the modern world.

Still, different degrees of relationship depending on closeness (whether in geography or affinity) to the center cannot be overlooked nor eliminated. Even in today’s international system, the United States has its own particularly close partners: Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

It can be expected that in the Chinese order governed by propriety, China will also classify member countries according to closeness. However, the countries with relatively better relations with China may not necessarily come from the Confucian cultural circle.

The Openness of the System

In the historical Hua-Yi Order, no countries were excluded from joining the system. For places that were considered less civilized lands, that would entail paying tribute or conferring titles (recognizing the prominence of China). These actions were ideally voluntary (although dependencies had less autonomy). This characteristic was mainly due to the concept of “inclusiveness” in Chinese traditional culture and a belief in “harmony in diversity.” Chinese tradition stressed that “if people far away are not obedient, then improve civility and morality to smooth their way” – in other words, a diplomatic approach based on propriety and benevolence was the best choice.

This tradition diverges from the nation-state system created and led by Western countries, which emphasizes alliances and antagonists, and is accustomed to using institutional constraints to assimilate allies.

Since the 1980s, China has promoted independent and peaceful diplomacy, and during the 1990s, this gradually became “partner diplomacy.” After implementing the Belt and Road Initiative, China continues to strengthen partnerships. This is a manifestation of traditional culture and will also be reflected in the Chinese order governed by propriety.

Considering that this order can, by its self-definition, only be established in a peaceful manner, it will be extremely difficult to replace the existing international system. On the other hand, openness also makes the Chinese order governed by propriety compatible with the current international system. The number of countries joining the Chinese order governed by propriety will be dynamic – not too many, nor too few. Members might be spread over all continents, but the majority will be China’s neighboring countries.

In short, the Chinese order governed by propriety is not a power-based order, like the one the Western world has engaged in for hundreds of years, nor is it the sort of rule-based order that many countries have repeatedly promoted to China. It is a bilaterally-oriented new international order founded on Chinese tradition and reformed through modernity. And, importantly, it is compatible with the current international system.


The Diplomat. 2018-04-29. Will China Replace the US Global Role?

China has neither the will nor the capacity to replace the United States as world leader.

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Our previous article suggested that China may be committed to building a world order governed by the ancient Chinese concept of li (礼). Such an order regards propriety as the key means to conducting relationships; is based on a concentric zone structure; and is open. While this order is compatible with the current international system, the majority of the members will be China’s neighboring countries, as well as a small number of countries from other continents.

By the time this order is fully established, will China have replaced the global leadership role currently held by the United States? This depends on two factors. First, does China have such a desire? Second, does China have such a capacity?

Chinese leaders including Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, and Xi Jinping have all clearly stated that “China will never seek hegemony.” Xi also further mentioned that China “is not willing to become the so-called ‘world police’, nor to replace anyone.” This can be taken to mean that China does not have the desire to replace the United States’ global role. Some may argue, however, that a country’s desires are volatile, and that capacity matters more – meaning that China will change its desires when its capacity rises. Is China’s capacity likely to exceed that of the United States, then?

One country’s capacity could be divided into “hard power” and “soft power.” Hard power, particularly economic capacity and military strength, is the foundation of the United States’ global leading role after World War II. But a combination of hard and soft power is the necessary and sufficient condition for a global leader’s rise. The soft power of the United States is mainly embodied in the construction and leadership of the postwar international system, its cultural attributes, the development of science and technology and higher education, and the relatively loose immigration policy.

At the end of WWII, the United States accounted for 60 percent of the global GDP and its industrial production capacity was half of that of the world. Its oil and steel production accounted for 70 percent and 64 percent of the world total, respectively, and the United States held 73.4 percent of the gold reserves of the entire capitalist world at the time. With this hard power as the base, in addition to the United States’ advanced production capacity and technological development, U.S. military strength at the end of the WWII surpassed that of the other victorious Allied powers. Thanks to these advantages, the United States has continuously been the world’s largest economy since WWII, and built a global alliance system and a network of global military bases at the same time.

Unlike Great Britain, France, and other countries that exerted international influence through colonies, the United States preferred to govern the world by establishing a series of international systems: the United Nations and its affiliates for the political and security arena; the alliance system and military base network in the military arena; the Bretton Woods system for finance, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT, which later evolved into the WTO) for trade.

The United States already ranked first in the world in terms of industrial output in 1894. However, it was not until after World War II that it surpassed European countries in terms of technology and higher education. Given the rapid development of the United States in the humanities and social sciences, as well as the influx of European intellectuals during WWII, the United States, by this stage, had replaced the European countries as the global center for scientific research and higher education, thereby attracted talents from all over the world.

The United States’ relatively loose immigration policy also promoted this trend. As a result of gathering global talents, the United States gained an unrivalled capacity for innovation and became a universal home for capable peoples from different countries and civilizations. After WWII, the United States consequently contributed more than 50 percent of the Nobel Prize winners. This talent influx also boosted the U.S. global leadership role. The United States will keep its advantage in attracting high quality immigrants in the foreseeable future.

WWII provided the United States an exceptional opportunity to become a world leader. Reconstructing the world order through war is hard to imagine in the era of nuclear weapons. Given that a peaceful rise is the only realistic choice for China at present, China can only surpass the United States in some specific aspects such as GDP, national defense expenditures, the number of international students, and so on. In terms of the number of allies, global military bases, influence on the United Nations and its affiliates, influence on the global finance sector and so forth, it is very difficult for China to rival the United States.

In addition, cross-civilization governance costs dearly. While U.S. soft power was helped by a global familiarity with European cultural elements, as spread during colonialism, Chinese culture is a typical regional civilization – this significantly raises the cost of China’s global governance and limits China’s global appeal. Further, considering that it is difficult for China to attract global talents like the United States and become a new home for immigrants, China is highly unlikely to outperform the United States in higher education, scientific research, and innovation.

In the process of its rise, China is likely to concentrate on building its own order or system. However, this will be largely limited to regional influence, and mainly reflected in nonmilitary aspects. China can be expected to establish international mechanisms confined to certain areas (such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank), but again, creating dominant international organizations like the United Nations will be impossible for China.

All in all, China is unlikely to replace the United States’ global role after its rise.