1st Edition

China’s Foreign Policy The Emergence of a Great Power

    This volume explains China’s foreign policy from the perspective of its historical recovery after 1949 and the country’s subsequent rise as a great power, including its transformation into a global power. It also illuminates how China has, in tandem with its rise, developed an increasing array of political, economic, ‘sharp power’ and military capabilities that is helping it to further its increasingly expansive foreign policy objectives. The volume examines two key questions: What have been the implications of China’s rise for its foreign policy? And how has an increasingly powerful and confident China used a range of foreign policy instruments to pursue its expanding national interests in Asia and beyond?

    The volume is divided into three parts, covering the conceptualization and drivers of China’s foreign policy, China’s relations with the world, and the instruments of China’s foreign policy, namely its economic power, military capabilities and its ‘sharp power’ manipulation of information and relationships. It will be of interest to academics, students and researchers interested in understanding China’s role in world politics.

    The Authors


    Part I: Conceptualization and Drivers of China’s Foreign Policy

    1. Introduction: China’s Foreign Policy
    2. Conceptualizing China as an International Actor
    3. Historical Drivers of China’s Foreign Policy
    4. China and its Lost Territories
    5. Part II: China’s Relations with the World

    6. China-Soviet Union/Russia Relations
    7. China’s Relations with the United States
    8. China-Asia Relations
    9. China’s Relations with the Rest of the World
    10. Part III: Instruments of China’s Foreign Policy

    11. China’s Military Power and Foreign Policy
    12. China’s Belt-and-Road Initiative
    13. China’s ‘Sharp Power’ Manipulation of Information and Relationships



    Andrea Benvenuti is Associate Professor in Politics and International Relations at the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia.

    Chien-Peng (C.P.) Chung is Professor in the Department of Political Science, Lingnan University, Hong Kong.

    Nicholas Khoo is Associate Professor in the Politics Programme, School of Social Sciences, University of Otago,  New Zealand.

    Andrew T. H. Tan is Professor in the Department of Security Studies and Criminology, Macquarie University, Australia.

    "China’s rise is the most important geopolitical issue today. Yet, it is difficult to find clear, comprehensive, analysis of how China has emerged with such force onto the world stage. This book, therefore, fills a much-needed gap as it covers China’s materialization as a great power since 1949, and, crucially, covers Beijing's assertive foreign policy since the Xi Jinping era. Theoretically and historically grounded, it is the most complete, yet compact and readable, work on the subject. It will become the indispensable work on China's foreign policy."

    M. L. R. Smith, Professor of Strategic Theory, King's College London, author of Year of the Bat: Globalization, China and the Coronavirus (London: Civitas, 2020, with Niall McCrae)

    "This book represents a comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to China’s foreign policy. The most outstanding feature of this book is its historical approach that not only analyzes the changes and continuities in China’s foreign policy, but also gives insight into the linkage between China’s increasingly expansive foreign policy and the historical context of China’s rise. This thoughtfully written book should be essential reading for scholars, students, and policymakers."

    Dong Zhang, Assistant Professor, Division of Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

    "By placing China’s rise in the context of its enduring security challenges since 1949, this comprehensive and accessible survey will guide students to a sound understanding of China’s foreign policy and its meaning for its regional neighbors and for the rest of the world."

    Andrew J. Nathan, Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science, Columbia University