The Domestic Sources of China's Foreign Policy: Regimes, Leadership, Priorities and Process, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Domestic Sources of China's Foreign Policy

Regimes, Leadership, Priorities and Process, 1st Edition

By Lai Hongyi


216 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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As China’s political and economic influence in the world is rapidly increasing, it is essential to understand how China’s domestic politics affects its foreign political and economic policy. This book offers an accessible, informative and up-to-date systemic analysis of the foreign policy of China. Where mainstream literature on international relations usually suggests that China’s foreign policy is primarily determined by external factors, such as the international system and external settings, this book demonstrates instead that domestic factors profoundly shape China’s foreign policy from the late Mao’s era to the reform era. It demonstrates how China’s foreign policy is driven by the preservation of political and economic regimes; the political survival of the top leader; the top leader’s vision for, and skills in, managing external affairs; the leader’s policy priorities; dramatic events and the process of policymaking. It presents its argument in-depth analysis of major cases of Chinese foreign policy – for example, China’s difficult relations with Southeast Asia; China’s 15-year accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO); China’s oil diplomacy in the recent decade, and the diversified process of foreign policy making in the twenty-first century.


"Linkage politics have long been an intricate question in explaining China's external behavior. In this book, Lai brings us to a new perspective on connecting Chinese leaders' vision, succession politics and domestic political economy with China's foreign policy. This is a must-read for all interested in the rise of a new titan in world politics" - Professor Jae Ho CHUNG, Director: Institute for China Studies, Seoul National University

Table of Contents

Part 1: Analytical Framework 1. Introduction: Bringing Back Domestic Politics in Studies of Foreign Policy 2. Internal Sources of External Policy: An Analytical Framework Part 2: Cases of China’s Foreign Policy 3. Domestic Regimes and Leaders’ Vision: Relations with Southeast Asia 4. Leadership Succession, Priority, Debates, and Shocks: WTO Accession 5. Managing Domestic-External Interaction: China-U.S. WTO Agreement 6. Securing Strategic Resources for Domestic Economy: Oil Diplomacy 7. Institutions and Players: Diversified Policy Making Process Part 3: Conclusion 8. Understanding a Rising China

About the Author

Hongyi Lai is a lecturer at School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, University of Nottingham, UK. He is author of Reform and the Non-State Economy in China: The Political Economy of Liberalization Strategies; the editor of Asian Energy Security: The Maritime Dimension; and co-editor of Harmony and Development: ASEAN-China Relations and China into the Hu-Wen Era: Policy Initiatives and Challenges.

About the Series

China Policy Series

With the rise of China and its impact on the world, interest in China has increased drastically in recent years. This series focuses on policy-oriented research and scholarly works with policy implications, on all aspects of contemporary Chinese economy, politics, society, environment, journalism and cultures.  It also covers China’s foreign relations with major international organizations such as the United Nations, World Trade Organization, and World Bank, and major powers such as the United States, European Union (and its member states), Japan and others.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General