Two major features of international relations at the beginning of the 21st century are global governance and the rise of China. Global governance, advocating global norms, requires intervention into sovereign domains in defiance of those norms. However, an ascendant China adheres to a classic stance on sovereign integrity which prohibits such intervention. Whether or not China will ultimately Sinicize global governance or become assimilated into global norms remains both a theoretical and a practical challenge. Both challenges come from China’s alternative style of global governance, which embodies the doctrine of 'balance of relationship,' in contrast with the familiar international relations embedded in ’balance of power’ or ’balance of interest.’ An understanding of China’s intervention policy based upon the logic of balance of relationship is therefore the key to tackling the anxiety precipitated by these theoretical as well as practical challenges.
’China’s intervention behavior has been a puzzle because of the apparent inconsistency. This book adopts a cultural approach and offers a convincing explanation by highlighting the concept of balance of relationship. It includes illustrative cases to show the underlying consistency despite the apparent inconsistency. Foregrounding cultural background knowledge, it is a valuable achievement in the study of world politics.’ Qin Yaqing, China Foreign Affairs University ’This book introduces a cultural/civilizational approach to explaining the dynamics of interplay between China’s rise and global governance. The key argument that China's quest for security is more centered on the balance of harmonious relations than national interest is sure to provoke realist critics. Given the importance of the issues discussed, this book is essential reading for students of Chinese foreign policy and international relations.’ Samuel S. Kim, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University, USA