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1. Im not a native speaker, so please try not to make it too professional. 2. please only use the sources I given to your3, check the instruction documents and follow the instruction, (important)4. please check the paper I wrote before you start it. The purpose of this document is not for you to use it as an writing example and I got C- for this paper, so you know the way our professor to grading paper. 5. please use the sources I given to u, and you can add more based on the instruction document 6, very be careful about citation, and cite the page number as well, this is very important. 7 you can change the topic as long as the topic is following the instruction document and focusing on China. I will upload more information later today thank you so much
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University of Calgary Press
Chapter Title: Situating the Arctic in China’s Strategy
Book Title: China’s Arctic Ambitions and What They Mean for Canada
Book Author(s): P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Adam Lajeunesse, James Manicom and Frédéric
Lasserre
Published by: University of Calgary Press. (2018)
Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctvf3w20h.7
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1
Situating the Arctic in China’s Strategy
The global expansion of China’s political and economic
influences has moved China’s strategic concerns from regional to
global. Since the start of reform and the open-door policy, China’s
foreign policy has been aimed at creating peaceful international
environment [sic] and favourable regional surroundings for
domestic economic and social development. Over the past three
decades, China has orientated itself as a regional power instead
of a global power and showed more interest in East Asian affairs
rather than issues in other parts of the world. In the new century,
China’s fast-growing economic and diplomatic strength and
influence gradually can be detected in almost every corner of
the world. Its global interest is growing rapidly due to the heavy
dependence upon overseas supply of energy and raw materials as
well as reliable maritime transportation. Although China now
still orients itself as a regional power rather than a global power,
more and more of its strategic concerns are moving beyond
the periphery of East Asia to faraway places like Africa, Latin
America, and ultimately, the Polar regions.
Gang Chen,
“China’s Emerging Arctic Strategy” (2012)1
China’s activities and interests in the Arctic are often set against the backdrop
of broader trends in the global political economy, and often implicitly framed
through particular assumptions about what China’s growing economic might
27
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and international assertiveness mean generally. This chapter attempts to lay
these assumptions bare and give scrutiny to their foundations by holding
China’s purported interests in the Arctic against its observed foreign policy
tradition. Although much has been made of China’s Arctic interests in recent
years, it is worth considering that the Arctic does not factor very highly on
China’s national agenda. Indeed, this chapter illustrates the disconnect between the common assumption that China’s behaviour towards its own neighbours is, in any way, a bellwether for its behaviour towards Arctic countries.
In 2013, an economic survey by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) indicated that China’s staggering
growth will almost certainly continue.2 China’s GDP is $13.39 trillion (USD)
– although that represents a modest $9,800 per capita (its population in 2013
was 1.355 billion).3 The country weathered the post-2008 global economic
crisis well compared to other OECD countries. The National Intelligence
Council (senior experts in the US intelligence community who provide advice to the Director of National Intelligence) noted in Global Trends 2030
that “China’s contribution to global investment growth is now one and a half
times the size of the US contribution.”4 In the World Bank’s baseline modeling of future economic multipolarity, China – despite a likely slowing of its
economic growth – will contribute about one-third of global growth by 2025,
far more than any other economy.5
On March 5, 2013, at the opening of the National People’s Congress,
China announced an official defence budget of $114.3 billion – an increase
of 10.7 per cent over 2012 and nearly four times its budget in 2003 (though
still only 2 per cent of its GDP). This defence budget is the second-largest in
the world, and China’s military-spending growth is roughly consistent with
its rising GDP. “Since the early 1990s, China has been surprisingly forthright
about the reasons it is strengthening its military: to catch up with other powers, to construct a more capable and modern military force in order to assert
its outstanding territorial and maritime claims, and to secure its development
on its own terms,” American defence analysts Andrew Erickson and Adam
Liff observe. “It also wants to acquire prestige as a full-fledged ‘military great
power’ – a status its leaders appear to increasingly see as necessary to enhance
China’s international standing.” However much of a force China has become
in its “Near Seas” (the Yellow, East China, and South China Seas), these analysts believe that its capabilities to engage in combat operations overseas will
remain limited.6
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CHINA’S ARCTIC AMBITIONS
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Chinese grand strategy is guided by the underlying principle of maintaining external stability to promote domestic development. Recent statements
indicate that China’s foreign policy is designed to “safeguard the interests of
sovereignty, security, and development” – core ideas that the state councillor
for external relations Dai Bingguo defined in December 2010 as China’s political stability (“the stability of the CCP leadership and of the socialist system”);
sovereign security, territorial integrity, and national unification; and “China’s
sustainable economic and social development.”7
Events in recent years reflect an emerging duality. On the one hand,
Beijing maintains a rhetorical commitment to the notion that China is still a
developing country, and uses this as a pretext to avoid incurring the costs of
leadership on the international stage. On the other, the government is fostering a domestic nationalist narrative that celebrates the considerable achievement of lifting 300 million people out of poverty. This narrative includes the
deliberate separation of Chinese civilization from that of the West and the
use of Western powers (particularly Japan) as focal points for popular hostility centered around a jingoistic nationalism. Problematically, the principal
targets of this narrative – Japan and, occasionally, the US – are also two of
China’s most important trading partners.
Beyond these relationships Chinese strategists view the world as a series of concentric circles of decreasing priority, much as their forefathers
did.8 Therefore East and Central Asia are of primary importance, followed
by Africa, Europe, and the Americas. China’s emergence as the centre of the
global supply chain, however, has forced Chinese leaders to adopt a more
global perspective. In this context China’s global strategy is still under development. Although its most important relationships are still close to home,
it is increasingly called upon to involve itself in global affairs. At minimum,
scholars expect China to be more assertive in its “near-abroad.”9
China’s growing importance in the global economy, and its increasing
activity in the international sphere, provokes a variety of reactions among
observers.10 Its rise has occurred within the context of the post-war, liberal
democratic international order led by the United States, which established the
rules, norms, and institutions defining the parameters of acceptable behaviour
within the international system.11 Some commentators worry that China may
challenge this prevailing order simply by virtue of its rise; therefore some accommodation of this power’s preferences is a prerequisite to avoiding the dissatisfaction that precedes great power conflict.12 Other, more hawkish voices
1 Situating the Arctic in China’s Strategy
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29
see confrontation as inevitable and even necessary. A common denominator,
however, is anxiety in the face of China’s rise. As Ikenberry notes, the Western
realist fear is that “the drama of China’s rise will feature an increasingly powerful China and a declining United States locked in an epic battle over the
rules and leadership of the international system … that will end with the
grand ascendance of China and the onset of an Asian-centered world order.”13
For other commentators, a state can be described as being status quo oriented
when it follows the rules of the game and it accepts the logic of those rules.14
It is thus debatable whether China can appropriately be described as a status
quo rising power.15 On the one hand, evidence from its behaviour in international institutions suggests that it accepts the basic organizing principles and
institutions of liberal world order.16 Indeed, China has arguably been “the biggest beneficiary of the existing system over the past three decades,” and thus
should have little incentive for “grand revisionist ambition,” desiring simply
to have a seat at the table.17 On the other hand, China does appear to seek to
modify certain aspects of the international economic order, evidenced by its
calls to end the reign of the US dollar as the reserve currency and by its efforts
to reform the International Monetary Fund (IMF) governance structures.18
Indeed, some point to very clear limits to the degree to which China has been
‘socialized’ into the international system.19 For instance, although China has
signed treaties underwriting the international human rights regime, its compliance has not extended to practical implementation.20 What then should we
make of China’s behaviour and interests in the twenty-first century?
Getting to Today: Chinese Strategy in the Reform Era
Chinese strategy is rooted in the pragmatic foreign policy that marked the
post-1979 reform era. This policy is characterized by the pursuit of “comprehensive national strength” through economic reform and military modernization. Peace was a prerequisite for this pursuit, which would produce
an increase in wealth permitting China to modernize its military forces and
rise to great power status. This “calculative strategy” was marked by market-oriented growth based on the maintenance of good relations with the
major powers; military force and PLA doctrinal modernization, combined
with restraints on the use of force regionally and globally; and an increased
involvement in the international community, defined by a strategy of maximum gain for minimum commitment.21
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To this end, China has sought pragmatic participation in international regimes, often aimed to maximize benefit at minimum constraint.22 Of particular relevance in the security realm are Chinese calculations and behaviour in
arms control institutions, given the American concerns over Chinese proliferation. Under Mao, China denounced the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
(NPT) as discriminatory and part of a great power plot to monopolize nuclear
weapons.23 With the onset of reform however, and the corresponding drive to
better its international status, China became more willing to embrace those
treaties that brought better international standing and enabled it to expand
its capabilities. China adopts an instrumental approach to international institutions. For instance, China joined the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) in 1984 in order to acquire the advanced nuclear plants needed to
power its modernization drive, rather than for reasons of international prestige. Instead of joining the highly constraining NPT, Chinese leaders made
public statements against nuclear proliferation, which permitted Chinese assistance to Argentina and Brazil’s “peaceful” nuclear development programs,
from which it gained foreign capital.
Only after the Tiananmen Square incident, when its international prestige was at its lowest since the Cultural Revolution, did China sign the NPT
(1992), declare its intention to abide by the Missile Technology Control Regime
(MTCR, 1991), and announce that it would work on the Comprehensive Test
Ban Treaty (CTBT, 1993). This allowed China to shed some of its pariah status at low financial cost because the opening of the Chinese economy had
brought other sources of foreign exchange, decreasing the need for weapons
sales. Beijing’s preoccupation with international status is particularly important as it indicates that Chinese behaviour is increasingly influenced by
international perceptions.24 This observation is consistent with scholarship
that treats international institutions as social environments – in which allegedly fixed interests and identities evolve through institutional learning and
norm diffusion – rather than purely instrumental ones.25 In the post-Cold
War period China’s arms control policies have been a function of pragmatic policy objectives as well as prevailing international opinion. For example,
when faced with mounting US pressure to sign the CTBT, China agreed in
1996, but only after conducting six nuclear tests in two years over the course
of negotiations that were frequently stalled.
Although military modernization was the last of the four reforms embarked upon, it remains an important priority. Initiated in 1985, China’s
1 Situating the Arctic in China’s Strategy
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31
modernization program was guided by a strategic shift from Maoist notions
of “people’s war” to the more pragmatic pursuit of “people’s war under modern conditions.” This highlighted a shift from defending against a large-scale
Soviet invasion to planning for small-scale regional or local wars.26 Rather
than pursue the total annihilation of an enemy, the aim in local or limited
wars would be to assert Chinese resolve and to deliver a political or psychological shock. The goal was to defend Chinese influence and interests, not
expand its territory; thus Beijing must possess the capabilities to manage
conflict escalation. “People’s war under modern conditions” had elements
of population-based guerrilla-style “people’s war,” as well as an emphasis on
superior firepower and positional warfare.27 The 1991 Gulf War provided a
snapshot of what future wars would be like, and had serious ramifications
for the strategic thought of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The response
was the doctrinal modification of “people’s war under modern conditions” to
“local war under high-tech conditions.” This marked the end of the primacy
of manpower over technology, and the PLA subsequently began investing in
advanced military hardware and technology systems. For Chinese military
planners, the primary lessons of the Gulf War were fourfold: electronic warfare and high-tech weaponry were decisive to a conflict’s outcome; air and
naval power were critical to combat and power projection capabilities; overall
capability was a function of rapid response and deployment; and logistical
support continued to be vital.28 These have had several strategic and operational implications for the PLA, particularly the Navy (PLAN).
The PLAN’s modernization is characterized by its quest for a “blue water navy.” The navy anticipates its most likely combat scenarios to be against
Taiwan and the US Navy or in the South China Sea against the coastal states
of the area that dispute its maritime claims. Thus it has focused on expanding
its operational capabilities from coastal to offshore defence. To meet this goal,
the PLAN purchased four diesel Kilo class submarines and two Sovremenny
destroyers from Russia to bolster its indigenously developed Jiangwei guided missile frigate and Luhu guided missile destroyer. Both indigenous ships
possess improved cruise missiles, radar systems, and anti-submarine warfare
capabilities.29 China has also pursued a submarine-launched ballistic missiles
(SLBM) capability, is deploying a new generation of nuclear-powered attack
submarines, advanced diesel submarines, and is now a world leader in cruise
missile technology. The anticipation that it might possess an anti-ship ballistic missile capable of striking American aircraft carriers is also of concern
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CHINA’S ARCTIC AMBITIONS
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to American defence planners. In 2012 China began sea trials of an aircraft
carrier purchased from Ukraine, and recent reports indicate that the country
has now begun construction of the first of four planned domestically built
carriers.30 Until recently, it was widely believed that China’s defence planning
was oriented towards coercing the surrender of Taiwan with massive ballistic missile strikes while raising the costs of American intervention with its
considerable submarine and cruise missile threat. However, recent platform
deployments such as at-sea replenishment and the aforementioned aircraft
carrier suggest that Beijing is also preparing to coerce regional states and to
deploy farther afield to protect China’s growing interests overseas.
To lessen concerns about its growing military, China embarked on a
diplomatic offensive to engage East Asian states.31 This policy built on credit earned during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and exploited American
distraction from East Asia during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. China
became more willing to pursue confidence-building measures with ASEAN
states, as its foreign policy behaviour became more internationalist. The primary outcome of the ASEAN-China dialogue has been the Declaration on
the Conduct of the Parties (DoC) in the South China Sea, signed by all claimants except Taiwan in November 2002. According to one scholar, China’s
agreement was in part a function of the regional balance of power, inasmuch
as the US had by then ruled out a withdrawal from the Asia-Pacific region,
as well as a more general acceptance of international norms of behaviour.32
Parties pledged to resolve their border and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means and by consultations. They are also agreed to begin developing
confidence-building measures in the areas of resource exploitation and management, fisheries, and environmental management, as well as to work on a
consensus basis towards the adaptation of a code of conduct.33
Despite this diplomatic offensive and ostensibly internationalist orientation, China has asserted its maritime claims in the East, and the South China
Sea in particular, with unprecedented vigour.34 According to analysts who
anticipate regional conflict, China has fulfilled the long-held prophecy that
it would become more belligerent in the East and South China Seas once it
accumulated sufficient military power.35 In this view, China has employed
its more capable marine survey vessels to assert its maritime jurisdiction
and sovereignty claims in the South China Sea against Vietnam and the
Philippines and in the East China Sea against Japan. Particularly provocative
actions included cutting the cab …
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