China Faces the World

By Zhu, Xiaohua | Contemporary Review, November 1997 | Go to article overview

China Faces the World

Zhu, Xiaohua, Contemporary Review

About half a year after Mr. Deng Xiao Ping's death, with a relatively smooth transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong, and the important 15th Party Congress in September, China's prospects and its impact on the world economy and international relations are once again a subject of interest for the media and academia. While China is presented by some people as a shining example of reforms, making strenuous efforts to integrate itself into the world political and economic systems, it is portrayed by others as an increasing menace to the security of other countries and world trade. With the recent allegations about China's attempt to influence US politics, the theory of `China as a threat' seems to be gaining currency.

Undoubtedly, China is much more powerful than it was two decades ago. With an annual growth of about 10 per cent, China's economy already ranks among the top few in the world and is likely to maintain the momentum for some more years. With more economic resources available, its technological level in general as well as military capabilities have also been improved. As both the creators and beneficiaries of China's economic success, the Chinese have greater confidence in their country's future and are less amenable towards pressure from other countries. The overwhelming popularity of the book China Can Say No (by Ning Qiang, Zhang Zang Zang, Qiao Bian. United Publishing House of Industry and Commerce of China, 1996) reflects such a trend. However, in spite of its greater economic and military power and national confidence, China is unlikely to undermine the world economic, trade or security systems for the following reasons:

First, China has great incentives to continue the process of its integration into the world economic and trade systems. With the implementation of the policy of opening to the outside world, China has become the second largest host country to foreign investment, greatly improved the competitiveness of its exports and introduced a lot of equipment and management expertise from abroad. It is starting to address the biggest legacy of the centrally planned economy -- the state enterprises, which certainly requires the support of external financial resources and technology. It is believed that China's attempt to resume its World Trade Organisation membership is designed as a further step to put its economy on the track of the world trade and economic systems. With the high stakes in foreign investment and trade, China can hardly afford to either back-peddle from its open policy or to cause substantial trade or economic sanctions from major western countries, because such a move would have serious repercussions on its economy and as a result could trigger internal instability.

Ideology is often cited as a major cause for China's incongruity with the rest of the world. China is said to be the only big country which adheres to Communism. While it is true that the official line in China is still to `build a socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics', the growth of the private sector and foreign investment as well as the increasing trend towards privatization of state enterprises is transforming China into a more `market' and less `socialist' economy. Some people even argue that China's future direction can be more accurately dubbed a `capitalist market economy with Chinese characteristics'. With the death of Mr. Deng and leaders of his generation, the pressure to carry on the ideological legacy has decreased further. As the Chinese focus their attention increasingly on the economic performance rather than the ideological tenets, thus continuing the application of Mr. Deng's famous saying -- `cat, be it black or white, is a good one so long as it can catch mice', it is improbable for China to engage in ideological confrontation with any country.

On the issue of security, the threat from China as suggested by some media reports is hardly plausible. Throughout its long history, China has never been an expansionist country, not even at the peak of its power before the ascendancy of the western powers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)


1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited article

China Faces the World


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.