Journal of Chinese Political Science

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 269–290

Diverse Multilateralism: Four Strategies in China’s Multilateral Diplomacy

Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11366-012-9202-6

Cite this article as:
Wuthnow, J., Li, X. & Qi, L. J OF CHIN POLIT SCI (2012) 17: 269. doi:10.1007/s11366-012-9202-6


This article addresses Chinas multilateral diplomacy by identifying four distinct strategies: watching, engaging, circumventing, and shaping. The typology builds on two literatures: power transition theory, and the more recent “assertiveness” discourse in the West. Drawing from a range of cases in both the economic and security domains, the article argues that China’s multilateralism is diverse, and that it cannot be un-problematically characterized as either status-quo or revisionist in nature. However, the general trend appears to be towards engagement, but with an assertive tact as China’s interests become further entangled in the business of international institutions.


China Institutions United Nations Multilateralism Foreign Policy 

Copyright information

© Journal of Chinese Political Science/Association of Chinese Political Studies 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNA China StudiesAlexandriaUSA
  2. 2.Asia Research Centre, Copenhagen Business SchoolCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.School of GovernmentNanjing UniversityNanjingChina

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