Skip to main content
Log in

Rediscovering continentalism: the new geographic foundations of Chinese power

  • Original Article
  • Published:
International Politics Aims and scope Submit manuscript

A Correction to this article was published on 02 April 2021

This article has been updated

… geography is important as a source of limitation upon, and opportunity for, the power of states….

--- Colin S. Gray (2006, 148).

Abstract

There has been a momentous shift in China’s international strategy towards a continental orientation since the early 2010s. Underpinning this geostrategic reorientation is a new continentalism expressed in a growing sense of optimism about China’s geopolitical potential in the continental direction. This emerging continentalism is in keeping with an expansionist foreign policy line that has paved the way for a geostrategic outlook oriented towards expansion. As an unstated geostrategic doctrine, this expansionist continentalism serves to provide a new sense of direction for Chinese geostrategy and reflects a reappraisal of the relevance of continental geography for expansionist ends.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Change history

Notes

  1. In this essay, Eurasia refers to the entire continental land mass of Asia and Europe in the geographical sense; it should not be confused with the vaguely defined geopolitical conception of the broad region covering Russia and the post-Soviet space (Russia’s ‘near-abroad’, or the Eurasian heartland so to speak, stretching from Eastern Europe, across the Caspian Sea region and the Caucasus, to Central Asia).

  2. For the purposes of this study, the Xi Jinping era refers to the period of Xi Jinping’s rule beginning from the 18th Party Congress.

  3. As a geopolitical concept, the term ‘continentalism’ has never been clearly defined in geopolitical studies or International Relations. One could hardly find any entries for this term in the relevant English-language subject dictionaries.

  4. See footnote 1.

  5. ‘Continentalism’ is also a much-neglected concept in geopolitical studies and International Relations, where the related idea of ‘land power’ seems more prevalent.

  6. Scholars are not agreed on the meaning of the term ‘geostrategy’. For the purposes of this analysis, geostrategy is defined as an international strategy for the strategic application of state power within the spatial framework of physical, political and economic geography.

  7. Until the recent military reforms, the most obvious indications of this continental orientation of the Chinese military establishment are the dominance of the army in PLA force structure and command system.

  8. This deliberate focus on the international dimension is broadly consistent with the definition of ‘geostrategy’ as set out in footnote 15.

  9. This is what Yang Jiechi has called ‘the general principle of seeking progress while maintaining stability’ (wenzhong qiujin de gongzuo zongjidiao, 稳中求进的工作总基调) (2017).

  10. There tends to be elements of both continuity and change in Chinese official discourse on foreign policy. This is partly because it is not a common practice for the Communist Party to publicise dissent on foreign policy matters. More importantly, changes in Chinese foreign policy tends to be more evolutionary and revolutionary. As already noted, Xi’s foreign policy entrepreneurship, however dramatic or innovative, does not amount to a clean break with the past, even less a complete policy reversal.

  11. For instance, elements of continuity can still be found in the Xinhua News report on Xi Jinping’s first Central Conference on Foreign Affairs held in 2014 (2014). Tellingly, in the Xinhua News report on Xi Jinping’s second Central Conference on Foreign Affairs held in 2018 (2018), those Dengist elements have been dropped altogether.

  12. Wang Jisi was unequivocal in suggesting that during the Q&A session following his talk on Chinese diplomacy and the idea of ‘Harmonious World’ at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2006.

  13. The convening of the first-ever Conference on the Diplomatic Work with Neighbouring Countries in October 2013 is a testament to the elevated status of neighbourhood diplomacy.

  14. See Gao Cheng’s remarks in Xu et al. (2014, 16).

  15. For instance, a policy conference was organised by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in March 2013 to discuss specifically the question of ‘westward advance’ (Zhan 2013).

    Another example was the policy conference held in Yunnan in September 2013, which discussed China’s westward opening strategy from a geostrategic perspective and Yunnan’s special role in that process (Lin and Zheng 2014).

  16. It might possibly be the case that Wang’s proposition itself was part of the intellectual mobilisation in concert with Beijing’s tentative steps towards westward opening-up in 2012, as the idea was echoed by supporters of the westward opening-up policy. See Xiao 2013; Zhao M 2013; Zhan 2013; Lin and Zheng 2014.

  17. See the NDRC’s introduction of the role of the Department of Regional Opening, which was tasked with the day-to-day operation of the Executive Office of the Belt and Road Leading Group: http://xbkfs.ndrc.gov.cn/jgsz/.

  18. Similar views had already appeared in the writings of earlier generations of continentalists. Back in the mid-2000 s, Ye Xiaowen was already putting forward the argument that China’s continental geography and pivotal position along the Eurasian Continental Bridge connecting Europe and Asia constituted a great geo-advantage (2004b).

  19. This changing outlook is also acknowledged by some Western observers who contend China’s Eurasian pivot ‘seeks to turn its vulnerability—a border with fourteen nations—into a strategic asset’. See Burrows and Manning 2015.

  20. An unmistakable sign of China’s dual aspiration for continental and maritime pre-eminence is the equal importance attached to the overland Belt and maritime Road programmes, which entails Beijing’s expansionist ambitions in both continental and maritime contexts.

References

  • Burrows, M., and R. Manning. 2015. America’s worst nightmare: Russia and China are getting closer. The National Interest, 24 August, https://nationalinterest.org/feature/americas-worst-nightmare-russia-china-are-getting-closer-13661. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • Chen, G. 2013. Xin sichou zhilu yu luquan jingzheng (New Silk Road and the competition for land power). Zhongguo baodao 12: 119.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chen, X. 2010. Cong shierwu guihua jianyi qianzhan Zhongguo dawaijiao (Prospects of China’s grand diplomacy: a perspective from the Party’s Opinions on the 12th Five-Year Plan). China.com.cn, 5 November, http://www.china.com.cn/international/txt/2010-11/05/content_21279794.htm. Accessed 8 Oct 2019.

  • Clarke, M. 2016. Beijing’s march west: Opportunities and challenges for China’s Eurasian pivot. Orbis 60(2): 296–313.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dai, B. 2010. Jianchi zou heping fazhan daolu (Stick to the path of peaceful development). Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 6 December, https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/web/ziliao_674904/zt_674979/ywzt_675099/2011nzt_675363/jianchizouhepingfazhandaolu_675415/t774662.shtml. Accessed 8 Oct 2019.

  • Du, Y. 2012. Du Ying xiangxi kaifang yinling xinyilun xibu dakaifa (Du Ying: westward opening leading the next round of GWDP). Caijing.com.cn, 12 September, http://xbkfs.ndrc.gov.cn/gzdt/201209/t20120918_505478.html. Accessed 8 Oct 2019.

  • Fallen, T. 2015. The new Silk Road: Xi Jinping’s grand strategy for Eurasia. American Foreign Policy Interests 37(3): 140–147.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Feng, H. 2012. Zhongguo mianlin nanjin yu xijin zhizheng (China facing the debate between southward advance and westward advance). The Sun, 1 November, http://opinion.huanqiu.com/opinion_world/2012-11/3235465.html. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • Gao, B. 2015. Railway and land power: lessons from history for the strategy of the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ Tielu yu luquan sichou zhilu jingjidai zhanlue de lishi jiejian. Zhongguo guoji zhanlue pinglun, 150–166.

  • Gao, B. and other unknown authors. 2012. Gaotie yu Zhongguo ershiyi shiji dazhanlue (The High Speed Rail and China’s Grand Strategy in the 21st Century). Beijing: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe.

  • Gray, C.S. 2006. Geography and grand strategy. In Strategy and history: Essays on theory and practice, ed. C.S. Gray, 137–150. Abingdon: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Haverluk, T.W., K.M. Beauchemin, and B.A. Mueller. 2014. The three critical flaws of critical geopolitics: Towards a neo-classical geopolitics. Geopolitics 19(1): 19–39.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hughes, C.R. 2011. Reclassifying Chinese nationalism. Journal of Contemporary China 20(71): 601–620.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kuo, K. 2014. Conceptualizing Chinese continentalism. China in Central Asia blog, 29 August, http://chinaincentralasia.com/2014/08/29/conceptualizing-chinese-continentalism/. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • Li, D., and W. Yan. 2010. Zhang Chunxian xinjiang xiangxi kaifang zhanlue jiang tisheng wei guojia zhanlue (Zhang Chunxian: Xinjiang’s Westward Opening about to become a national strategy). Chinanews.com, 26 May, http://www.chinanews.com/gn/news/2010/05-27/2306494.shtml. Accessed 8 Oct 2019.

  • Li, G. 2015. Jiyu gonggu luquan zhishang de haiquan fazhan sikao luhai fuhexing daguo jueqi guocheng zhong de zhanlue hezuo yu guojia mingyun (Thinking on the development of sea power based on the consolidation of land power—strategic cooperation and national destiny of ascending land-sea powers). Dangdai shijie yu shehui zhuyi 6: 125–131.

    Google Scholar 

  • Li, Y. 2007a. Cong hailu erfen dao hailu tongchou dui Zhongguo hailu guanxi de zai shenshi (From the sea-land dichotomy to sea-land synthesis—reviewing China’s sea-land relationship). Xiandai guoji guanxi 8: 1–7.

    Google Scholar 

  • Li, Y. 2007b. Diyuan zhengzhixue erfen lun jiqi chaoyue jianlun diyuan zhenghe zhong de Zhongguo xuanze (Geopolitics: Dichotomy and Beyond—Also on China’s Choice in Geopolitical Integration). Beijing: Beijing daxue chubanshe.

    Google Scholar 

  • Li, Y. 2013. Jiji dazao zhoubian zhanlue yituo dai tuosheng Zhongguo jueqi zhiyi (Actively build a peripheral belt of strategic linchpins as the wings of support for China’s rise). Xiandai guoji guanxi 10: 35–37.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lin, W. and Y. Zheng (eds.). 2014. Zhongguo xiangxi kaifang lishi yu xianshi de kaocha China’s Westward Opening-Up: A historical and contemporary review. Beijing: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe.

    Google Scholar 

  • Liu, Z., and C. Zhao. 2004. Guanyu Zhongguo haiquan fazhan zhanlue wenti de ruogan sikao (Some thoughts on the question of China’s sea power development strategy). Zhongguo haiyang daxue xuebao 6: 92–97.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lu, T. 2010. Zhongguo waijiao zai shierwu nianjian mianlin zhe xin tiaozhan (Chinese diplomacy facing new challenges during the 12th Five-Year Plan period). Ifeng.com, 15 October, http://news.ifeng.com/mainland/special/17wuzhongquanhui/content-2/detail_2010_10/15/2789809_0.shtml. Accessed 8 Oct 2019.

  • Mayer, M. 2018. China’s rise as Eurasian power: the revival of the Silk Road and its consequences. In Rethinking the Silk Road: China’s Belt and Road initiative and emerging Eurasian relations, ed. M. Mayer, 1–42. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Mead, W.R. 2014. The return of geopolitics: the revenge of the revisionist powers. Foreign Affairs 93(3): 69–79.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morgenthau, H.J. 1973. Politics among nations: The struggle for power and peace, 5th ed. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ni, L. 2007. Cong luquan dao haiquan de lishi biran jianyu Ye Zicheng jiaoshou shangque (The historical necessity for the transition from land power to sea power—a response to Professor Ye Zicheng). Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi 11: 22–32.

    Google Scholar 

  • Niu, J. 2013. Xixiang bushi zhanlue (Turning west is not a strategy). Ming Pao, 22 November, https://news.mingpao.com/pns/dailynews/web_tc/article/20131122/s00013/1385055848508. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • OLGBRI (Office of the Leading Group for the Belt and Road Initiative). 2017. Building the Belt and Road: Concept, Practice and China’s Contribution. Beijing: State Council. May, https://www.yidaiyilu.gov.cn/wcm.files/upload/CMSydylyw/201705/201705110537027.pdf. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • Ou, X. 2016. Yidai yilu de jianshe chengjiu yu qianjing zhanwang (Achievements of the Belt and Road construction and its prospects). China.org.cn, 11 November, https://www.yidaiyilu.gov.cn/ghsl/gnzjgd/10281.htm. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • Ou, X. 2017. Ou Xiaoli tan gongjian yidai yilu linian shijian yu Zhongguo de gongxian (Ou Xiaoli on jointly building the Belt and Road: ideals, practice and China’s contribution). Yidaiyilu.gov.cn, 10 May, https://www.yidaiyilu.gov.cn/ghsl/slsg/12634.htm. Accessed 8 Oct 2019.

  • Pantucci, R., and S. Lain. 2017. China’s Eurasian pivot: The silk road economic belt. Abingdon: Routledge.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Rolland, N. 2017. China’s Eurasian Century? Political and strategic implications of the belt and road initiative. Washington, DC: The National Bureau of Asian Research.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shao, Y., and Y. Shi. 2000. Jindai ouzhou luhai fuhe guojia mingyun yu dangdai Zhongguo de xuanze (National destinies of modern European continental-maritime powers and contemporary China’s choice). Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi 10: 47–52.

    Google Scholar 

  • State Council. 2011. Outline of the 12th Five-Year Plan for the National Economic and Social Development of the People’s Republic of China. ndrc.gov.cn, 16 March, http://www.ndrc.gov.cn/fzgggz/fzgh/ghwb/gjjh/201109/P020110919592208575015.pdf. Accessed 8 Oct 2019.

  • Tang, Y. 2013. Fahui diyuan zhanlue youshi jiji suzao zhoubian zhixu (Making use of geostrategic advantages to actively shape the peripheral order). Xiandai guoji guanxi 10: 34–35.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tang, Y. 2014. Fahui diyuan youshi jingying zhoubian zhanlue yituo (Making use of geo-advantages managing the peripheral strategic power bases). Zhanlue juece yanjiu 5: 14–15.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wang, J. 2005. China’s search for stability with America. Foreign Affairs 84(5): 39–48.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wang, J. 2011. China’s search for a grand strategy: A rising great power finds its way. Foreign Affairs 90(2): 68–79.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wang, J. 2012. Xijin Zhongguo diyuan zhanlue de zai pinghengping (Westward advance: the rebalancing of Chinese geostrategy). The Global Times, 17 October, http://opinion.huanqiu.com/opinion_world/2012-10/3193760.html. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • Wang, J. 2013a. Guanyu Zhongguo diyuan zhanlue de ruogan sikao (Some thoughts on Chinese geostrategy). Guoji zhanlue yanjiu jianbao 83: 12.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wang, J. 2013b. Zhongguo yijing chengwei mingfu qishi de zhongyang zhiguo (China has become a truly middle kingdom). Southern Metropolis Daily, 5 August, http://www.chinareform.org.cn/open/view/201308/t20130806_173463.htm. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • Wang, J. 2013c. Dongxi nanbei Zhongguo juzhong yizhong zhanlue daqiju sikao (East west south north, China at the centre—A grand chessboard strategic thinking. Shijie zhishi 21: 14–24.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wang, X., and L. Wang. 2014. Xufei Zhongguo gaotie zouchuqu yingyou guojiaji zhihuibu gaotie zouchu guomen jiang kaiqi yi luquan zhicheng luquan de xin luquan shidai (Xu Fei: the going-out of Chinese high-speed rails needs a state-level command centre: the going-out of the high-speed rails will usher in a new era of land power supported by rail power). China Youth Daily, 10 July: p7.

  • Wang, Y. 2013. Formulating a Chinese proposal, having a Chinese voice, actively conducting economic diplomacy. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 3 December, https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/web/wjb_673085/zzjg_673183/gjjjs_674249/xgxw_674251/t1105278.shtml. Accessed 8 Oct 2019.

  • Wang, Y. 2017. Minister Wang Yi’s message to the new cadres of the 2017 cohort. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 22 August, https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/web/wjb_673085/zzjg_673183/gbs_674709/ganbusixiangguanxinwen_674711/t1486559.shtml. Accessed 8 Oct 2019.

  • Wen, Z. 2015. You luqun yu haiquan fazhan siwei tan yidaiyilu dazhanlue (On the One Belt One Road grand strategy from the perspective of land power and sea power development). Haixia kexue 5: 98–101.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wu, Z. 2010a. Haiquan luquan yu da zhanlue dili zhengzhixue de da zhanlue neihan (Sea power, land power and grand strategy: The grand strategy implications of geopolitics). Ouzhou yanjiu 1: 52–66.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wu, Z. 2010b. Lun luhai fuhexing guojia de zhanlue diwei lilun jili yu zhengce xuanze (On the strategic positioning of land-sea powers: Theoretical logic and policy options). Jiaoxue yanjiu 7: 65–71.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wu, Z. 2012. Haiquan yu luhai fuhexing qiangguo (Sea power and land-sea powers). Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi 2: 38–50.

    Google Scholar 

  • Xi, J. 2017. Work Together to Build the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Speech delivered at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. Beijing, 14 May, https://eng.yidaiyilu.gov.cn/info/iList.jsp?tm_id=139&cat_id=10089&info_id=13297. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • Xiao, X. 2013. Xiangxi kaifang xu waijiao quanju tongchou (Westward opening-up requires systemic diplomatic coordination). The Global Times, 31 July, http://opinion.huanqiu.com/opinion_world/2013-07/4190455.html. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • Xiao, X. 2014. Guanyu Zhongguo xiangxi kaifang de jidian sikao (Some thoughts on China’s Westward Opening). In Zhongguo xiangxi kaifang lishi yu xianshi de kaocha (China’s Westward Opening-Up: A Historical and Contemporary Review), ed. W. Lin and Y. Zheng, 39–73. Beijing: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe.

    Google Scholar 

  • Xinhuanet. 2014. Xi Jinping chuxi zhongyang waishi gongzuo huiyi bing fabiao zhongyao jianghua (Xi Jinping attended the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs and delivered an important address). 29 November, http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2014-11/29/c_1113457723.htm. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • Xinhuanet. 2018. Xi Jinping nuli kaichuang Zhongguo tese daguo waijiao xin jumian (Xi Jinping: striving to break new ground in major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics). 23 June, http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/2018-06/23/c_1123025806.htm. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • Xu, J., C. Gao, W. Li, and F. Hu. 2014. Dazao Zhongguo zhoubian anquan de zhanlue zhidian guojia (Building strategic linchpin countries for China’s peripheral security). Shijie zhi 23: 14–23.

    Google Scholar 

  • Xu, Q. 2003. Haiquan de wuqu yu fansi (Misconception about sea power and reflections). Zhanlue yu guanli 5: 15–23.

    Google Scholar 

  • Yahuda, M. 1983. Towards the End of Isolationism: China’s Foreign Policy after Mao. London: Macmillan.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Yang, C. 2015. Xin dalu zhuyi kua ouya yitihua de zhanlue tujing (New continentalism: a strategic vision of trans-Eurasian integration). Wenhua zongheng 3: 20–29.

    Google Scholar 

  • Yang, J. 2017 Shenru xuexi guanche Xi Jinping zongshuji waijiao sixiang buduan puxie Zhongguo tese daguo waijiao xin pianzhang (Study and implement General Secretary Xi Jinping’s Thought on Diplomacy in a deep-going way and keep writing new chapters of major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics). Qiushi (14), 15 July, http://www.qstheory.cn/dukan/qs/2017-07/15/c_1121307595.htm. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • Yang, Y. 2012. Zhoubian anquan xuyao quanfangwei zhanlue jianyu wangjisi jiaoshou shangque (Security of the Periphery requires an all-round strategy–and to consult with Professor Wang Jisi). The Global Times, 26 October, http://opinion.huanqiu.com/opinion_world/2012-10/3216696.html. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • Yang, Y. 2004. Fahui hailu jianbei youshi shi daxing hailu fuhe guojia de biran xuanze (Exploiting the dual advantage of being a sea and land country is the inevitable choice of any large sea-land power). Heilongjiang shehui kexue 3: 26–29.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ye, X. 2003. Yige waishe guoji zhanlue pingheng neishe tongchou quyu fazhan de wenti (A question pertaining to both international strategic balance and domestic coordinated regional development). Lilun dongtai 16: 16.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ye, X. 2004a. Cong zongjiao wenti tandao Zhongguo de xiangxi kaifang (From religious questions to China’s westward opening). Zhongguo zongjiao 2: 4–7.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ye, X. 2004b. Tantan Zhongguo de xiangxi kaifang (On China’s westward opening). Zhongguo tongyi zhanxian 3: 4–8.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ye, X., and H. Liu. 2004. Xiangxi kaifang jianli Zhongguo xisanjiao yu pingheng shijie dasanjiao (Westward opening: establishing China’s ‘western triangle’ and the ‘grand triangle’ for world balancing). Zhongguo gaige 2: 17–20.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ye, Z. 2007. Zhongguo de heping fazhan luquan de huigui yu fazhan (China’s peaceful rise: the return and development of land power). Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi 2: 23–31.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ye, Z., and X. Mu. 2005. Dui Zhongguo haiquan fazhan zhanlue de jidian sikao (Some thoughts on China’s sea power development strategy). Guoji zhengzhi yanjiu 3: 5–17.

    Google Scholar 

  • Yue, H. 2019. Guojia fagaiwei quyu kaifangsi liangxiang (Department of Regional Opening of the NDRC making its debut). Thepaper.cn, 25 March, https://www.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_3195836. Accessed 8 Oct 2019.

  • Zeng, P. 2010. Zeng Peiyan tan xibu dakaifa zhanlue juece de tichu he shishi (Zeng Peiyan on the conception and implementation of the strategic decision concerning GWDP). Ifeng.com, 9 July, http://news.ifeng.com/history/zhongguoxiandaishi/detail_2010_07/09/1743642_0.shtml. Accessed 8 Oct 2019.

  • Zhan, S. 2013. Zhongguo de xijin wenti yanpan yu sikao (China’s westward advance question: issue assessment and thinking). Xiya feizhou 2: 4–19.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhang, J. 2013. Xijin xu fangfan sanda zhanlue fengxian (Three major strategic risks for westward advance). The Global Times, 26 August, http://opinion.huanqiu.com/opinion_world/2013-08/4284179.html. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • Zhang, W. 2014. Gujin daguo zhengzhijia gaodu guanzhu Yinduyang zhihaiquan yu zhiluquan tongyang buke huoque (Ancient and contemporary politicians of great powers pay close attention to the Indian Ocean—both sea power and land power are indispensable). Renmin luntan xueshu qianyan 19: 13–20.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhang, W. 2017a. Qingzang gaoyuan yu Zhongguo zhengti anquan jiantan Qingzang gaoyuan dui yidai yilu guanjian xianlu de anquan baozhang zuoyong (The Tibetan Plateau and China’s overall security—also on the role of the Tibetan Plateau in safeguarding the key routes of the One-Belt-One-Road). globalview.cn, 7 June, http://www.globalview.cn/html/strategy/info_18365.html. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • Zhang, W. 2017b. Zhongguo de diyuan zhengzhi youshi zai shijie geguo zhong juewu jinyou (China’s geopolitical advantages are unrivalled and exceptionally unique). guancha.cn, 13 August, https://www.guancha.cn/ZhangWenMu/2017_08_13_422653.shtml?s=fwckhfbt. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • Zhang, W. 2017c. Diyuan zhengzhi de benzhi jiqi Zhongguo yunyong (The nature of geopolitics and its application in China). Taipingyang xuebao 25(8): 1–14.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhang, X., and M. Belgibayev. 2014. China’s Eurasian pivot. The ASAN Forum, 1 December, http://www.theasanforum.org/chinas-eurasian-pivot/. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • Zhang, Y. (ed.). 2009. Zhongguo yu zhoubian guojia goujian xinxing huoban guanxi (China and Its Neighbors: Making New Partnership). Beijing: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhang, Y. 2015. Zhongguo de zhoubian quyuguan huigui yu xinzhixu goujian (Resurrection of China’s outlook on peripheral regions and the making of new order). Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi 1: 5–25.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhang, Y. 2016. Fengwu changyi fang yanliang guanyu yidai yilu de zaisikao (The need to take a long-term and open-minded perspective—A rethink of the One-Belt-One-Road). Shijie zhishi 10: 60–61.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhao, K. 2013. Zouxiang nanfang keneng shi Zhongguo jinhou shinian de zhanlue zhongxin (Going South might be the strategic focus of China in the next ten years). Shijie zhishi 24: 22–24.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhao, M. 2013. Zhongguo weihe yao kuoda xiangxi kaifang (Why must China push for westward opening-up). Lianhe Zaobao, 23 September, http://world.huanqiu.com/regions/2013-09/4384725.html. Accessed 29 Oct 2018.

  • Zhao, Y. 2014. Luquan huigui cong Wukelan bianju kan haixi zhanlue (The resurrection of land power: looking at the Haixi strategy in the aftermath of the Ukrainian crisis). Beijing guihua jianshe 5: 150–157.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zheng, Y. 2014. Zhongguo de haiyang diyuan zhengzhi yu ludi diyuan zhengzhi (China’s maritime geopolitics and land geopolitics). Waijiao pinglun 1: 1–11.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yixiao Zheng.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

I hereby certify that I have no affiliation with or involvement in any organisation or entity with any financial interest or non-financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript. I therefore state that there is no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

The original online version of this article was revised due to errors in the text.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Zheng, Y. Rediscovering continentalism: the new geographic foundations of Chinese power. Int Polit 58, 188–222 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-019-00206-7

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-019-00206-7

Keywords

Navigation