On China’s Power and the International Order: Is China a Challenger?
This chapter provides a comprehensive assessment of what Chinese international relations (IR) scholars think about China’s power. We find that that most Chinese IR scholars hold a seemingly contradictory but realistic view of China’s capabilities in the international system. Although they are optimistic about China’s rise, they do not perceive a rapid decline of the United States in the foreseeable future, nor do they envision China overtaking the United States in terms of its economic, military, political, cultural, and comprehensive power. In addition, Chinese IR scholars do not perceive a confrontation between China and the outside world. Instead, they advocate a reforming role for China, whereby it would reshape the international order from inside instead of challenging or overthrowing the international order from outside.