In 2010, Chinese foreign policy seized the initiative in East Asian relations. As the United States made plans for withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 and proceeded with a build-up to be followed soon by a drawdown in Afghanistan, the two wars that had come to define the global arena in the 2000s lost their allure in the international spotlight. President Barack Obama made it clear that the US priority would be East Asia, broadly construed. In 2011, at the Honolulu APEC summit and the Bali East Asian Summit, he reaffirmed this “pivot ” His initiatives were met with suspicion in China. After all, in 2010 its less conciliatory policies had aroused anxiety throughout the region. Other countries, including the United States, were reacting to its aggressive moves and its refusal to condemn those of North Korea. With China’s leadership poised for renewal in 2012–13, observers were paying close attention to what this might mean for the stability of the region. It was becoming increasingly urgent to understand who makes Chinese foreign policy and how it is made, looking back and also looking forward.
KeywordsForeign Policy Soft Power Shanghai Cooperation Organization Chinese Foreign Policy Aggressive Move
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