China Dream: A New Chinese Way in International Society?

  • Zhang Xiaoming
Part of the The Nottingham China Policy Institute series book series (NCP)


China has always been a very special country in international society. It is an old civilization, but it is also a relative newcomer to the Western-dominated international society of sovereign states. China did not enjoy full recognition and membership in the Family of Nations until 1943 when extraterritorial jurisdiction was finally abrogated through its treaties with the US and Great Britain. Therefore, China’s relationship with international society has always been a big issue in Chinese foreign relations ever since the mid-nineteenth century when China was forced by the West to open its doors.1 The rise of China at the beginning of the twenty-first century is becoming a big story and sometimes a subject of concern in the international society. Thus the relationship between China and the world is one of the key issues of our era.2 Some analysts seem worried that rising China might be a challenger, or even an alternative, to the West in international society.3 In this essay, I am not going to elaborate on every aspect of rising China’s relationship with international society, but focus on two related questions, namely: Is the so-called China Dream advocated by the new Chinese leadership of Xi Jinping a new Chinese Way in international society? Will this new Chinese Way seek to alter the norms or institutions of the still Western-dominated international society?


International Society Foreign Policy Silk Road Chinese Leadership Chinese Nation 
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Notes and references

  1. 1.
    Gerrit W. Gong (1984) ‘China’s Entry into International Society’, in Hedley Bull and Adam Watson (eds), The Expansion of International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 171–83;Google Scholar
  2. Gerrit W. Gong (1984) The Standard of ‘Civilization’ in International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press);Google Scholar
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    Arne Odd Westad (2012) Restless Empire: China and the World Since 1750 (London: Bodley Head);Google Scholar
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    Martin Jacques (2009) When China Rules the World: The Rise of the Middle Kingdom and the End of the Western World (London: Allen Lane).Google Scholar
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    At least in 2010, one Chinese book entitled Zhongguo Meng (China Dream) was published. See Liu Mingfu (2010) Zhongguo Meng [China Dream] (Beijing: China Friendship Publishing House).Google Scholar
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    Cited from Li Junru (2013) ‘Zhongguo meng de yiyi, neirong, jiqi bianzheng luoji’, (‘China dream: Its meanings, contents, and logic’), Studies on Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping Theories, 7, pp. 14–17.Google Scholar
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    Zhang Xiaoming (2014, forthcoming) ‘China’s Relations with Its Neighboring Countries: Historical Patterns and the Formation of East Asian Regional Community’, in Yong Wook Lee and Key-young Son (eds), China’s Rise and Regional Integration in East Asia: Hegemony or Community (London and New York: Routledge).Google Scholar
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    Warren I. Cohen (2010) America’s Response to China: A History of Sino-American Relations, 5th edn (New York: Columbia University Press), pp. 290–1.Google Scholar
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    Avery Goldstein (2013) ‘First Things First: The Pressing Danger of Crisis Instability in US—China Relations’, International Security, 37(4), p. 49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    David Shambaugh (2013) China Goes Global: The Partial Power (Oxford: Oxford University Press), p. 121.Google Scholar
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    Alastair Iain Johnston (2013) ‘How New and Assertive Is China’s New Assertiveness?’, International Security, 37(4), p. 7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Zhang Xiaoming 2015

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  • Zhang Xiaoming

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