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ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Chinas grand strategy of peaceful development as the means to modernize as a nation has achieved incredible results economically, militarily, and politically. However, the growing strength and power of China as a nation raises fears about Chinas grand strategy after its modernization efforts have been met. Will China continue to prosper under the international norms characterized by western liberalism, or will it take on the role of a traditional emerging power The latter could threaten the national interests of the United States and change the balance of power on a global scale. There are strong predictions from both realists and liberalists as to how China will behave in the future. Realists contend that China will behave like most past rising powers and will exert more power as it realizes increasing national capabilities. Most realists see a more assertive China that will eventually compete for regional or global hegemony as a major power in a multipolar world. Liberalists are generally more optimistic and see a cooperative China that embraces the current world order and will be assimilated into the Western democratic order through inevitable change spurred by free market forces, membership and legitimacy in international institutions, and economic interdependence. Both of these assessments assume that Chinas phenomenal development will continue to a point where it can directly compete with the sole remaining superpower, the United States. A third and equally important question is what will happen if Chinas growth is not sustainable The prospects of a failed China are just as daunting from a security standpoint as a powerful China. A more detailed examination of the theories of realism and liberalism as they pertain to the three possible outcomes listed above will provide insight for determining future U.S. policy decisions towards China.
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