Welcome in Asia: China's Multilateral Presence
Special assessment rept.
ASIA-PACIFIC CENTER FOR SECURITY STUDIES HONOLULU HI
Pagination or Media Count:
China is actively engaged in developing multilateral relationships in Asia. This approach to the region has developed since the 1990s and reflects an understanding by China that both it and the region gain through multilateral approaches to a wide range of issues. Chinas multilateralism is situational rather than conditional. That is, it tends to prefer multilateral approaches as a matter of policy and will shape its approach according to the situation, rather than to set conditions and then decide whether to act multilaterally, bilaterally or unilaterally. In Southeast Asia, for example, China prefers informal processes of cooperative dialogue, but in central Asia it is more institutionalized and rule-bound. The multilateralism is, however, always active China attempts to shape the multilateral environment to meet its own interests. East Asian states generally welcome Chinas multilateral approaches as an indication that China wants to work with the region rather than impose its will on it and because of the stability this brings to the region. In the medium to long term, China is likely to emerge as the de facto leader of East Asia. This will be in part because of its economic and military strength, but also because it has spent considerable time and effort in developing relationships with the region.
- Government and Political Science