Emmanuel international system, marking it with its industrial

Emmanuel Manolakas

IS 795

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Research Design Paper

December 11, 2017

Can
China Rise Peacefully?

Introduction

China
is entering the world arena dynamically, conflicting with the American congested
and irregular power capabilities and novel war paradigms, that came from
ancient Chinese strategic intellect. The rise of China is substantially
upsetting the international balance of power. The power disparity between China
and the United States is reducing and most likely, the US strategic prevalence
in the region will no longer endure (Mearsheimer, 2010). Nevertheless, this does
not automatically foresee the withdrawal of the U.S. from the region. In
contrast, the U.S. presence is perhaps going to increase due to China’s rise. However,
one thing is certain, the United States will no longer be the most prominent
power in the region, as it has been since 1945 (Mearsheimer, 2010).

            From the time when China joined the
World Trade Organization in 2001, it has attained the world’s fastest rate of
economic development. Its foreign trade and investment has grown dramatically,
which has formed substantial consequences on world economy and international
relations. Furthermore, since the late 1980s, China’s defense spending continued
to grow quickly, thus, making the concept of “rise of China” attract even more
attention globally (Yue, 2008). The United States and Japan saw the rising
China with realist uncertainties which showed that China will most likely oppose
the international system, marking it with its industrial economic power and military
capability expansion and mobilization (Yue, 2008).

Furthermore,
common concerns about the intentions of China’s rapidly increasing military
capabilities are intensified by its low military transparency, which expands
overall uncertainty and particular concerns about its capabilities and objectives.
China’s immense claims over islands and topographies in the South and East
China Seas precede its present rise by decades (Liff & Ikenberry, 2014).
Thus far, as China’s military capabilities develop, it is gradually capable of
proclaiming these claims in a way that it was unable to do a few years ago.

The
case of the rise of China is a security dilemma case. Security dilemma is a
type of insecurity relationship between states that provokes military
competition and arms races that each state could avoid if only it could obtain
trustworthy commitments of the other side’s peaceful intentions. The actors
involved are not following offensive security policies and do not pursue domination
or conquest, but are status quo security-seekers. Both sides would favor spending
limited resources bettering domestic wellbeing and participating in other
nonmilitary quests. Although, mistrust and uncertainty about intentions direct them
to interpret each other’s defensive actions as offensive, making them seem
threatening (Liff & Ikenberry, 2014).

Media
openness has also been characterized as one of the most important mechanisms
for the noticeable lack of war by Jarrod Hayes in his article “The Democratic
Peace and the New Evolution of an Old Idea.” Media are important in the process
of political representation of many nations. It is much easier for an
individual, or a state, to get a sense of the political identity of a nation
through its portray by various media (Hayes, 2012).

Countries
could engage in war, or any other type of conflict, when they are uncertain
about the intentions of other countries. Media work in fixing this problem of
uncertainty and perhaps misconception of a state’s interest in the world order.
Media play a fundamental role in politics, as they are often referred to as the
fourth branch of government in a democratic political system. Media are essential
components of political life, because they transfer information and aid
communication between countries. Based on that, one can say that war, conflict,
or any other type of crisis, can be avoided in world politics (Potter &
Baum, 2010).

Lastly,
the importance of political leaders’ character qualities in domestic and
international politics of states is a subject that cannot be overlooked. In
foreign policy interests are more significant to the extent that leaders’
personality traits may surpass their nation, add a positive value to it, or may
have a negative impact on their nation’s image. Nowadays, when one takes a look
at the leaders who appear the most in the world media, one can easily realize
that they come to the front with their individual characteristics as well as
their nations’ political and economic power.

 

Theory

            In the past decades, in Euro-America
and Japan, there has been a debate about whether a rising China could be a
threat or an opportunity. Is it a traditional status quo power to be joined with
or a growing revisionist state to be confined (Callahan, 2005)? On one side, China
has been gradually seen as a status quo power that adopts a more constructive and
less confrontational approach toward regional and global affairs. On the other
side, others are worried about the economic and security suggestions that such
a quick economic growth could have on the regional order in Asia, as China utilizes
its new affluence, in order to revolutionize its military (Callahan, 2005).

            From the late 1970s, China’s main
theme has been to reform and opening up, with China’s interior modifications urging
a transformation in its relationship with international society. The theme of reform
and opening up continues to be the central concept in Chinese politics. The
result was that China discarded most of its radical opposition to the West, which
started more than a decade before the end of the Cold War, and reintroduced its
pre-1949 plan of assimilating itself with international society based on
domestic transformations (Buzan, 2010).

            This overall viewpoint is adopted by
other experts who also see both a distinct shift in China’s relationship with
international society during the late 1970s and early 1980s, and continuing
rigidities between China’s revisions and the transformation of international
society. Not until the 1980s were China’s domestic affairs cleared up enough to
permit it to get involved politically with international society on a
non-revolutionist basis (Buzan, 2010). China’s rise over the past thirty years
surely looks peaceful paralleled to that of most other recent great powers.

The
change was propelled by interior advances in China, during the late 1970s and
early 1980s, in which the country experienced an overwhelming change of
national identity, strategic culture, and definition of its security concerns,
all of which have altered its relationship with the international society. The
fundamental change was giving priority towards the improvement of the national
economy, which drove the country farther away from its earlier revolutionist thinking
towards international society and towards a more status quo title (Buzan,
2010).

            This was apparent through its
participation in numerous international institutions and the acknowledgement of
most of the predominant rules and norms overseeing both the regional and global
economic and political mandates. Granting urgency to this development, signified
that China desired to transform its security interests from the military, political,
and territorial ones that dictated earlier decades and emphasized struggle and
zero-sum conflict, into more obliging, comprehensive security ones highlighting
the preservation of stability and involvement in the global political economy
(Buzan, 2010).

U.S.
foreign policy concerning East Asia since the early 1990s has principally been
a notable achievement, notwithstanding certain prominent and tenacious regional
difficulties. The region benefits from greater economic interdependence than it
did in the early 1990s, and multilateral diplomacy has been increasing
significantly since the mid-1990s. Furthermore, China has been at the focus of
this regional integration development, thus enhancing China’s motivations for
cooperation with its neighbors, including the allies of the U.S (Christensen,
2006). These political and economic phenomena aid in lessening security
concerns, averting rises of tension, and decreasing strategic misperceptions
that frequently weaken international relations in periods of structural change.

            Scholars of international relations accept as true that
misperception and uncertainty are key reasons in determining whether states
participate in interstate clashes. Based on that, war is regarded as a creation
of uncertainty and misperception about the objectives of other states. In other
words, if states obtain access to trustworthy information on capability and
resolution of other states, it is most likely that that military conflict will
decrease due to the reassurance of one another’s intentions (Choi and James,
2007).

In
their article “Media Openness, Democracy and Militarized Interstate Disputes,”
Seung-Whang Choi and Patrick James argue that in game-theoretic terms, it is inferred
that the likelihood of war should reach zero under “complete and perfect
information.” For instance, they argue that domestic political structure can strongly
affect a state’s capability to indicate its intentions and to make reliable
commitments concerning foreign policy (Choi and James, 2007).

Whether
or not the media are satisfactorily open and trustworthy will contribute to the
successful communication flow of information on foreign policy actions across
borders and improve each government’s credibility and validity. A high degree
of media openness has a tendency to improve uncertainty and misperception
between states, so it increases confidence and predictions for peaceful resolutions.
Regardless of the possible importance of media openness, research on the
democratic peace usually has focused its attention on other institutional and
cultural elements of democracy (Choi and James, 2007).

In
his article, Scott Wolford studies a model of crisis negotiating in the shadow
of a leadership turnover, in which sequential leaders of the same state might fluctuate
in their resolve, their resolve is private information, and the likelihood of
leadership turnover rests on negotiating behavior and conflict consequences.
This model offers new answers to several questions about the relationship
between an official’s time in office, the predictions of losing office, the expected
behavior of future leaders, and the existing possibility of conflict. Engaged
together, these results increase recent claims that leaders should be thought
of as the central components of analysis in international relations (Wolford,
2007).

Since
officials have private information over their resolution, they have a motivation
to build a status that promises better crisis negotiation outcomes over time. Simultaneously,
adversaries have an incentive to trial officials’ resolution through crisis negotiation.
This progression of reputation building happens in the shadow of leadership
turnover, which itself is a role of an official’s negotiating behavior, which takes
to power a successor with new private information. Therefore, each leader who
takes office begins the cycle again, and the motivations of both officials and
antagonists efficiently trap them into taking actions that rise the probability
of conflict. In this manner, the model tells a clear story about how and when the
private information and motivations to distort that may generate conflict in
international relations (Wolford, 2007).

Hypothesis

            From this research, I would like to
find out if an indicator of media openness has a strong effect on transparency,
interdependence and the creation of trust between China and the United States,
leading to a lack of war, and also how much of a role leadership has in the
equation. Media have created a sense of openness in the world spectrum as they
helped in the eradication of secrecy of the political actions worldwide. Many
scholars argue that by enriching a nation’s knowledge of another nation’s
political identity and actions, it decreases the notion of threat that leads to
the lack of war amongst the nations.

China’s
conduct of newly elected leaders depends mainly on two factors. First, whether
a candidate’s campaign language was constant with other indicators of the
candidate’s aims toward China, and second, whether the candidate swore to
change the China policy of his or her predecessor. As the economic and security
relations of the United States and China are firmly entangled, Chinese
spectators pay close attention to what U.S. presidential candidates say,
regardless of the conservative perception that elected leaders abandon their
campaign promises on China for more practical policies after taking office
(Miura & Weiss, 2016).

This
shows that China indeed pays a lot of attention to the leadership of the United
States. It is only safe to assume that the United States does the same think,
regarding the big effect leaders of nations have in their foreign policy
conducts. Furthermore, one can notice that recently, Donald Trump’s unusual
candidacy and ascension to the White House have presented massive uncertainty
in the course of U.S. foreign and domestic policy. According to these suspicions,
it would be useful to examine whether a combination of media transparency and
the nature of these nations leaderships and leaders would be a good indicator of
China’s peaceful rise.

The
United States is also dedicated to lead in the Asia-Pacific region, and so its state
interests request its deep engagement. The United States quickly deployable forces
in Asia guarantee comprehensive regional stability, aid to discourage
aggression against its allies, and add to the remarkable political and economic
developments made by the nations of the region (Nye, 1995). For the security
and success of today to be preserved for the next years to come, the United
States must continue to be engaged in Asia, dedicated to peace in the region,
and devoted to establishing alliances and friendships.

Research Design

            Since China has been experiencing a
subsequently long period of peace from the 1980s on and since the growth of the
media in the world has been consistently rising, I will base my study on data
collected from a cross-sectional, time-series dataset of the United States and
China from 1980 to 2017. Based on that, I want to find out if an indicator of
media openness and political leadership has a strong effect on transparency,
interdependence, and the creation of trust between these two states, thus
leading to a lack of war and potentially, to a peaceful rise of a rapidly
growing China.

I
will also include certain case studies between different political administrations
from both nations, to include a more collective view of my predicament. For
instance, I will gather information on media representation of political issues
between the United States and China which will include proof of the foreign
policies adopted by the leaders of both countries.  This way, I will have a more clear and
collective view of the character of the leaders (hawkish or dovish) and perhaps
the opinions of each state’s population during these times. Some other useful
date to look at would be how political leaders handled foreign policy crises
during that time and how the media had covered it.

Since
political leaders have private information over their resolution, they have a motivation
to build a status that promises better crisis negotiation outcomes over time. Simultaneously,
adversaries have an incentive to trial officials’ resolution through crisis negotiation.
This progression of reputation building happens in the shadow of leadership
turnover, which itself is a role of an official’s negotiating behavior, which takes
to power a successor with new private information. Therefore, each leader who
takes office begins the cycle again, and the motivations of both officials and
antagonists efficiently trap them into taking actions that rise the probability
of conflict (Wolford, 2007). This will give me a clearer view of how and when the
private information and motivations to distort that may generate conflict in
international relations.

            A good example of data collection that I could follow
would be what Elizabeth Saunders used in her article “Transformative choices:
Leaders and the origins of intervention strategy.” Her article adds to a current
stimulation of interest in the role of leaders in international relations by offering
a modest but influential typology of leaders that reports variations in how
states interfere over time. The analytical variable focuses on how leaders see
threats and whether they believe that the interior characteristics of other nations
are the decisive source of threats (Saunders, 2009).

 This difference in leaders’ fundamental
beliefs about the source of threats generates two distinctive ways to measure
and rank the numerous threats that states tackle. First, the “internally
focused” leaders perceive a causative relationship among threatening foreign
and security policies and the interior structure of states. Therefore, they are
more eager to commence “transformative interventions,” in which the intervening
state is severely implicated in the construction or reconstruction of domestic
institutions in the affected state (Saunders, 2009).

On
the other hand, “externally focused” leaders identify threats straight from the
foreign and security policies of other states, and consequently are expected
more to follow “nontransformative” policies that only intent to settle a given dispute
with minimum participation in domestic affairs. These dissimilar fundamental
beliefs about the source of threats form the cost benefit design leaders make
when they handle interference choices, in two ways. First, causal beliefs affect
the worth leaders place on changing targeted states. Second, causal beliefs
affect how leaders divide up rare resources that impact readiness for distinctive
intervention strategies (Saunders, 2009).

Even
though this article emphases on the selection of strategy, the issue of
strategy also effects the decision to interfere in the least. If a leader guesses
that the strategy he selects in order to obtain the wanted intervention result is
not possible or appropriate, then he might be discouraged from taking place in
that conflict in the first place. Accordingly, political leaders’ fundamental
beliefs about the source of threats have overwhelming significances for the choice
to interfere and for the choice of the intervention strategy, in addition to suggestions
for the likelihood of the intervention accomplishment (Saunders, 2009).

It
is clear that the leaders of a nation play a crucial role in shaping the
nations foreign policy. What might be difficult to find is how the nation
things about the foreign policy decisions of its leader, especially in the case
of China. It is easier to find that out about the United States due to its
democratic nature and its transparency on such issues. China though, being an
authoritarian nation that has a strict agenda for its media, would be a
challenge for that aspect. I would hope to find at least some concrete
information in order to back up my hypothesis through this analysis to find
whether or not China can continue rising peacefully.

Conclusion

            Media have the capability to provide
multiple channels for information flow and communication between states, state
leaders, and state citizens worldwide. Based on this research, I would like to
find out that war does not rise without uncertainty. Media play a critical role
in promoting security through transparency by decreasing the notion of threat
and promoting actions of interdependence. Decreasing the level of uncertainty
and misperception between states through media openness, will lead to the lack
of war between states. Recognizing the importance of media openness and nation
leaders and their implications for a peaceful rise of China seems crucial to
developing a fruitful research program intended at empirically testing the central
theoretical predictions of the lack of war between states.

Peaceful
rise is an impressive and problematic goal, but it is also a well-intentioned
and honorable one. Attaining it would be an achievement of world historical magnitude.
Peaceful rise is conceivable, but it will not be straightforward, and it will
necessitate new thoughtfulness from China. At the vanguard of that new thinking
must be a more distinct vision of China’s own identity, what type of society it
wants to be, and a clearer idea of what kind of international society China
wants to indorse (Buzan, 2010). China has now risen enough that it cannot avoid
the responsibilities that go with power.

Although
history shows us to be cautious of military competition caused by security
dilemma, it also proves that not all instances of rising powers end
disastrously, since no conclusion is unavoidable. The choices of leaders will
determine how present resistances unfold (Liff & Ikenberry, 2014). Leaders
on both sides acknowledge the disastrous regional and global significances of a
war in the Asia Pacific today, so even simple steps in order to lessen
uncertainty are valuable. Evading a catastrophic race to military conflict is
in the best interests of all states in the Asia Pacific, particularly China.

 

References

Buzan,
B. (2010). China in international society: Is ‘peaceful rise’possible?. The
Chinese Journal of International Politics, 3(1), 5-36.

Callahan,
W. A. (2005). The Rise of China: How to understand China: the dangers and
opportunities of being a rising power. Review of International Studies, 31(4),
701-714.

Choi,
S. W., & James, P. (2007). Media openness, democracy and militarized
interstate disputes. British Journal of Political Science, 37(1),
23-46.

Christensen,
T. J. (2006). Fostering stability or creating a monster? The rise of China and
US policy toward East Asia. International security, 31(1),
81-126.

Hayes,
J. (2012). The democratic peace and the new evolution of an old idea. European
Journal of International Relations, 18(4), 767-791.

Liff,
A. P., & Ikenberry, G. J. (2014). Racing toward tragedy?: China’s rise,
military competition in the asia pacific, and the security dilemma. International
Security, 39(2), 52-91.

Mearsheimer,
J. J. (2010). The gathering storm: China’s challenge to US power in Asia. The
Chinese Journal of International Politics, 3(4), 381-396.

Miura,
K., & Weiss, J. C. (2016). Will China Test Trump? Lessons from Past
Campaigns and Elections. The Washington Quarterly, 39(4),
7-25.

Nye
Jr, J. S. (1995). The case for deep engagement. Foreign Affairs,
90-102.

Potter,
P. B., & Baum, M. A. (2010). Democratic peace, domestic audience costs, and
political communication. Political Communication, 27(4),
453-470.

Saunders,
E. N. (2009). Transformative choices: Leaders and the origins of intervention
strategy. International Security, 34(2), 119-161.

Yue,
J. (2008). Peaceful rise of China: Myth or reality?. International
Politics, 45(4), 439-456.

Wolford,
S. (2007). The turnover trap: New leaders, reputation, and international
conflict. American Journal of Political Science, 51(4),
772-788.

 

 

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