China in the post-Cold War world has clearly decided to pursue an expansionist foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region. As China’s new leadership has taken the helm, President Xi Jinping has laid forth his country’s agenda for the future. President Xi Jinping has phrased his vision the ‘China Dream,’ which lays out a new package of reforms. These reforms aim at ensuring economic progress and enlarge China’s sphere of influence in the region. China has already demonstrated its intentions through the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).
China sees the post-Cold War multi-polarity a given, calling these developments along with on-going process of economic liberalisation & globalisation as ‘irreversible.’ What is very surprising and also perplexing is the fact that China has declared itself to be essential for the peace, security, stability, and prosperity of the international system. With the suspicion and counter moves against China increasing, the current security challenges are recognized as worrisome, with the major powers increasing their strategic investment and making reajustments to their strategies.
This realisation has prompted China to accelerate its economic, political and security co-operation with developing countries. Apart from security threats, China has undergone a surge in the development of sophisticated military technologies. The Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) was explored in 2000 and 2002 white papers. Since 2004, it draws on China’s own foray into the acquisition of high-tech weaponry and systems.
The unfolding ‘China Dream’ in conjunction with the latest White Paper on Defence make China’s neighbours even more wary. China should take note that besides India, Japan also has made overtures to Russia, realising that the US commitment might decline in the future. Tokyo and Moscow are exploring the possibility of settling their territorial dispute. However, one must keep in mind that China’s halcyon days of unprecedented double-digit growth are over and even high single-digit growth might not continue for long.