Popular perception may greatly exaggerate China’s global importance.
China has created a public image that prevents observers from seeing the economic and social realities that could hinder its development into a superpower.
China remains ambivalent about the international order, which it regards as heavily influenced by Western liberal principles that it distrusts.
Other competing schools ensure a lack of political unity.
China does not get involved in foreign policy areas that do not benefit it directly.
Professor Joseph Nye’s definition of power – “Power is the ability of A to make B do what it would otherwise not do” – personifies China’s growth as a global force.
Nye holds that China has no allies and that the world distrusts it, for the most part.
An uneasy “competitive coexistence” defines China’s relationship with the US.
China’s historic ties to neighboring states and global powers have undergone repeating “cycles of estrangement, antagonism, ambivalence and normalcy.”
Two schools of thought dictate foreign policy: the “realists,” who focus on Chinese self-interests, and the “nativists,” ultranationalist who “distrust the outside world.”