Conclusion: Does ‘Rising’ in Power Equate to ‘Shifting’ of Power?

  • Enrico Fels
Part of the Global Power Shift book series (GLOBAL)


Has there been a power shift in Asia-Pacific as the brief US-Chinese navy encounter suggested? This study has addressed this puzzle by conducting the most extensive assessment of the alleged power shift in Asia-Pacific so far. It provided an extensive overview of some of the major Western texts on Sino-US competition, which overall suggested that we are in the midst of a power shift. As shown in Chap.  1, immediately after the end of the Cold War, the demise of the Soviet Union altered the international system profoundly. Western scholars grew concerned about China as a new potential challenger to US primacy. This was particularly due to the growing Chinese economic and military profile. While not all of the authors addressed referred to China as a threat to US or Western interests, the number of authors concerned about Chinese advances both economic and the militaristic steadily grew. Particularly authors writing in a realist tradition warned about the effects of the diverging relative developments in both countries. According to them, this almost certainly lays the basis for further Chinese challenges to Washington’s leadership, both in the Asia-Pacific and beyond. Section  1.2 demonstrated that authors who write in the liberal and constructivist traditions of IR also generally accept the strategic competition between Washington and Beijing. They likewise acknowledge that some kind of power shift between both nations is happening (however, in contrast to realist authors they do not believe that this dynamic leads necessarily to increasing militarisation, hostility and violence between China and the US in the long run).


Relational Power Foreign Policy Nuclear Weapon Great Power International Affair 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enrico Fels
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Global StudiesUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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